11 September 2009

Book Review: The Runaway Wife by Susy McPhee

Marion Bishop feels like her life has fallen apart around her. Her 9 year old daughter Hope was killed in a hit and run accident, and the police have never found who did it. Marion's also managed to push away her husband Sam, the only person she has left in the world, and now feels in the depths of despair.

Marion is ready to give it all up, and on the way to the chemist on the night she decides to end it all, she bumps into someone... someone that is going to change her life as she knows it. Marion begins to wonder whether she really does want to end everything, and has to rethink.

But is she going to be able to get over Hope's death, and will she ever win Sam back?

I first came across Susy McPhee when I read her first novel, Husbands and Lies, last year and absolutely loved it. It captivated me from start to finish and I couldn't put it down, so I was very eager to read her second book. The cover has changed from its original and the one pictured here is the one you'll find in bookshops, but I do wonder if its slightly misleading? Although the book has its moments of being upbeat, for the most part it is a woman dealing with grief and loss in different ways and I personally think they could have had a more mature looking cover. However, it's the story inside that counts and luckily for me, it was great!

I was slightly concerned that the book was going to be a bit miserable because of the nature of the storyline - the death of a child, the breakdown of a marriage but I really shouldn't have worried. The  plot line of Susy's first book wasn't exactly the most cheerful thing I have ever heard but her writing brought it to life and kept it upbeat despite the circumstances. This was also the case with this book - Marion has had some awful things happen to her but she realises what she has to lose by ending her life, and the book shows us how she tries to get her life back on track.

Marion is a fabulously written character. You can understand every emotion and outburst she goes through, and you almost feel it with her. McPhee writes with such passion about her characters that you are consumed by them for the time you are reading the book, and I felt I was letting go of a friend when I finished the book. Marion has had a tragic life and you really do want it all to work out for her. The twists and turns in the book along the way were unexpected, and particularly towards the end I was shocked by the things that happened.

The other characters in the book are also well written. I felt incredibly sorry for Marion's husband Sam who becomes her emotional punching bag, but because you can see it from both sides, it becomes a very emotional part of the story. Sam is such a real person, a kind hearted doctor and you could almost hate Marion for how she treats him, but of course you can't because of what happened. Con is another fabulous character in the book, and a very intriguing one. I wasn't too keen on the way McPhee wrote Con's speech in the book, but it worked well for the story and showing the difference between herself and Marion. The developing relationship between the pair was very sweet and pleasant to read, and I enjoyed the turns it took.

I very much enjoyed this book as you can probably tell from this review! It is a book based around relationships and how events can change things between people very quickly, and how split decisions can change your life forever. Yes, there is a lot of heartbreak in the book and this is perhaps not the book for you if you've recently lost a child but it is an overall uplifting book that will have you crying and smiling along with it. There are some brilliantly written characters in here, from Marion to Con, and the brief appearance by Marion's sister too, and McPhee isn't afraid to get into the nitty gritty of relationships. The first person narrative is very easy to read and gets you deep into Marion's thoughts, and it's this that makes it a real page turner. I was so excited to get to the end that I ploughed through and was gutted that it was finished! Brilliant, and I can't wait for Susy McPhee's 3rd book!

Rating: 5/5

Thank you to the publishers EBURY PRESS for sending me a copy to review

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this sounds like something I'd love to read!!! Great review!
    Agreed on the cover, actually both of them - they're really kind of misleading, I'd imagine the story to be completely different based on the cover ...