My husband is everything I ever dreamed of. A handsome, successful doctor who swept me off my feet.

Our new life together is perfect.

He’s perfect.

But am I good enough for him? I never seem to get anything right. And I’m starting to feel a little afraid of the man I married.

He’s taken away my bank card and my phone. I don’t know what to think or what to do. I gave up everything for him and now I’m trapped.

Then a stranger comes to our door. She tells me that I can’t trust my husband.

That I should ask him what happened to his first wife.


It did not take long to hate Daniel, the husband in The Next Wife. I felt a connection to Tess and also enjoyed the older woman, Martha, who lived nearby and tried to warn Tess about her husband.

As Daniel’s controlling behavior intensified, I kept hoping for an escape for Tess. But just when I thought there might be a way out for her, the obstacles grew until she was under his total control.

What had happened before Tess entered Daniel’s life? Was there a first wife? Did she come to some terrible end? It was not hard to imagine the cruelty that Daniel might have exacted on her, as he has turned dark in his current marriage, and so early into the union.

I did wonder about how he developed into this horrific person, and how others could still see his charm, but I have also known characters just like him and had no reason to question how they got that way. Most seem to have learned their evil in childhood, either as a victim or as an aberration.

As the story unfolded, I was shocked by the unexpected twists and turns, and couldn’t stop turning the pages. A great read that earned 4.5 stars.



Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s featured book is one I downloaded in July, and I plan to start reading it tonight.  This Must Be the Place, by Maggie O’Farrell, is a book I’ve been eagerly anticipating, as I’ve enjoyed several books by the author.  An irresistible love story, an unforgettable family. Best-selling author Maggie O’Farrell captures an extraordinary marriage with insight and laugh-out-loud humor in what Richard Russo calls “her breakout book.” Perfect for readers of Where’d You Go, Bernadette.








Intro:  (The Strangest Feeling in My Legs – Daniel – Donegal, 2010)

There is a man.

He’s standing on the back step, rolling a cigarette.  The day is typically unstable, the garden lush and shining, the branches weighty with still-falling rain.

There is a man and the man is me.

I am at the back door, tobacco tin in hand, and I am watching something in the trees, a figure, standing at the perimeter of the garden, where the aspens crowd in at the fence.  Another man.

He’s carrying a pair of binoculars and a camera.


Teaser:  They are waiting, Lucas and Maeve, on a strip of gravel outside the thing like a cattle shed that serves as an airport in this part of the world.  He has a rucksack at his feet, a hat with earflaps pulled down low on his head; Maeve is huddled inside her waterproof.  (45%).


Blurb:  Meet Daniel Sullivan, a man with a complicated life. A New Yorker living in the wilds of Ireland, he has children he never sees in California, a father he loathes in Brooklyn, and a wife, Claudette, who is a reclusive ex–film star given to pulling a gun on anyone who ventures up their driveway. Claudette was once the most glamorous and infamous woman in cinema before she staged her own disappearance and retreated to blissful seclusion in an Irish farmhouse. 

But the life Daniel and Claudette have so carefully constructed is about to be disrupted by an unexpected discovery about a woman Daniel lost touch with twenty years ago. This revelation will send him off-course, far away from wife, children, and home. Will his love for Claudette be enough to bring him back?
“O’Farrell’s prose manages to be both intimate and expansive and keenly perceptive in its insights about the complexities of marriage.  Beautiful and bittersweet, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE will make O’Farrell’s longtime fans swoon while prompting new readers to wonder why they’ve only just discovered her.”


I am excited at the journey ahead, as it’s been a while since I read this author.  But I remember loving her work.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?