8 September 2009
Book Review: Other People's Husbands by Judy Astley
Somehow I haven't yet read a Judy Astley book, despite the fact that she has written 14 previous books! If I am honest, perhaps the covers of the older books have put me off because they aren't something that I would usually pick up in a shop, and perhaps the publishers have picked up on this as they have redesigned the cover for the paperback release of Other People's Husbands. It does look a lot more modern and fresh, so I'm pleased they have chosen to do this. Anyway, back to the book...
The book follows the main character of Sara for the majority of the book, although it does deviate to follow her husband and daughters for small portions of the book at times too. The narration is in the third person which I think suits this particular book and I found Judy's writing very easy and pleasant to read. There's no really bad language or sex in the book so it's not a book that will offend in anyway, and I would definitely class it more as Women's Fiction than chick-lit.
The characters themselves were all very good and well written, and each took a different view of the story which offered a good change of direction for the book occasionally. However, my main problem with this book is the main character. Sara is in her forties, and Conrad is in his sixties so I found it very hard to relate to these two characters. The novel mainly follows Sara and the fact I couldn't relate to her became more of an issue as I read on. I liked her enough to want to find out what was going to happen at the end but I wasn't riveted.
I also found that the book moved at a fairly slow pace and sometimes not much happened from page to page. Astley went into the head of Sara quite a bit, trying to analyse her thoughts and make sense of her feelings for both Conrad and Ben, but it left me a bit cold because it just seemed to amble on for pages without seeming to get anywhere. It was more emphasised by the better scenes in the book which were very readable and interesting, but it just made the slower parts seem even more lethargic.
This was one of those books that although it wasn't a thrilling page-turner, it was a pleasant enough read but it probably is aimed at an older readership than me. I did enjoy the story but it was very slow paced compared to other books I have written, and by the end I didn't think enough had happened, and what had happened did so in the last few pages, and then abruptly ended! Speaking of the ending, I enjoyed that part and there was a scene which made me gasp, but I wish it had been like throughout the book! A well written and intriguing story, although it's a book that would probably appeal more to a maturer reader than me!
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review.