Other People's Husbands by Judy Astley
|Other People's Husbands by Judy Astley|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Conrad, a famous and successful artist is 25 years older than his wife and he wonders if he really wants to be there for his forthcoming seventieth birthday. A heart-warming and gentle look at the relationships between husbands and wives. Recommended.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: September 2009|
|Publisher: Black Swan|
Conrad Blythe-Hamilton is approaching his seventieth birthday and he's not altogether certain that he wants to get there. It seems such a milestone and he dreads being a burden on his family. He's a rich and successful artist and was quite a playboy until he met and married Sarah when she was barely out of her teens. The twenty-five year age gap meant nothing to either of them, but as his birthday approaches Conrad worries that it's beginning to take its toll.
Sarah isn't worried though. She can't understand the motivation of her friend who is indulging in a little adultery on the side. After all, Sarah has Conrad and her family, but then her daughters return home (one with a baby) as their relationships or finances hit the rocks and Conrad starts to act a little strangely. Her rather wild sister arrives to stay along with her teenage son and the once quiet and tidy house is bedlam.
That's when the charms of Ben who doesn't even know who her husband is but who'd love to help her to exhibit some of her own paintings make her wonder if marital fidelity is all that it's cracked up to be. Sarah has always had a lot of men friends and she's been quite open with Conrad about them. The relationships were purely platonic so she'd no need to be other than open, but for some reason she doesn't want to tell him about Ben.
I liked Sarah. Still attractive in her forties, she's not looking for romantic involvement and is simply trying to do her best by her husband, family, friends and her art students. She's forward looking and is thinking about painting again – just as Conrad is talking about giving up. If I've a criticism to make of the book it's that I couldn't see why she would want to get romantically involved with another man – but that's a minor nit-pick in an otherwise enjoyable holiday read. It will appeal to many women – from the middle-aged who will empathise with Sarah and her friends to the young who will follow the exploits of her daughters, Cassandra and Pandora.
It's a gentle exploration of the relationships between husbands and wives and their families with some heart-warming, feel good messages. It's no criticism to say that it's not a page-turning plot – sometimes that isn't what you want. It's a gentle story for when you want some light, easy reading.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
If this type of book appeals to you then we think you might also enjoy Going Dutch by Katie Fforde.
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