The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

The Younger Wife is a wonderful mystery puzzle in which pieces from the past and present are fitted together and by the end you have a completed masterpiece!

The story begins at a wedding and the narrator is unknown to the reader. During a wedding ceremony something bad happens. What? We have no idea. Then the real account begins.

Stephen Aston a prominent well-liked doctor is getting married to a much younger woman Heather Wisher. They met while Heather, an interior decorator was working on he and his wife Pam’s house. Pam unfortunately was in the beginning stages of dementia and is now in an institute. Stephen and Pam fell in love and Stephen has divorced Pam and proposed to Heather.

Stephen has two adult children. Rachel, a baker and Tully, a stay-at-home mom. Both are livid that their father is marrying this younger woman. They think she is only after his money and doesn’t really care about him. How could their father desert their mother this way?

But both Rachel and Tully have their own issues. Tully has been stealing trinkets from stores since she was eleven years old. For some reason when her anxiety gets too high, this calms her down. She has never told anyone about her habit, not even her husband. Now she has just found out that her husband Sonny made a bad business choice and they have lost everything. Her kleptomania has kicked into high gear.

Rachel was a beautiful young athletic woman back in the day who went on constant dates and was a runner. Until something happened and she stopped. She stopped dating and she stopped running. Now, her anxiety is lessened by food, particularly the sweets she bakes.

Heather, the now fiancée of Stephen has herself had a disturbing life. Her father was an alcoholic who beat her mother. Although she truly loves Stephen, she has not told him about her past because she is embarrassed and is afraid of losing him. In the back of her mind, she has always been terrified she would make the same mistake in marriage just as her mother did. She understands Stephen’s daughter’s concerns but wants to try and gain their trust.

Then Rachel finds a hot water bottle in the closet of her parent’s house and in it is almost one hundred thousand dollars in cash and mysterious notes in her mother’s handwriting. As Rachel tries to figure out where this money came from, a difficult feat since her mother has very little memory left, she begins to wonder if this money was something her mother had been stashing in secret to get away from her father.

Rachel begins to think back on all the “accidents” her mother had had while she was growing up and begins to think perhaps, they were actually something else. She begins to see her father in a different light and her concern turns to Heather.

So, what happened right after the ceremony? Someone was hurt, but who?

The Younger Wife weaves this curiously mysterious story throughout the book in true Hepworth fashion and explodes in the incredible last few pages and will leave you shaking your head in wonder!

Thank you #NetGalley #St.Martin’sPress #TheYoungerWife #SallyHepworth for the advanced copy.

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