Book Review: Young Wives Tales by Adele Parks

Young Wives' Tales by Adele Parks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher:  Michael Joseph Ltd

Summary:   Lucy stole her friend Rose's 'happily ever after' because she wanted Rose's husband, Peter, and Lucy always gets what she wants. Big mistake. Rose was the ideal wife and is the ideal mother; Lucy was the perfect mistress.

Connie - good friend to both Lucy and Rose - is stuck in the middle. She listens to Lucy as she struggles to be a wife, mother and career bitch with one ear and hears about Rose's pain at being a lonely single mum with the other. But Connie has troubles too: she's just got the hang of her own family life when an old flame pops up to rekindle a dangerous passion ... will the whispers from the past blast out all the other noise?

All three women need more than a belief in happily ever after if they are to negotiate their way through messy modern life. Especially as there are many more twists in the tale still to come ...

I don't often read chick-lit but when I do, I most enjoy Brit chick. Honestly, I'm not sure if this is strictly Chick Lit or more Women's Fiction but I found it a page turning, tantalizing read that I really liked. I picked this up as my Amazon Prime monthly freebie because it seemed interesting and I've bought another book by the author that's been sitting on my Kindle far too long (I've pushed that up on my TBR list now).

We follow Rose, Lucy & John over a series of months from each character's POV. Rose, ex-wife to Peter and mother of their twin sons, Sebastian and Henry, is struggling six years on, having a life outside of said children and out of the shadow of the ruins of her marriage. Lucy, current wife and ex-mistress to Peter and mother of their daughter (named Auriol and I swear all I could think of was how unfortunate a name it was because it just reminded me or "aureole"). And finally there's John, who's narrative POV purpose wasn't quite clear to me initially but it seems he serves to give counter point to Rose and Lucy by imparting the story of Connie (friend to both Rose and Lucy) and also to give us an entry and insight to Craig (the headmaster at the childrens' school). There's so much to tell but I won't spoil here, as it's well worth the read but I will say that I was impressed with the way the story of Rose and even more, Lucy unfolded. I really didn't know which way things were going to go with Connie but I was hoping she'd not fall into past mistakes. The case seems never to have been made to me about what made Peter so desirable or sought after and that's saying something as the book is about the two women who've loved him. I don't think he was worth nearly amount of angst and hand-wringing Rose and Lucy expended. Luckily, he's a means to an end to tell the story of these women and how they come to terms with the past, present and hopes for their futures. I liked Rose most as a person and sympathized with her plight but I found Lucy the more interesting character and found I was always happy when her chapters turned up. I didn't exactly care for her being helped out of the mess she made at work because I wanted to see her be the big city brassy broad and handle her business, not be reduced to having a man solve it for her. That was somewhat unsatisfying but I don't hold too high a strike against the overall story for it.

Be aware, the Kindle edition does have some typos and I think the publisher may want to go back over this one. There are between 7-10 instances of "I'm" being printed as "Pm". It's simple enough to figure it out in context but it's an error nonetheless. There are three others toward the end of the book that were just blatantly misspelled & took me out of the story flow to ascertain what was actually intended but I didn't highlight them to note them here. Overall, I very much enjoyed this story and would recommend it. Also, I look forward to reading more from Parks.

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