Tuesday 29 September 2020

2020 Reading Challenge | Imperfect Women by Araminta Hall

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Imperfect Women by Araminta Hall - 
Nancy, Eleanor and Mary met at college and have been friends ever since, through marriages, children and love affairs.

Eleanor is calm and driven, with a deep sense of responsibility, a brilliant career and a love of being single and free - despite her soft spot for her best friend's husband.

Mary is deeply intelligent with a love of learning, derailed by three children and a mean, demanding husband - she is now unrecognisable to herself and her friends.

Nancy is seemingly perfect: bright, beautiful and rich with an adoring husband and daughter - but beneath the surface her discontent is going to affect them all in terrible ways.

When Nancy is murdered, Eleanor and Mary must align themselves to uncover her killer. And as each of their stories unfold, they realise that there are many different truths to find, and many different ways to bring justice for those we love...

It is going to be hard to review this without spoilers but I'll give it a go!

The book follows three women who became friends at university; Eleanor, Nancy and Mary. They are now in their late 40s. 

Each of their lives have taken a different path. Eleanor never married nor had children, Nancy was married to Robert and had one daughter called Zara and Mary who was the "other woman" to Howard, a man 20 years her senior whom she ending up marrying and having three children with.

The story is split into three parts, each told from the perspective of each of the women. We find out that Nancy is having an affair and she dies following a meeting with the man she is seeing. But who killed her?

These women, as the book title says, are far from perfect. Eleanor is in love with her best friend's husband, Nancy is having an affair and Mary is living with a husband who treats her horribly. 

I struggled with this one. Although it is in three parts, Eleanor's is first and takes up almost 50% of the whole book. I wasn't drawn in by her story but luckily, I'm not the type to leave a book so I persevered. I was glad I did. Nancy and Mary's chapters are wonderful. We hear about Nancy's postnatal depression after Zara was born and the backstory of Howard and Mary and how their relationship progressed over the years.

The last half of the book definitely had me hooked so although it's a slow burner, it is worth powering through.

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