The campaign to free the handsome and misunderstood Dennis from a US prison has become Samantha’s life crusade and there seems to be no one discouraging her. The brakes of good sense are simply never applied and before she can blink, Samantha is married to a convicted felon, having convinced herself that she is the only one able to make such a troubled and beautiful soul truly happy.
THE INNOCENT WIFE plays out largely as a detached relation of one woman’s desperate need to belong and be part of something larger. It is possible to read the entirety of this book and not find a single character that you care enough about to wish a happy outcome. That’s quite a feat. Perhaps this lack of soft focus was intentional, to create a work where the reader is driven forward for reasons other than a sustained emotional investment.
Depicting without apology the train wreck that our modern culture has become, THE INNOCENT WIFE is an uneasy read of shame and loneliness. Killers are feted as visionaries, the public is relentlessly hungry for salacious content, and our constant connectivity has resulted in the plague that is social media. We are ourselves to blame for what we have become. For what we accept as normal.
The pacing of this interesting thriller prepares us for the inevitable, which is a collision somewhere soon around the corner. That feeling of voyeurism pervades throughout as Samantha attempts to validate herself with her connection to Dennis, who is both entirely and not at all what he seems. THE INNOCENT WIFE is a conceivable nightmare with nothing to cushion the inevitable fall. If you’re in the mood for some harsh lighting in your crime reading, THE INNOCENT WIFE will deliver.
BOOK REVIEW: HUSH LITTLE BABY, JOANNA BARNARD
Married to a man who has been through it all before, Sally isn't always sure that she is doing this parenting thing right and if she's wrong... well someone will be sure to correct her. Living with her extrovert husband and his daughter from his first marriage, Sally truly wants to enjoy this time with baby Oliver but the first year is turning out to be more than she ever thought it could be. There's so much more work, much more worrying to do, and it's definitely more exhausting than anything else Sally has ever experienced.
Digging into the parental guilt that is heaped upon all new parents, HUSH LITTLE BABY is that needling little voice in your head telling you that you're not doing it right, and that someone else could probably do it better. Sally's character alternates between maternal confidence and maternal guilt; we're never quite sure if she is genuinely apathetic, guilty, or simply exhausted. The speed at which her child is taken from her is frightening, and the lack of real support she has shown to her is heartbreaking. This novel does much to illustrate that success is often just a facade, and that family members living in the same household can actually have little clue what the others are going through.
The world truly can come to a stop when a new little person enters the world and for mothers the expectations placed upon them, often by themselves as well as by others, are doomed not to be met. The poking and prodding into Sally's wellbeing is an insidious beast, eroding Sally's self confidence and ability to see clearly. We're truly invested in seeing this family come out the other side. Much to take home from this immersive book where no one trusts anyone else enough to tell the truth.