Kate left her seaside home town of Lyme Regis for the bright lights of London when she was eighteen, and never looked back. Why would she? She had it all: the glamorous career, the big townhouse, the gorgeous husband. Until her marriage failed and she found herself with nowhere else to go but home.
Spoiler Alert: I am going to tell you how this book ends.
Phil: I’m a little obsessed with story endings at the moment. I like to think both our books provide the reader with a satisfied feeling as they reach the last page. Lose ends tied up, everyone sorted. A couple of hints to encourage you to read the next book but basically you want to feel the warm glow that arrives after a particularly pleasant meal that someone else is paying for.
Some endings work better than others. Reading The Foster Husband by Pippa Wright, the ending is a twist. Quite a good one too.
From the start of the book we are led into typical light chick-lit territory. Wife bails from a broken marriage and has to start again back in her old home town. A town which has some uncomfortable memories and people she’s not sure she wants to meet.
The story progresses in two strands. We have the here and now with Kate coming to terms with her new life, meeting her sister’s fiancée who moves in with her to renovate a house for sale. Along the way she determines to train him up to be a good husband.
Alongside this we have flashbacks to her old life as a big-time events organiser. Meeting her husband and the loss of her job and deterioration of the marriage.
Only at the end do we discover that far from being the wronged party – and there are a shoal of red herrings to make you think he’s been knocking off her best friend – it turns out that she was the one who did the dirty in a pub toilet. All the time he’d been trying to break her out of the depression she’d fallen in to with unemployment.
Weirdly, this revelation makes for a much better ending than the current story, but you want to know how she ends up so we need this too.
I’m quite pleased to read something where all the men aren’t scum and the women paragons of virtue. I like the husband being a good bloke, even though he probably shouldn’t be according to the build up. She is flawed but seen from inside her head, we can understand why.
While we are aiming for a strong female lead, there’s no need to do down the blokes for this to work. Sometimes both sexes get it right and sometimes they get it wrong. It makes for a more interesting world.