Book Review: My Husband's Wife by Amanda Prowse

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Title - My Husband's Wife
Author - Amanda Prowse
Publication Date - July 14th 2016 (eBook) February 9th 2017 (Paperback(
Publisher - Head of Zeus
Format - Hardback (Provided by author)
Pages - 368

Blurb
Once a week, Rosie Tipcott counts her blessings.

She goes to sit on her favourite bench on the north Devon cliffs, and thanks her lucky stars for her wonderful husband, her mischievous young daughters, and her neat little house by the sea. She vows to dedicate every waking hour to making her family happy.

But then her husband unexpectedly leaves her for another woman and takes the children. Now she must ask the question: what is left in her life? Can Rosie find the strength to rebuild herself? More importantly, does she even want to?


Review
Once in a while, a novel comes along that holds within it so much emotion and so much heart that it completely undoes you, and for me, that novel has to be My Husband's Wife by Amanda Prowse. I haven't actually, if I'm going to be honest with you, read that many books by Prowse. In fact, My Husband's Wife happens to be only the third book by this author that I've read. My first was The Christmas Café, and my second was the all-consuming Another Love, both of which I adored. It has quickly become clear to me, even after the completion of only three novels, that Amanda is an author I can trust. One of those authors whose book I'd spot in the supermarket and, without hesitation, pop into my basket without needing to think twice, because I know that she will deliver.

In Amanda's latest novel, My Husband's Wife, readers are taken to the small seaside town of Woolacombe, North Devon, peppered with sandy dunes, surfers, and shops selling sticks of rock and buckets and spades for the tourists. Prowse brings the setting of Woolacombe to life beautifully. With the author's vivid imagery and spectacular detail, I could imagine myself sat on Rosie's favourite bench, overlooking the sea beside her, taking it all in and lost to my thoughts, as Rosie often was too. It was the sort of place families spent their summers and children chased the waves up and down the shore. From the majestic cliffs to the rocky footpaths, it all worked together to create the most gorgeous setting for Rosie's story to unravel within.

In My Husband's Wife, Rosie Tipcott is faced with a devastating revelation. Her husband, Phil, who she adores and thanks her lucky stars for every single day, has met someone new and is leaving her. Not only her, but their two beautiful girls. In a shattering moment, all that Rosie thought she knew about her husband and their happily married life crumbles to nothing and she is left questioning who she is and, more frighteningly, what she is supposed to do now without him by her side. Alongside the breakdown of her married life, Rosie also receives a years-old letter from her long-lost mother Laurel, who left Rosie and her father when she was only a baby. The letter delivers some heart-breaking truths for Rosie, truths that she isn't quite ready to accept but truths that also seem to be repeating themselves in the present day, in strikingly similar circumstances.

From beginning to end, I was utterly absorbed in this novel. It was compelling, shocking and heartbreakingly raw in the most stunning and breath-taking of ways. Amanda manages to take real life and display it perfectly on the page, complete with realness, believability and with enough emotion to have you gasping for breath as you try to continue reading through the onslaught of tears that will no doubt come. Rosie, as warm and as homely as she may have been, is truly put through her paces by life in this book. Everything is thrown at her, and I couldn't help but to think to myself, "what on earth is she going to have to deal with next?". Not only are the foundations of her life, home and family rocked to their very core, but Amanda ensures that readers are privy to the aftermath of this, and the gut-wrenching consequences that follow. There were moments of rage on my part, moments of tears and frustration and pure, pure despair, because Prowse manages to capture so strikingly the emotional rollercoaster that Rosie was forced upon. Prowse takes apart the lives of her characters and allows readers an undiluted, unfiltered view at what it's really like to face life when all hope is gone. It struck a chord within me and I found it impossible to put Rosie's story down once I had begun.

In terms of characterisation, Prowse couldn't have been any more spot-on. From the first moment I met Rosie and her daughters, Naomi and Leona, who caused me to laugh out loud repeatedly throughout my reading of this novel, I knew I'd found a family unit I'd grow to love. Rosie was down-to-earth, genuine and had a pure heart that was only ever full of good intentions. Her love of her family shone through repeatedly, and it was clear as day to me that this was a woman entirely happy with her lot in life. It was the simple things that made Rosie's heart lift with joy, from cooking supper for her family to packing Phil's lunch before he headed off to work. Rosie had no desire to live a life different to the one she called her own. Cleaning caravans may not have been the most glamorous of careers but knowing that she had her little family to go home to once finished was more than enough to her. Rosie was the sort of woman who, if I were to meet her in real life, I know I'd love. She was perfectly content and this only made me love her more. When Phil announced his plans to Rosie, with the added, 'I've had a change of heart,' I swear I felt my heart break right alongside Rosie's. I couldn't believe it. It was gutting. Everything that she'd ever known was snatched away from her in a second. I found it hard to comprehend Phil's words, and the emotional effect was overwhelming to say the least.

Throughout the duration of this novel, I'm sure I experienced every single emotion that's out there. I cried, I laughed, I ran my fingers through my hair in frustration. I just couldn't believe how quickly and shockingly Rosie's life was turned upside down, and I wanted more than anything for something good to come her way. It moved me immeasurably and I felt as if I knew these characters myself. I became wrapped up entirely in Rosie's world, and as the pages continued to turn, I only fell deeper and deeper into it. With so much heartache, sadness, loss of hope and despair, I found myself waiting for that one 'good thing' to take place that would perhaps bring Rosie back to life. Prowse delivered again and again, taking me on a journey not only of self-discovery and love, but of learning to live again and realising that life continues, whether you like it or not, and no matter what's happened to you previously. It's about taking back the reigns and deciding that no, that is not how you want your story to end. With the added sparkle of a few surprise visitors along the way, this was such a devastatingly beautiful story that turned my emotions inside out.

My Husband's Wife by Amanda Prowse is receiving the highest rating from Becca's Books. This is, without a doubt, my favourite novel of Amanda's yet. The sheer volume of emotion was incredible. The characters and pace superb. I feel like I lived the entire story alongside Rosie and was so sad to let her go at the end. All in all, a masterpiece of emotions and real life handled by Amanda in the most stunning of ways.


About the author
Amanda has always obsessively crafted short stories and scribbled notes for potential books. Six years ago, she quit her job as a management consultant and began writing full time. Her first book, Poppy Day is a contemporary novel following an army wife whose incredible love for her husband gives her the courage to set out to rescue him after he was taken hostage in Afghanistan. Originally self-published in October 2011, Poppy Day quickly became a bestseller and Amanda joined the prestigious Head of Zeus publishing house.

The second in the No Greater Love series, 'What Have I Done?' was an eBook sensation where women worldwide identified with the theme of domestic abuse in middle class households and it was subsequently voted a 'Best Book of 2013' by Amazon Kindle. Amanda followed this by joining the team of the ITV This Morning show as their resident author in 2013.

All of Amanda's books in the No Greater Love series share one common theme - the main characters are ordinary women who find themselves in extraordinary situations where their strength, resourcefulness and determination is tested to their very limits.

Amanda's ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can't possibly read another book until the memory fades...

You can find Amanda Prowse on Facebook | Twitter | amandaprowse.com

Post a Comment