Imagine this: Your life could be described as perfect. You have an adorable husband who you’ve been married to for twenty-years––very happily-married. Two kids who are amazing at school and at home. And as if that’s not enough, there’s a successful bakery which you manage with your husband as chief baker. Your life has seen successful balance for over ten years and there can be no reason you can say you are not content.
Over the other side of the picture lies your brother-in-law and his amazing wife who he’s also been married to for quite as long as you have been married with one beautiful daughter to flourish their union. You could have called them happily-married once, but lately things have gone a bit rocky in their relationship with your brother-in-law losing his job and growing sulky every passing day.
You see, there’s competition between you two couples and this rivalry has existed since the wee years of your husband. There’s rivalry over which couple is more successful, which couple has a more stable financial backing, which couple has the greatest kids.
For over a year, you two couples have never met as a family to celebrate any holiday. Beneath the smiles at the dining table there’s way too much tension that could snap the face of a Botoxed Real Housewife.
Then one Saturday night, a dinner is proposed by your brother-in-law. You and your husband feel reluctant to go considering the bad blood. But you decide to just get over it over and done with.
But oblivious to you two, the events taking place during this dinner and after would completely turn your life from paradise to hell. And in just one week you would lose everything (––be prepared for it, I mean, everything!––) you’ve come to love and call your own
That’s when Ali’s story begins and possibly ends.
Did I freaking love this book and would be yelling at you to go bang on the glass windows of a bookshop near you threatening if they do not have a copy they might as well not open the shop that day? Yes, yes, I would.
(I had to tuck myself in a corner at my faculty’s lecture theatre in order to read hundred pages a day of this delight so no one bothers me!) What the hell is up with this book story-line? Perfection beyond reasoning. I ah-dored it! So Girl and Husband living happily-married, Husband’s Brother and Wife in a rut of late, there’s envy in the picture, loads of secrets away before your life gets shattered, one Saturday night––one day of hell. Who knew a family dinner could be so damaging? A huge star to this story-line.── ★
(Stocked with wheat bread and bottled water, I devoured this book in four days) The main characters, oh, fuck me, were stunning! It’s hard to read a book focusing on four mains who are well-developed and bear resemblance to real-life persons it isn’t hard relating (or not) to them–––most authors can’t achieve this! You find yourself splitting between the couples who should get more of your love or more of your rage, or sometimes, making this distinction between the individual characters. Ali was amazing, my favourite! You would completely revere her for her soft exterior yet the warrior living inside of her as she struggles to get her family, her life, her career, her emotions under control! Jo, the brother-in-law’s wife, also my favourite! Loved for her sophistication, her poise even in the threatening times that promise to wreck her life and marriage. Max, Ali’s husband, you women would stab at his name declaring this is the kind of man you would (have) want(ed) to get married to. Finn, the brother-in-law, who would gain your hatred for most part of the novel thanks to the level of asshole Zoe Miller portrayed him to be. Unbelievable main characters. A star to all four.── ★★
(At one point I was nodding, at a point I was nodding too much, at another point I just had to close this book, close my eyes for some seconds and wonder why everything was just so right) Isn’t it amazing when you read women’s fiction that talks about issues that are timeless? Infidelity, sibling-rivalry! I have never read a book that portrays infidelity the way Ms. Miller does it in this title. Do not roll your eyes, this isn’t another book where the main character’s life shatters after finding her husband in bed with a woman with boobs as ginormous as size ten feet (where the hell do I get my comparisons from??) . It goes to show there’s more to infidelity than authors can go on and on yapping about. And you have never read a book with sibling-rivalry leading to couple-rivalry that is this amazing! Star, star, star!── ★★★
The other characters in this book, were marvellous! From Debbie, the woman from Max's childhood Ali has been threatened of for ages. Jessica, Ali’s daughter keeping secrets of her own, far from the perfect daughter everyone assumes she is. Tom, Ali’s young son who’s the coolest boy you could ever have for a son. Grace, Jo and Finn’s daughter, having a background that would shock the reader.── ★★★★
(At a point in this book, I couldn’t stand it anymore, “Bread, bread! I need more bread!”) The suspense in this book was gripping. Very, very gripping I sat in different positions in the not-so-comfy chairs in the auditorium. Wondering how one writer could break all the rules of Women’s fiction and provide something totally different from the norm! If I had succumbed to the suspense brought about as a result of the writing technique (current day→flashback→current day) I would have keeled over before I even thought of writing this review. Talking of the beautiful writing, should I say this book was set in moments that took and shook the world (World Cups, 9/11) giving this book more girth and making it all so relatable and real to the reader? Marvellous.── ★★★★★
Oh, and the romance… J── ★★★★★
So it’s obvious this book gets a… frigging… six over five stars!! (6/5)
I would never put Zoe Miller as one of my favourite writers, because she’d forever be the woman who changed my perception of women’s fiction and threw away all the rules to pen this masterpiece. (I am very British––a strict fan of conventions).
A Husband’s Confession is available on amazon. If you miss it I’d have to club you.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves writers who break all the rules yet emerge very successful, anyone who wants a title about infidelity portrayed so differently it boggles the mind, anyone who wants to be reaching for the Kleenex to wipe away the sweat from their foreheads. This might be the best book I ever read this year!
My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads!