Tag: domestic drama

Audiobook Review: The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth

The Soulmate
Author: Sally Hepworth  
Barrie Kreinik
Jessica Douglas-Henry
To Be Published: April 4, 2023
Audiobook: 7 hours 44 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: March 20-23, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

There’s a cottage on a cliff. Gabe and Pippa’s dream home in a sleepy coastal town. But their perfect house hides something sinister. The tall cliffs have become a popular spot for people to end their lives. Night after night Gabe comes to their rescue, literally talking them off the ledge. Until he doesn’t.

When Pippa discovers Gabe knew the victim, the questions spiral…Did the victim jump? Was she pushed?

And would Gabe, the love of Pippa’s life, her soulmate…lie? As the perfect facade of their marriage begins to crack, the deepest and darkest secrets begin to unravel.

Jessica’s Review:

Secrets and lies is what most of this book is about! It is also a book dealing with mental health and family drama. It is seemingly being advertised as a thriller, but it is not, and I mostly enjoyed it throughout.  From the book description sounding intriguing and having read several of Hepworth’s previous novels, I was ready for this one.

We have Pippa and Gabe who recently moved to this cottage on the extreme edge of a cliff with their young daughters.  They are in for more than they bargained for since people seem to like to commit suicide on this cliff! Gabe has a knack of talking potential jumpers out of what they are doing until one lady shows up and jumps.  Later on Pippa finds out that Gabe knew the woman who jumped and many questions start to come to mind.

We have both Pippa and Amanda as our narrators.  Amanda’s narrations take place before and after her jump. Through both narrators the reader/listener find out all kinds of connections that come to a head. Some are unexpected: but remember its all about secrets and lies!

Part of the climax really wasn’t, it was more of a letdown. Ultimate motives really did not work for me.  But the ending was ultimately satisfying as everything came together despite everything that occurred.

I did have some issues with the narrators. Their voices seemed so similar for me that it was hard to distinguish between Pippa and Amanda at times. For this particular book, I would say read it. I think I would have enjoyed it more that way.

So far this is the weakest novel by Hepworth for me, but she is still enjoyable and I look forward to reading more by her!

Many thanks to the publisher Macmillian Audio for granting me an audio arc to listen to and review. 

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Dilemma by B.A. Paris

The Dilemma
Author:  B.A. Paris
Published: June 30, 2020

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 31- September 10, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars     

Book Description:

It’s Livia’s fortieth birthday and tonight she’s having a party, a party she’s been planning for a long time. The only person missing will be her daughter, Marnie.

But Livia has a secret, a secret she’s been keeping from Adam, her husband, until the party is over. Because how can she tell him that although she loves Marnie, she’s glad their daughter won’t be there to celebrate with her?

Adam is determined everything will be just right for Livia and the party is going to be perfect… until he learns something that will leave him facing an unbearable decision.

Jessica’s Review:

This one definitely receives 4 Frustrating Stars: But this is in a good way! 

Oh my word, this one is a departure from Paris’ other novels, as this one is not a thriller/ mystery but more of a domestic drama.  This novel deals with family dynamics/ history, consequences of past actions, communication (or I should say a lack of), love, grief, and good intentions that may not have the desired effect.

It is Livia’s big 40 and she is going to have the biggest party ever, especially since she never got the huge wedding she really wanted.  She has planned this since her early 20s.  But she is keeping a secret from her husband Adam, and likewise he is keeping a new secret from her.  In the long run, yes, Livia’s secret has big consequences, but Adam wins this ‘competition of secrets’ hands down.

This novel is a longer one that takes place just over a 24 hour period and we have both Livia and Adam as the narrators in dueling perspectives. The novel does become a bit weary; it is very repetitive as both narrators are constantly focused on the secret they are keeping from each other. I was more involved with Adam’s secret than Livia’s.  Adam’s secret is heart breaking on so many levels. He becomes very frustrating at times because to get a definitive answer to his dilemma, all he has to do is make one phone call. At times I wanted to slap him and yell “Just make that phone call!”  But then Adam still has a dilemma as once he knows the answer then there is no turning back.  Adam really is in a lose-lose situation with Livia’s party going on. 

Like Livia, I also turned 40 this year, so I identified with her on having a big birthday year.    This is a situation no couple would want to find themselves in.  There are ultimately no winners or losers in their situation.  The title of the novel is so apparent as you read through the novel.  The only thing that did not seem realistic was a woman who focused on having a huge 40th birthday party for half of her life. I mean, what about your 30th? That one is just as important! 

I really did enjoy this frustrating novel, despite the repetitiveness of it.  It does make you think “what would you do?” in Livia and Adam’s situations. And all I can say is: I am not sure.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK