4 out of 5 stars
In the early hours of a summer morning, a young woman steps into the path of an oncoming bus. A tragic accident? Or suicide?
This is a story of a twice divorced man – Adrian Wolfe, who was married to Maya – the young woman killed by the bus – when she died. It is also the story of his two ex-wives, his five children and the relationships between them and Adrian and Maya (told through flashbacks). He meets another woman, who he feels may hold some answers to the questions posed by Maya’s unexpected death.
Having just finished Lisa Jewell’s latest book, The Girls, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I was looking forward to reading this one. I love discovering new authors and then tearing through everything they have ever read.
Looking over her long list of books written, it seems to me that her earlier novels were lighter in tone, and that she now tackles heavier issues. As a result, the stories have more of a mysterious element, which I enjoy thoroughly.
As expected, the lovely ex-wives and beautiful children mask a torrent of emotions lying beneath the surface, and as events unfold, it is clear that no one is coping with anything as well as they may claim to be. The characters are very clearly drawn, with depth and empathy, even Adrian with his flawed belief system that everyone should just love each other and get along, as he moves like a moth between wives, leaving fractured families in his wake.
Observations like "The thing about being the childless third wife. Maya had found, was that you were always asked to take the family photos,” permeate the book. It is a highly enjoyable and engrossing read.