As this engaging novel begins, an unknown narrator is observing the wedding of Stephen Aston and Heather. After they are declared husband and wife, the event is disrupted. There are screams. Is someone sick? Injured? Dead? We are taken back in time to when successful, sixty-three-year-old cardiac surgeon Stephen Aston shocks daughters Tilly and Rachel with his announcement that he plans to marry his young girlfriend, Heather. In addition to the huge age difference, there’s a larger issue. Stephen is already married to Pamela, the girls’ mother, who is suffering from dementia and is living in a healthcare facility. Heather, who is younger than both Tilly and Rachel, had met Stephen and Pamela when she was hired as their interior designer. Stephen plans to divorce Pamela and move on and wants his daughters to bond with Heather. As the story progresses and we learn more about each person, it is clear that there are huge cracks in what had appeared to be such a normal family. A wife and mother of two, Tully’s life is falling apart. Rachel is forced to confront her difficult past. And Heather may not have landed the perfect catch after all as she suspects that Stephen has another side to him that he’s kept well hidden.
I was thoroughly engrossed in Sally Hepworth's fast-paced story which shows that people are not always who they appear to be. Or perhaps they are. And with potentially unreliable storytelling, you’ll be kept guessing. When the secret of the wedding is revealed, I was happy I went along for the ride. There are parts of the book that will make for some lively discussions so I would expect Book Clubs to embrace The Younger Wife.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this suspenseful book in advance of its publication.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Mystery / Thriller.
Publication Date: April 5, 2022.
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