My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

Review published on May 13, 2016. Reviewed by Sheila A. Grant

Nudge Reviewer Rating:

When lawyer Lily marries Ed, she’s determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind.

But when she takes on a new case, she starts to find herself strangely drawn to her client. A man who’s been convicted of murder. A man she will soon be willing to risk everything for. 

But is he really innocent?

And who is she to judge?

 

We thought our BookDiva, Sheila Grant, might like this one – and she did. She explains why…

 

A most intriguing story full of complicated characters who, without exception, have something to hide or events they would prefer not to recall. An unusual title but as the book progresses it is apparent just how appropriate it is.

Lily and Ed have recently returned from their honeymoon after a whirlwind romance but their relationship is an awkward one. Lily, a young lawyer with little confidence, believes she is not his first choice and doubts his motive in marrying her. Ed is a frustrated artist with a certainty that one day he will be famous. When Lily, is given her first criminal case, a complicated appeal that involves long hours and prison visits, the tension and stress increases the discomfort of her marriage.   Despite warnings about the risk of becoming close to her clients Lily is aware from her first encounter with Joe Thomas in prison of an irresistible frisson between them.

A single Italian mother and her small daughter, Carla, are Lily and Ed’s neighbours. Carla burns with resentment and has a chip on her shoulder when she compares her frugal life with her seemingly more affluent schoolmates. She worms her way into the young couple’s lives and becomes close to them until an unfortunate coincidence ruins the relationship leaving Carla bitter and revengeful.

A very dark book with disturbed and deceitful characters who without exception find truth a stranger. They all have events past and present that must be concealed or lied about. All are self absorbed and convinced that they are in the right. Is it a lie if told to protect the listener?   The flawed characters are what drive this book and make it so interesting.

Jane Corry was writer in residence in a high security prison and the book is peppered with tales that I suspect are based on true cases. Each one results in a barrister, with great skill and verbal dexterity, obtaining a conviction that is the opposite of what would be expected, raising questions regarding justice and the law. Very thought provoking and adding to this engrossing book.   A clever and complicated plot kept me hooked and despite or because of being peopled with so many unhappy beings rather than being gloomy it is absorbing. The writer’s skill in clearly defining each one meant each was crystal clear which is not always the case in a longer novel.

Human emotions flood this book. Avarice, infidelity, jealousy, revenge, fear, lust, and, without lapsing into farce, the writer displays just how prevalent these traits are.

Despite displaying the worst side of human nature I was not unsympathetic to their plight, something I would attribute to the high standard of the writing. The ending was suitably dramatic and with a novel twist that was totally unexpected.

The book began slowly but soon gathered momentum drawing the reader in as new characters were introduced and the story began to build. It was a gripping read that I really enjoyed. An amazing debut novel which should stimulate discussion at a reading group.

Sheila A. Grant
Personal 5
Group 5

About the author

Jane Corry is a writer and journalist, and teaches creative writing all over the world. Recently she spent three years working as the writer-in-residence at a high-security prison for men.

In her own words: ‘I had always thought prisons were terrifying places for people who had done terrible things. But after my first marriage ended, I found myself working in one, and discovered a world I could not have imagined without actually being there. A world in which no one was quite who they seemed. A world that I found strangely addictive – so much so that it wormed its way into this book.’

 

My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry, published by Penguin on 26 May, 2016 e-Book /25  Aug, 2016 pbk

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