The Younger Wife

Macmillan Audio. Apr. 2022. 9:18 hrs. ISBN 9781250835666. $26.99. SUSPENSE
The Aston family is in serious need of therapy. Natalie is a kleptomaniac with high-anxiety issues. Her sister Rachael stress-eats, trying to cope with being raped as a teenager. Their mother, confined to a nursing home, suffers from dementia. Their father, Stephen, announces that he will soon marry, even though he is still married to their mother. When a hot water bottle stuffed with almost $100,000 turns up in their mother’s belongings, accompanied by the name of an unknown woman, Rachael begins to ask questions. As the wedding day nears, Rachael finds and meets the mystery woman, her father’s first wife. As events unfold, Stephen’s real character is revealed, with deadly consequences. Best-selling suspense novelist Hepworth (The Good Sister) creates a family of damaged people whose issues seem to be invisible to their closest friends and family. Her quirky characters are lifelike and yet somewhat unconvincing. That the story unwinds into a happy ending for most of the characters is remarkable. Four narrators, Barrie Kreinik, Caroline Lee, Jessica Douglas-Henry, and Zoe Carides, read the twisting tale with skill and empathy.
VERDICT Readers of family dysfunction fiction and Hepworth’s many fans will enjoy. Expect high demand.
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