Book Review: The Accidental Husband by Jane Green

Emma Codd

Currently based in the delightful town of Motueka, Emma is pursuing her passion for the written word and yoga teaching. Her motley background and eclectic interests provide Emma with much to write about many things, which she mostly does online. She is also busy unleashing her inner fiction writer.

A master of women’s literature, Jane Green does not disappoint in her latest novel The Accidental Husband.  This heartfelt book is charming, engaging, and immensely readable.

This is the story of two very different women, raising families on the opposite coasts of America, who discover a secret that turns their lives upside-down. This is the story of Maggie and Sylvie, and how they cope in the face of adversity. It is also the story of their children, preparing to flee the nest, and the crises that they face at this turning point. Most of all, The Accidental Husband is the story of how the most unexpected event can bring people together, and help them to discover that they are not so different after all.  

The Accidental Husband was my first introduction to Jane Green, and I can’t help but wonder why I have waited so long. In all honesty, at the outset, with a fairly predictable storyline, I was in two minds as to whether or not I would enjoy this book. However, before I knew it I was glued to the pages, swept away with the characters, their experiences, and their emotions. In particular, I felt for Eve, Sylvie’s daughter, whose struggle with an eating disorder has been incredibly well painted.

Over the course of the book, Green tells the story of The Accidental Husband from five different points of view. No easy feat, she does this with great clarity, and uses it as a clever tool for portraying the personalities and journeys of the central characters. I especially enjoyed reading Maggie who, written in the first person, I almost felt as though I was being given a sneak peak right into her head. Additionally, Green’s use of the present tense adds a sense of both immediacy and intimacy to the events.

Overall, this makes for a perfect read, curled up on the couch under a blanket as the temperatures start to drop, or a wonderful choice for an afternoon on the lawn catching the last of the summer rays. Be warned, though, that a few tugs on the heartstrings are inevitable and, once begun, you may not be able to putThe Accidental Husband down.

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