Cover Image: The Younger Wife

The Younger Wife

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Member Reviews

Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy. 

This is my 3rd book from Sally Hepworth. I really loved this book and couldn’t put it down.
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I have just finished reading The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth, and I keep thinking, “OMG,” this is one wild ride about one messed up family. The story begins at the wedding of a well-known surgeon to his much younger bride when something goes terribly awry. The reader then learns the early details when the surgeon introduces his fiancee to family and friends, but there is one big problem…he’s already married. His wife of 38 years has dementia and resides in a nursing home for care. He has to divorce her to marry the new bride, which makes for some squeamish moments. But, the story gains deeper traction with the release of long-buried secrets, a daughter with kleptomania, a spouse who has squandered the family fortune, and an unreliable accuser of abuse. It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Sally Hepworth, but this novel takes it to another level. I think it may be her best novel yet. The ending is a mind-blower, so do NOT read ahead. I predict this will be a huge hit in April when it is published. This book is a MUST-READ for 2022. #dsyfunctionalfamily #secrets #abuse #questions #accusations #doubts #love #life #anxiety #suspicion
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The Younger Wife is told from four points of view - Tully (eldest daughter), Rachel (youngest daughter), Heather (the to-be step-mum), and a wedding guest. The book opens with the wedding guest narrating and immediately there's drama in a room away from the wedding guests. With that opening, how can one not be hooked (or at least trying to figure out what the heck is happening off-stage?). There are hidden secrets or hidden worries by, seemingly, everyone in the family - Tully, Rachael, Heather, and Stephen (the patriarch). This was a quick and engaging read (more of a family drama than a mystery/thriller) that kept my interest. I liked how Tully, Rachel, and Heather began to doubt their reactions and memory to events. I feel a need to shout out how much I greatly enjoyed two of the male supporting characters Darcy and Sonny (Darcy, I'd groan at your jokes but be consulting Google to reply in the same; Sonny you may not be perfect, but you're dependable). The ending - other reviewers have mentioned it and, yes, the ending is a bit of a trip and I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about it.

While I enjoyed the different POVs, at times I felt some of the details were a bit too drawn out and it slowed down the overall pace. Ms. Hepworth, however, always does an amazing job dropping little motivations and tidbits of the story and weaves together a great tale. I also enjoyed reading the Acknowledgements where Ms. Hepworth describes how she got the idea for this book - what a wonderful tale.
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I loved this book thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read it. I would add it to my collection.
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So, you know how you’re invited to a wedding and you really only know one side of the family or maybe just the bride or just the groom. Consider attending the wedding of maybe a divorced rich doctor friend/acquaintance who you just know from the hospital/golf course. You arrive and realize whoa! the bride is way younger than his adult daughters (who were somehow convinced to be bridesmaids; doesn’t Instagram Barbie have any friends of her own?) and double whoa! his ex-wife (who was in some kind of rest home for who knows what, but  the word “crazy” has been whispered) was invited, too, and she’s actually wandering around the church rearranging candlesticks as the vows take place. The reception is going to be good place for getting this back story. Then the family sort of disappears into the sacristy (including ex-wife) as everyone is exiting and suddenly the officiant reappears covered in blood. Oh, this is going to be an interesting reception. Hope there’s an open bar.

Told from 4 POVs, the two daughters, the younger wife, and an unknown wedding guest (in the present), the story unfolds and we learn Stephen, in his 60s, is divorcing Pamela who is suffering from dementia, for Heather, 35 years younger than Pamela. The daughters, Tully and Rachel, are surprised, suspicious, and confused. Heather, the bride, has some secrets and her own reasons for marrying Stephen.

I’ve read Sally Hepworth’s previous novel, “The Good Sister” and now I realize what a gift she has for slowly revealing her characters’ motivations and allowing the plot to spin around revealed tidbits. I think this novel will be compared to Lucy Foley’s “The Guest List” which I absolutely loved (another wedding guest is injured, who is it? and why?, told from multiple POVs who all had good reasons to off that person), but “The Younger Wife” is, amazingly, better!. A twisty ending. The victim is not as obvious and not everyone has clear motive to do harm. And the book will have you contemplating the epilogue for quite awhile after you’ve put it down. 5 stars — congratulation to Sally Hepworth on her best novel yet.

My thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Literary Pet Peeve Checklist:
Green Eyes (only 2% of the real world, yet it seems like 90% of all fictional females): YES Delivery Dude has piercing green eyes.
Horticultural Faux Pas (plants out of season or growing zones, like daffodils in autumn or bougainvillea in Alaska): I suspect as much since The flowers are always spring flowers like freesia, snapdragons, and peonies no matter how much time passes
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"The Younger WIfe"  bySaly Hepworth is definitely worth a read.   Smotthlybwritten, with chapters that flow nicely into each other, it was a pleasure to read.   The novel started off very engagingly and kept up the same pace.   While the author did tie up all the loose ends by the end, the ending wasn't as I expected.
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Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. 4/5 stars
I have been a fan of Sally Hepworth since I discovered her in 2017. I was excited for this opportunity, and read this book as quickly as my life would allow. Everyone in the Alston family has secrets. The patriarch, his many wives, the children… they are all keeping it from each other and smile and try to appear normal on the outside. When Stephen and his younger wife have just been married, a vicious attack occurs as they are signing the register. Who was injured and who did it? The book then rewinds to the year prior with small glimpses in the present as we peel back the onion to uncover what everyone has been hiding.
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Imagine your father is getting remarried to someone younger than you or your sister. As if the 'ew' factor wasn't enough, he is still married to your mother. Wait, what! That was all I needed to know to tear through The Younger Wife in one sitting.
Tully and Rachel's father Stephen is not planning on becoming a bigamist. His wife Pam has dementia and lives in a nursing home. No one was more surprised than Stephen when he fell in love with Heather. He wants his daughters' approval to divorce Pam, though he assures them he will never abandon their mother. Say what!
The story is told from Rachel, Tully, and Heather's perspective, with a few chapters from an unknown narrator. Besides the sisters each having and trying to hide secrets that have defined their lives, there are things about their father that don't line up with their memories of their childhood. Add in Heather who has worked hard to escape her past and you have closets full of skeletons just waiting to ruin this wedding.
This is one of those books that almost everything I want to say is a potential spoiler. I will say that almost everything that happened was flipped upside down more than once. A very twisted tale that will make you question what the heck is really going on here. That's it, I am stopping before I say anything more! 4.5 stars.
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I raced through this one and the ending gave me whiplash.  Please read so we can discuss.

*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you so much for the opportunity of reading this book.  I did not want to finish it which
is my indicator  of an excellent story.

An older man who has two adult daughters is marrying an younger woman as soon as
his divorce is finalized from his wife who suffers from dementia.  Whew, long sentence.
The women all have their secrets which have defined their personalities.  I could read
more books about Heather, Tullie and Rachel for sure.

Have recommended to family.
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Awesome Amazing Book!!!! Never saw the end coming. Is everything as it seems or do we sometimes look into certain thing and people too much? 
This is a great book, many twists and turns. This book will  be recommend to everyone not matter what genre they read. I did not want to put this book down and I ended staying up late to finish it. Great read!!!
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Marvelous novel  of family dealing with the marriage of a much younger stepmother.  The story grips the reader from the very first chapter and never lets go until the end...

It is chock full of insights into family relationships and a perfect blend of complex characters.

Great read!
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Absolutely enjoyed reading this novel.  Great job in characterization.  Humm wife beater, person with eating disorder, person with schizophrenia or alcoholism, person is kleptomaniac, person with dementia?  You'll have to read the book to find out what really is going on and you might be surprised.  Was totally engrossed with the characters.  Thought the ending was unexpected but an interesting.  This was my favorite of Ms. Hepworth's novels.
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An entertaining quick read about a family with a lot of problems that ends with a twist.  ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
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Sally Hepworth can write! I have read quite a few of her novels and am never disappointed. "The Younger Wife" is an easy read but it is also filled with deep characters. This story feels so realistic; therefore easy to get into. Another great novel!
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Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth is a family melodrama and rom-com disguised as a domestic thriller.  The story revolves around three women: sisters Rachel and Tully, and their father's soon-to-be new wife Heather.  When the two sisters' father announces that he plans to divorce their mother and get married again to a much younger woman, the two sisters are understandably upset.  How can he just divorce their dementia-stricken mother like that?  Is Heather just another gold-digger?  And what secrets are each of them hiding?

Here is an excerpt from the Prologue, which is from an unnamed person's perspective:

"She leads Stephen and his new wife into a room to the side of the altar. The trio is followed by the two little boys, plus Rachel and Tully and Pamela, who is still clutching the candlestick. Will someone take that poor woman home? I think.
With the bridal party out of sight, the guests start chatting among themselves.
...
It seems as good a time as any to take my leave. I stand, gathering my things, and that’s when I hear it. A young woman’s scream and then, a dense, meaty thud. I rise at the same time as every other guest. I look to the front of the room, but my view is obscured by large hats and bald heads. I am craning to see through the gaps between the guests when the celebrant reappears. Her face is ashen and her white pantsuit is covered in blood."

Overall, The Younger Wife is an interesting look into the lives and relationships of three women and the familial bonds between them.  It maintained my interest from beginning to end, and I ended up finishing this book in a day.  I would not call this book a domestic thriller though.  I took off 1 star because I was expecting there to be a lot more thrills in this book. During the first half, I had to keep checking to make sure I was reading the correct book.  The action does pick up in the second half, and there was a surprise that I did not see coming, but I was expecting more from this book overall.  If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of Sally Hepworth's previous books, you can check out this book when it comes out in April!
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I was so excited to read this early! Sally Hepworth never disappoints! I thought this was a  really good family drama, with an air of mystery that kept me throwing pages! I felt that she described the characters so well and made me care about them. I look forward to whatever comes next!
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It’s almost a cliche, a man marrying a woman the same age as his daughters. The only fly on the ointment is that Stephen already has a wife, still she’s in an assisted living facility doe people with dementia; it shouldn’t be that had to get a divorce. Rachel and Tully are sure that Heather, their father’s paramour is nothing more than a gold digger and they don’t intend to sit by and let her, and their father, disrespect their mother.But Heather has her own reasons for wanting to be married to Stephen; everyone in this book has secrets and no one is what they seem
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Thanks to NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book.

An older rich man (Stephen Aston) wants to marry a young beautiful woman except he's still married to his wife who has dementia. Obviously his two daughters are not thrilled about this turn of events and secrets are revealed showing no one is who they say they are.

I usually enjoy Sally Hepworth's books and have had this one on my to read list for quite awhile. Overall it was a quick read but it lacked any real depth for me. By the end of the book I expected a big twist or something but things were left somewhat nebulous. It didn't seem like there were any answers given to many of the questions raised. The story I really wanted explored was between Rachel and Darcy. That seemed much more interesting than whether or not Stephen was an abuser.

Overall, it was a quick and easy read but not very interesting to me.
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Stephen Aston divorced his wife Pam, who has dementia, in order to marry their much younger interior designer, Heather.  Heather is actually younger than his two daughters, Tully and Rachel.

The story starts out on Heather and Stephen’s wedding day where an incident happens causing the police and an ambulance to arrive.   We then step back in time to the events leading up to the wedding day and learn that everyone has secrets they are hiding.

I could not put this book down.  It was well written and the charterers were well developed and believable.  All the secrets kept me turning the pages.  This is a must read.
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