My Husbands Wives was published in Trade Paperback in Ireland in May of this year and amidst all the other excitement of actually getting a book published, a number of our own lovely Irish Bloggers came on board to support us in publication week. It was lovely to link in with them – Kelly Spillane, has since kept me riveted on Twitter with updates on how things are progressing in the booksh and not so booksh world!
Thanks to Kelly for having me on her blog, she was good enough to read and review just after her exams and as a thousand other things were coming her way!
Here’s a link to her lovely blog:
And here’s the post:
BLOG TOUR: My Husband’s Wives by Faith Hogan
Today I am delighted to host an extract and a review of My Husband’s Wives by Faith Hogan as part of the blog tour.
I would like to thank the author and the publishers for sending my a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Some moments stay with you forever. The day Evie Considine knocked on her door would be one of those that would not fade from Grace’s memory easily, or ever. It was a warm day. They had planned a picnic the evening before, just Delilah and herself.
Delilah left Evie standing in the doorway, as unsure where to put her as Grace was about how to welcome this familiar stranger to their home.
‘Hello,’ Grace said. Her voice held a little trepidation. Why do you always have a fair idea when you are about to hear bad news?
‘Hello – we’ve never actually met, Grace, but my name is Evie. Evie Considine-Starr.’ She was an icy grey-blonde, coiffed and immaculately tailored. Her navy blue eyes were large and childlike beneath lids that hooded with age more than shrewdness. Her voice was porcelain, but softened by nerves. She held herself straight and might be formidable, but there was a little girl quality to her that picked out her vulnerability so she couldn’t hide it, even if she tried. She was absurdly overdressed for the weather and younger-looking than the sixty-five years she must surely be at this stage.
Grace held out her hand. ‘It’s nice to meet you.’ They shared a handshake with no warmth. ‘What can I do for you?’ She reversed backwards into her hallway, feeling as if this perfectly prepared woman who had slipped silently about in her imagination for so long had caught her in the act of some sordid activity. She moved into the nearby dining room that they never used. She could feel Evie inspecting the place as they entered the room. ‘Have a seat.’ But she did not sit. This was not a social visit.
‘I’m here about Paul.’ Her voice was even, unemotional, but Grace knew it couldn’t be good news; she was a million miles off just how bad though. ‘He’s dead.’ Evie said the words with a finality that took all the air from the room between them.
Grace could not speak, she tried to take in the words, but they weren’t hitting home, her lungs had cut off breathing and after a moment she had to remind herself to suck and blow. It was as though someone had bubbled-wrapped the world and insulated her from those two words.
‘I thought you should be first to hear, and of course to tell Delilah.’
‘He can’t be; he can’t be dead – how?’ Grace’s voice didn’t sound as if it belonged to her. She dropped to the nearest chair. Paul, dead? There had to be a mistake. This was all some awful mix up. ‘How…’ Her mind raced. ‘I mean, when…’
‘Look dear, you’re in shock, we’re both in shock, probably. You’ll have to decide how best to break it to Delilah. She’s, what…’ Evie leaned her head to the side. It was strange to hear this woman speak of her daughter as though she knew her well, as though there were some connection there far beyond what Grace felt there was any right to be. ‘She’s sixteen this year, isn’t she?’ Evie nodded sagely, twisted the emerald and diamond band on her wedding finger. ‘A difficult age to lose her father,’ she shook her head, as though it was all a question of timing. Shock, even Grace could see it, she was in shock. ‘All she needs to hear is that it was painless, as far as the doctors are saying. He was driving at the time, so…’
‘Can we see him?’ Grace had to let the fact that Evie knew anything about their lives slip past her. In this moment, she had to concentrate on taking in the news. ‘What about…’
‘It would be better for Delilah to wait; at least until we see what she has to be prepared for.’ Evie picked an imaginary hair from the lapel of her soft expensive jacket. ‘They want us to identify him. Well, they want me to identify him.’ She sniffed. Perhaps it was as close as she came to crying.
‘Oh?’ Grace felt the room spin about her. Her hands were sweating against her bare legs. She’d put on a denim skirt for a day at the beach. It felt sticky and clingy and as though it might have grown a couple of sizes too small. The whole house suddenly moved in closer about her for a moment. She felt she might faint. She took a deep breath, raised her eyes to see Evie regarding her reservedly.
‘It’s shock. Better to be in the boat you’re in than where Annalise Connolly is.’ The words were cold, but maybe Evie too was still in shock. ‘She was in the car with him. They were travelling from the hospital early in the morning, and swerved to avoid a dog.’ Her voice quivered, only slightly, and then she straightened herself, cleared her throat. ‘He careered into one of those big trucks, from what the traffic police could tell me.’ She nodded towards the front of the house. ‘He was trying to avoid a dog. A blasted dog.’
‘Is she… is she going to be okay?’
‘I didn’t ask.’ Evie stared blankly at Grace; perhaps it was just dawning on her that she should have. ‘I suppose she must be or they’d have said, wouldn’t they?’
‘And the boys?’ It was strange talking about Annalise Connolly’s children like this. They never talked about them; Paul talked about everything but his life with Annalise and the two sons they had together.
‘No, it was just Paul and Annalise, from what the guards can make out.’ Evie shook her head. ‘You’d have to wonder…’ She didn’t finish the sentence, but Grace had a fair idea of the sentiment. Maybe before Delilah was born she’d have felt the same.
‘So, do you want to come?’ She was looking at her watch, a simple Cartier gold snake slid about her papery wrist.
‘Pardon?’ Grace had lost track of Evie’s words, as though she’d missed a step somewhere between the kitchen and the front door; the universe had taken a sidestep on her.
‘The guards, they’re waiting outside to take us to see him. It’s only right that you’re there too. After all, you had a child together.’
‘He was my husband,’ Grace said. He’d never divorced her. She still wore her ring most days. He was still a big part of their lives, even if he had fathered the two boys with Annalise Connolly.
‘No, Grace.’ Evie gazed with the fervour of a zealot. ‘No, Grace. He was still my husband. We never got divorced.’
My Husband’s Wives tells the story of four women, all of whom have found themselves in a relationship with Ireland’s leading Heart Surgeon, Paul Starr. When he dies tragically in a car accident with a young pregnant woman by his side, Evie, Grace and Annaliese, Paul’s wives start up a relationship with the young woman by arranging his funeral and in the process, each woman finds out more about themselves than they ever thought was possible.
I loved this story, I always love a book that switches back and forth between the point of views of the different characters, and this book does just that. Because the story is told in this way, we get to know each one of the women better and the reader is allowed to get inside the heads of the characters. I loved each of the women, but for me Grace has that something special to add to the story. I loved that she is a strong female lead and she is such a believable and authentic character.
There really wasn’t one thing that I didn’t like about this book and the further into the book I got, the more unputdownable it became, until I was incredibly entranced by the story. I really can’t recommend this book enough and I can’t wait to get my hands on Faith’s other novel and lose myself in that for a couple of hours! I adored this book and this story and I can guarantee that if you read it, you will not be disappointed!
You can catch up with all of the other stops on the tour here:
Posted by x_kels_x at 07:00