My Husband Next Door by Catherine Alliott
|My Husband Next Door by Catherine Alliott|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Funny and with a strong cast of characters, this story of a woman picking herself up after a marriage breakdown is well worth reading.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 496||Date: August 2013|
|Publisher: Michael Joseph|
|External links: Author's website|
Ella's marriage to the artist Sebastian Monclair has gone downhill just as quickly as Sebastian's once-stellar career did. With him living in an outhouse and her seeking comfort with charming gardener Ludo, who she's not quite ready to have an affair with, their children are caught in the fallout. When Ella's parents go through their own marital problems and her overbearing mum moves in with her, will it give Ella the push she needs to take action?
I enjoyed this a lot because Alliott’s writing style is very easy to read – she’s not an author I’ve tried before, but I’ll certainly be picking up some of her many other books – and it’s intriguingly plotted. I also really liked the character development of some of the supporting characters. In particular, Ella and Ginnie’s parents, who I was assuming were mainly going to be comic relief, get a very strong storyline which really held my attention.
It's amusing - not many laugh-out-loud moments (although there were a couple, both involving animals) but I had a smile on my face throughout. It's also got more depth than I was expecting from the early chapters - I think I was prepared for it to be mostly about Ella and Ludo's attraction to each other, whilst it actually branches out and explores the faltering relationship of Ella's parents, the issues that have led to Sebastian turning to drink, and the family problems Ella's supposedly perfect sister Ginnie is having. All of these things are dealt with sensitively and if anything, it's the Ella/Ludo plot which is the least interesting. I found the pair of them to be realistic characters - and it's great to see a well-rounded lead with real flaws in Ella, who's something of a pushover to her kids and rather over-sensitive, to say the least. However they're not all that likeable, to be honest, and it meant I wasn't particularly bothered about whether they'd end up together or not.
Despite my slight issues with the central pairing, the overall characters, clever plot, and readable writing style mean that I'm very happy to recommend this one.
I think fans of this one would also like Judy Astley. Other People's Husbands is a particular favourite of mine.
You can read more book reviews or buy My Husband Next Door by Catherine Alliott at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy My Husband Next Door by Catherine Alliott at Amazon.com.
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