Book Review: The Other Mrs.

She tried to run, but she can’t escape the other Mrs.

Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie.

But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. And as the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of what really happened that dark and deadly night. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.

Kubica has created a well-researched narrative that explores multiple layers of mental illness which is quite a common trope in most thriller novels.  The fate of the characters in this nerve-wracking fictional work hangs on a balance and to be dealt with yet again the powerful tool of the unreliable narrator is enough to stay right till the end regardless of its almost predictable plot.

The most important theme of the novel concerns stigma and discrimination against mental illness.  People with mental illness are easily dismissed either as targets for public stigma and/or the stigma against the self.  The lesson to be learned from this work of fiction constitutes the 3A’s: awareness, acknowledgment, and action. Ignorance is not an excuse and apathy could dismiss any fundamental hopes of building confidence and healthy relationships and conditions. There is nothing more admirable than thrillers morphing into social novels that catalyze consciousness and elicit fury against injustices from people and society.  

What this novel presents, is real people dealing with real, oppressive problems. Kubica managed to represent characters battling against physical and mental health disorders and how self-centered, coercive, and manipulative people have taken advantage of their situation.  Bullying and abuse were also portrayed in this book and these socio-psychological problems are lethal seeds that grow into destructive ammunition later on in life.

Multiple timelines and multiple narrators, each with different perspectives and persuasions are the tools by which the author made use of to manipulate the readers.  The complexity of each of the characters–flawed and immanently human, yet vile and greedy–forms many archetypes common in fiction: “the villain”, “the victim”, “the rebel” and “the trickster”. But the element of surprise, judging by this book alone, is Kubica’s poison that kills whatever disappointment one reader may have of the plot’s predictability.  One might have misjudged the book early on but surprise, surprise, the narrative is not what you think it is. Just when you thought you already know the path the book is heading toward, the remarkable twist hits you right in the face. There seem to be no inhibitions on Kubica’s creative genius of a mind and to think that this novel is another suspenseful yet formulaic domestic thriller, will be in for a treat.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Author: Mary Kubica

Genre: Thriller / Mystery

Length: 368 pages

Publisher: Park Row; Original edition (February 18, 2020)

ISBN-10: 0778369110

ISBN-13: 978-0778369110

Book Review: The Wives

Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. She agreed to this unusual arrangement because she’s so crazy about him.

But one day, she finds something. Something that tells a very different—and horrifying—story about the man she married.

What follows is one of the most twisted, shocking thrillers you’ll ever read.

You’ll have to grab a copy to find out why.


It’s overwhelming how numerous domestic thriller novels have proliferated the book community over the course of the years.  With the increasing cases of domestic violence, divorce, and adultery, it’s no longer a surprise that female readers find themselves drawn to narratives that represent themselves within the context of marriage and relationships, abuse and the rightful justice they deserve.  The aphorism, “fiction as a reflection of reality” can never be truer than this case.

Tarry Fisher’s, “The Wives” presents an interesting premise about a wife who shares her husband with two other wives.  I have presumed the plot could go a hundred ways. From the outset, the novel started out strong, fast-paced, and unputdownable, emitting “The Girl on the Train” vibes.  But as the story progresses, I suddenly find myself navigating blindly, apparently lost in the story’s game of cat and mouse that the rising tension seems to fluctuate. I no longer felt the need to keep up with the plot and it didn’t help that I find the main character pathetically annoying and vulgar.  Whatever attempt at constructing an unreliable narrator to justify the plot, create a surprising plot twist, and to mislead the readers had been futile.

Overall, “The Wives” failed to grip me further on the basis of a seemingly forced plot with a lot of loose ends and loopholes.  There is not one character to root for. I felt the author was too focused on putting things into the story, meaning to progress in a specific way but the unlikely circumstances lack plausible and effective ways to create a somehow dependable thriller. 

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Author: Tarryn Fisher

Genre: Psychological Thriller / Domestic Thriller

Length: 336 pages

Publisher: Berkley; Graydon House; Original edition (December 30, 2019)

ISBN-10: 1525805126

ISBN-13: 978-1525805127

Book Review: Regretting You


Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.


If only there are precise books on “How to Raise the Perfect Teenagers” then any parent would have invested in those self-help books and somehow raising teens can be a breeze.  But every teen is different as every parent is. Relationships between parents and their children run along different roads ending up different paths.  

There are a lot of novels written along the same lines that the family drama trope can either draw more readers due to its relatability or tagged as overused and redundant that it loses its charm.  But family drama as a literary genre has already established its thematic map. Readers love the conflicts and the resolutions thereafter. “Regretting You” by Colleen Hoover takes the readers to the conflicts that come to light after a tragic accident placed a mother and her daughter’s relationship to the test.  A mostly common trope but one that resonates with mothers and how raising a child was both a struggle and a fulfillment. Morgan and Clara’s narrative sheds light on how a mother finds the strength to raise her only daughter despite the pain and anguish she had to endure while shielding her daughter from the bitter truth of her husband’s accident. 

This novel stretches out beyond the mother and daughter relationship but the subterfuge with which a betrayed partner had to face.   We get to look at how Morgan’s predictable character made her question her initial choices and sacrifices. How she wished she could have done things differently. Hoover’s differing characters are the heart and soul of this novel.

POV, Writing Style, & Atmosphere

The author made use of an alternating first-person point of view shifting between Morgan and Clara.  Hoover’s writing style is straightforward but her emotions are raw and earnest. The humorous exchanges and dialogues are done just right rarely an attempt at cloying to the point of being nauseating. A combination of light and heavy scenes were alternately done to balance the atmosphere. 

  • Coming of Age
  • Betrayal 
  • Forgiveness
  • Mother and daughter relationship 
  • Love

At its core, “Regretting You” is a masterfully told novel that explores the complex journey of Morgan and Clara as they find themselves at odds with each other after the tragedy that left them forever scarred. It is a narrative that reminds us how flawed and disapproving mothers are but also forgiving and brave.  It brings about the fact that parents cannot always expect their children to turn out the way they wanted them to be just as children cannot expect their parents to be perfect. But what the author drives at with her novel are the sacrifices that Morgan had to endure both as a wife and a mother. Hoover takes us to the realization that there are no perfect marriages and no absolute formula for raising children. Communication is part key and acceptance and forgiveness are necessary in order to move forward.  Overall, this novel is an act of love; one that makes us question our choices and principles despite our good intentions, but love ultimately collects the broken pieces together.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Author: Colleen Hoover

Genre: Women’s Domestic Life Fiction / Romance Fiction

Length: 365 pages

Publisher: Montlake (December 10, 2019)

ISBN-10: 1542016428

ISBN-13: 978-1542016421