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The Younger Wife

The Younger Wife

By Sally Hepworthpaperback26 October 2021
$32.99
or 4 payments of $8.25 with Learn more
Booklovers earn $1.60 in rewards
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Sister and The Mother-in-Law comes a new novel of family drama and long-buried secrets.

The moment she laid eyes on Heather Wisher, Tully knew this woman was going to destroy their lives.

Tully and Rachel are murderous when they discover their father has a new girlfriend. The fact that Heather is half his age isn't even the most shocking part. Stephen is still married to their mother, who is stricken with Alzheimer's Disease.

Heather knows she has an uphill battle to win Tully and Rachel over - particularly while carrying the shameful secrets of her past. But, as it turns out, her soon-to-be stepdaughters have secrets of their own.

The announcement of Stephen and Heather's engagement threatens to set off a family implosion, with old wounds and dark secrets finally being forced to the surface.

A garage full of stolen goods. An old hot water bottle, stuffed with cash. A blood-soaked wedding. And that's only the beginning...

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: The Younger Wife
  • Author: Sally Hepworth
  • Edition: 1
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
  • ISBN: 9781760784980

RATINGS & REVIEW

14/04/2022 6:44:38 PM - Marianne
A compelling, thought-provoking contemporary family drama.
The Younger Wife is the seventh novel by best-selling Australian author, Sally Hepworth. When heart surgeon Stephen Aston’s daughters first meet his new girlfriend, Heather Wishing, they’re expecting a gold-digger of the first order. It’s true that Heather is younger than either Tully or Rachel, but more shocking still is that Stephen plans to marry Heather even as their mother, his current wife, Pamela, in the grip of Alzheimer’s, languishes in a secure care facility. Stephen is anxious that his fiancée gets on well with his daughters, who are somewhat torn between loyalty to a mother who often no longer recognises them, and the happiness of their loving father. Heather tries very hard, and the sisters actually have trouble finding fault with their prospective step-mother, but then, they are each dealing with some major life issues. Heather, despite her youth, turns out to be very perceptive, recognising Rachel’s shameful secret almost instantly, perhaps because she has a few of her own. As it turns out, all the major players in this story harbour fairly significant secrets that, in a family whose members never really considered it dysfunctional, ought to have been shared long ago. The main story is carried by an alternating triple narrative from the perspectives of Tully, Rachel and Heather that begins when the three women first meet. This is interspersed with the (initially) anonymous observations, a year on, of a guest at Stephen and Heather’s wedding, an occasion that culminates in screams and the summoning of ambulance and police. Hepworth packs a lot into her novel: a winter/spring love affair, a devastating financial loss due to failed investment, dementia, kleptomania, an over-anxious toddler, sexual assault, a business casualty of COVID, a mystery woman, domestic violence, coercive control and gaslighting, and a hot water bottle filled with a lot of cash. Even as she injects occasional doses of black humour, Hepworth’s portrayal of dementia is sensitive and authentic. She gives one character an insight into why women fail to report sexual assault: “Perhaps the murky cocktail of shame and horror and disgust that [she] was feeling was the same one that muzzled them all?” For one aspect of the story, she skilfully drip-feeds each little morsel of information to the reader so that they first draw firm conclusions and then begin to second-guess themselves, closing with a deliciously ambiguous ending that will give book clubs hours of discussion. A compelling, thought-provoking contemporary family drama. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton.
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