Cover Image: The Younger Wife

The Younger Wife

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Member Reviews

The first thriller I've read in so long.

Everyone has issues, trust me, but not as much as the Aston Family. 

I won't say much, but what I'll say is this — if you want a story filled with scandals, twists, and turns, crazy slow burn — then this is for you!
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This was my first read by Sally Hepworth and it was worth every minute!! Twists and turns make this a great fast paced pageturner begging for questions!! You'll want to pick this up asap!!
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Decent read. More dysfunctional family drama than thriller, but still a good read. Told from differing viewpoints you get to know the family and see some of the drama that draws you into trying to figure out what happened at the wedding. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.  Thank you NetGalley, Sally Hepworth and St. Martin’s Press for this edition and hearing my honest review. Looking forward to reading more with you
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From my blog: Always With a Book

I have really come to enjoy Sally Hepworth’s books. She writes domestic suspense/family drama like no one else. Her books are always such readable, binge-worthy type reads and I find that once I start them, I have such a hard time putting them down and this one was no exception.

I loved the way this one was structured. The suspense of knowing that something happened at the wedding and you aren’t exactly sure what and who is involved and then how it goes back to fill in who the players are and leads up to the big day just keeps you on edge. The story is told from the alternating POV’s of all the women and we quickly come to find out that they are all dealing with their own issues, some of which they have kept hidden from the others for various reasons. I loved how the author is able to tease them out in such a way that feels nature to the storyline, even having them overlap in some cases. Nothing is done here in a vacuum and I have to say that while this is a primarily a mystery novel, I did love the tender moments that were woven in.

I found myself rooting for these characters in the worst way and to me, that’s always a sign of a good book. I love when I become emotionally invested. The ending definitely took me a bit by surprise and I know it has caused a bit of a stir but sometimes that happens – we don’t always all agree on how we think a book should end. This, I think, makes it the perfect bookclub book – there is so much to unpack within this book.
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Sally Hepworth did not disappoint with this one. I have a hard time with some domestic thrillers, but Hepworth never fails to engage me. I enjoyed this book. The plot is well done, the characters are well done and fully developed, and I didn't want to put the book down once the story got going. For a book to feel realistic, everything can't be perfect, and I will say the therapist in this book leaves a lot to be desired at the end. I would highly recommend this book.
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🔊Song Pairing: Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You - Cigarettes After Sex 

💭What I thought would happen:

Something twisted with a juicy plot line. Obviously some man whose pecker needed validation with a younger woman….

📖What actually happens: 

Heather is about to be Tully and Rachel’s stepmother…she’s the same age as them. But how could she resist when her soon to be husband is an older, good looking surgeon. Heather is escaping her traumatic past and is just trying to have a better life. 

Tully is a mother and riddled with her own issues outside of her father’s midlife crisis, not to mention the fact that her parent’s divorce only is just going through and her mother is completely unaware due to her early onset dementia. 

Rachel is a talents cake maker/artist, like Tully dealing with the fact that her father has left her mother behind for his own sexual gain and she is dealing with her issues around weight and an unhealthy relationship with food. 


This was a perfectly enjoyable thriller. The way everything built up and played out was interesting but did give me heart palpitations. I for sure thought I had this one figured out and honestly if it had unfolded in that way I’d have been like ok ok that is MANIACAL and I’m here for it but sadly not quite. 

It’s a vanilla shake of a read. Delicious and reliable but sometimes doesn’t cure my craving for a zesty kick! 

I liked the characters, they took time to enjoy but once I did I was 💯 on their side (with that being said I mean the women of this book). 

I will always be a fan of Sally’s writing. Give me all the twists and turns. That woman thrills me!
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I'm such a SallyHepworth fan. I loved "The Good Sister" and "The Mother-in-Law," so I was excited for this one. It definitely didn't disappoint!

The story starts with Dr. Stephen Aston is marrying is much younger wife, Heather, but the wedding is interrupted by his ex-wife. There is a scream and blood, then the story cuts to a year before. 

Heather is meeting Stephen's daughters, and the story starts to unravel for the reader. We eventually catch up to the wedding, and then that ending. Oh that ending. I hated it. Just putting that out there.

Thanks for the ARC, Netgalley!
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Three women, all vastly different but all broken in their own ways. Tully, the older sister with more quirks than one can name and a severe case of kleptomania; Rachel, the younger sister who’s coping with a triggering past in an unhealthy way; and Heather, youngest of all three but the others’ soon-to-be step mother. Stephen, father to Tully and Rachel and future husband of Heather, seems like the perfect man. Dedicated dad, partner, and surgeon; he is the perfect man - so why does Tully and Rachel’s mother Pam keep hinting otherwise? 

This is my third Sally Helpworth book and my new favorite. She makes such eccentric, fascinating characters and storylines that are quick, twisty, and shocking.
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The Younger Wife tells the story of an older man who marries a younger woman. However, his first wife is battling dementia. I found that this novel gave me Jane Eyre vibes. The story is full of twists and turns! It was a very thrilling ride and kept me on the edge of my seat! The only thing that I did not like was the ending. I was disappointed in how it ended. Still, this novel was very well-written and was fast-paced! I recommend this fans of Paula Hawkins, A. J. Finn, and Gillian Flynn!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for my review.

A good book, it held my attention to the end. I always enjoy reading Sally Hepworth books!
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There was definitely more to think about after reading this than during the process.  It took me a second to come to my conclusion as the book ended, and I'm not so sure I like it.  I did enjoy the variety of personalities and that it made me think.  (3.75/5)
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I literally read this book in one sitting and thought to myself oh my. I really enjoyed the book, but I didn't like a single one of the characters. I couldn't find a redeemable quality in any of them. The book is fast paced but it did put me in mind of the B. Smith situation, wowsers!
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But Wait, There’s More!

Amended Review for the April 5, 2022 Published Edition:

That I’ve remained invested after reading an advance copy attests to the intriguing storyline. The preliminary release left unanswered questions causing varied interpretations by readers 

I was of the opinion that an advocate for women wouldn’t deliberately cast a shadow on a victim’s claim to abuse - no matter how unreliable. I also speculated on whether Sally Hepworth was creating a gaslighting experience for the reader correlating with what the characters were seeing and hearing.

Did I correctly interpret the message she wanted to convey? Or were my friends with opposing opinions correct and I was over thinking?

The debate gains more clarity with this final version and I think many will enjoy it. If you've read the ARC, you might want to look again for a more complete perspective.

The crafty telling remains, combining author connotation with overt drama. On the surface, you think you’re reading about a troubled family, but there's more to it.

Thank you to Christina for discussing this with me by direct message after reading the ARC. I wondered why I viewed the outcome one way and others the complete opposite and I was happy to discover a like mind.

This is my favorite Sally Hepworth novel and I purchased a hardcover to accompany my copy of The Mother in Law already on my shelf. It can also be borrowed from many local libraries.

My Original Review of the Advanced Reader Copy (Edited for brevity):

Rachel and Tully are roped into meeting their future step-mother against their better judgment.

Their father, sixty year old Stephen wants everyone to be family, but Rachel and Tully aren’t on board with accepting a gorgeous interloper who’s closer to their age than their dad’s.

Most everyone in this story came with heavy baggage and the compilation of phobias caused me to feel a little anxious myself while reading about these neurotic folks.

A few comedic sequences involving Tully’s son provided respite while she questioned her parenting skills. A sensitive child on the cusp of three, he was grappling with life changes which “produced” unexpected results. Poor little guy was a treasure in the midst of noxiousness.

Was it murder or not?

The ending will surely be uniquely interpreted by each reader. From early reviews and my own spirited discussion with friends, I foresee many debates. Which is desirable in my opinion, as the lively repartee enhanced my reading experience.

Thank you to NetGalley, Sally Hepworth, and St. Martin’s Press for my advance electronic copy due to publish on April 5, 2022.
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Such a fun, fast page turning read! Dad gets a new fiancé, who is about half his age, and close to both of his daughter's age. Of course, he hopes they will all get along and become close friends, but it never happens like that. Also, in order to marry his new fiancé,  he must first divorce his wife, who is still alive, and suffering from severe dementia. I really thought I had this book pegged. But the last third of the book just threw me for loop after twisty loop. There was a couple times I had to put the book down for a second to let my brain catch up, but then immediately picked it back up to keep finishing it. I really enjoyed this book, and cannot wait to read more Sally Hepworth!

Thank you to the author, St. Martin's Press, and NetGalley for the ARC!
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Soooooooooo good! Filled with twists and surprises, I couldn’t wait to see what was next. It kept me reading all night. 

There’s a lot more taking place than a simple mystery/thriller scenario. 

My only complaint would be the ending. I think I expected it to be more of a feminist end than what we got. Very disappointing. For this reason, I deducted a star. From 4 to 3.
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Love me a Sally Hepworth book. She writes such great family dramas and this is no different. I actually ended up LOVING the person I was meant to hate. Haha. Super fast read!
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Is Stephen Aston, a respected heart surgeon, an abuser and a proficient gaslighter? That’s the crux of the story of The Younger Wife. We are told the story by a few different women: adult daughters Rachel and Tully; Heather, the titular younger wife; and a woman named Fiona. Rachel and Tully’s mother, Pamela, can’t tell her own story, as she has advanced dementia. Both daughters have significant issues they’ve been dealing with. Now they’re faced with the prospect of their 60-something father wanting to marry a women their own age, if he can divorce Pamela, that is. I found the story pretty interesting, but wouldn’t call this a thriller. Maybe more a family drama. In addition to the possible abuse and gaslighting, this book covers a lot of serious topics including: sexual attacks, kleptomania, anxiety, alcoholism, financial problems, and long-term unemployment.

NOTE: I had access to an advance readers copy of this book (Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press) but, being a bit late with my reading, I saw other reviewers talking about a big change in the ending of this book, so I held off reading it until I could get a copy of the published version from my public library. Once I read the published version, I went back and read the last few chapters of my advance copy and sure enough, there’s been a big change. I much prefer the revised, published version!
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I have become a fan of Sally Hepworth's writing. My husband and I actually read the books together or listen to them on audio together.

Stephen is getting remarried after his divorce from his current wife who is facing extreme alzheimer's complications. Tully and Rachel are his two daughters and are actually older than his new wife, Heather. Of course when a young woman marries an older man she must be after money. But what does it mean when she already has her own money? Can Tully and Rachel really welcome this stranger into their lives all while dealing with their own personal issues. And on top of that, why did the marriage officiant come screaming out of the office during the wedding, while covered in blood?

This story is told through the perspectives of Heather, Rachel, Tully and a mysterious other woman. Each woman has their own personal trauma that they are dealing with so be ready for some heavy topics to be discussed in this one. Nothing seems to be off limits topic wise including assault, alcoholism, abuse, death, alzheimer's. The story opens with a view of the wedding day and how someone's blood is all over the marriage officiant. The audience is left to decide who was hurt and who did the assault: the new wife, the husband, the ex-wife, the daughters. Everyone is a suspect. 

I really liked the multliple perspectives as well as the issues that each woman is facing in the story. There are many different issues to be addressed, but Hepworth does so in a way that allows them to intertwine, overlap, and mesh very well together. A pretty quick feeling read with lots of suspense. Highly recommend.
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I had high hopes with this being my second book to read by Sally Hepworth. Sadly it did not live up. It had potential but it was hard for me to finish (I even took a break for a few months and read other books during that time). 
I wouldn’t call this a thriller but more of a who done it and why.
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I'm such a fan of this author and loved her previous 2 books that I read. I was super excited when I was approved for an ARC from @netgalley, Thank you!

This one opens up with a prologue that immediately draws you in right before a wedding that seems to have some secrets and drama going on. We have Tully and her sister Rachel attended with their mother as a guest. Their father is the groom marrying Heather, 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒀𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒓 𝑾𝒊𝒇𝒆, younger than both Tully and Rachel. Then, we have a mystery person in the background. Sounds crazy already, right?  

The two sisters of course aren't feeling their father's fiancé and would like to find some secrets about her. Well everyone has some secrets of their own and we weave through the POV's of the three women, Tully, Rachel, and Heather to find out what's going on in everyone's lives. One of my main questions was, "Who was this mystery person!"

The story was quite interesting as we figure out the twists and turns we're taken on, but it wasn't a huge psychological thriller for me. I was looking for a bigger "pearl clutching" moment and didn't get that. Don't get me wrong. The story wasn't bad, I just didn't get they crazy I was anticipating or wanting in a psychological thriller. 

One quote I felt rang true is:

"What happens in our childhood shapes us--our ability to relate to people, to manage our emotions, to control our impulses."
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