How far would you go to fulfil a promise to your oldest friend?
Nina, in the final days of her illness, asks her best friend Marie to look after her family when she’s gone. And Marie does everything she can to step into Nina’s shoes after her friend’s tragic death. She tries to do the best by Nina, tries to be there for Nina’s young children, tries to support Nina’s grieving husband, tries to keep their lives on track despite their terrible loss.
But when Marie discovers a dark secret that Nina had kept concealed, she is forced to confront the past, and those shared secrets come back to haunt her too.
Hi and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Last Wife! Many thanks to Anne for having me on the tour and to Wildfire (Headline) for the eARC via NetGalley.
There I was once again trying to walk away from a blog tour, but ah what futile efforts, how could I possibly say no to a book by the author of The Perfect Girlfriend?! Dear reader, I have to admit, I did not try very hard 😁
I read a lot and I’ll admit that after a few months, I don’t often remember much of a book’s plot, but there is always something that sticks, and with The Perfect Girlfriend it was the main character, who was so twisted and delusional and decidedly unlikeable that I loved her! I couldn’t help but go into The Last Wife hoping for the same, and Ms Hamilton did not let me down. Main character Marie is extremely irritating but in the best way! (Does that make any kind of sense to you, or is it just me who loves a highly unlikeable character just as much as a loveable one, and at times perhaps even more?) I do have to note that although Marie comes off as twisted and delusional in the first part of the book, I did feel that by the end of the book she’d lost some of her edge and she’d grown as a person. Either that or I came round to her way of thinking, in which case you might want to direct me to the nearest psychiatrist 😳
The Last Wife shows us a toxic female friendship, but in another manner than we’re used to: Nina has died, and having had sufficient time to get all her ducks in a row before having to say goodbye, she has bestowed upon her best friend Marie her dying wish: for Marie to take care of Nina’s children and husband. Naturally, Marie would love nothing more than to do just that, but Marie wouldn’t be Marie if she didn’t aim for some personal gain in the process. The more we learn about these women, their friends, and the men they love(d), the more question marks I mentally added to each and every character. Suffice it to say that if you only enjoy books with nicely likeable characters, you’d better look elsewhere, all of the characters here feel at least a little dodgy (kids and Goldie the dog not included).
Between trying to figure out Marie and trying to predict what she’d do next, trying to guess what everyone was hiding and trying to solve some recent and some older puzzles, The Last Wife kept me entertained, involved and on my toes throughout, and I’m already looking forward to the next Karen Hamilton novel. If you’re in the market for a psychological thriller with unlikeable and slightly unhinged characters, do check this one out.