The Accidental Husband by Jane Green

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The Accidental Husband should really be called The Accidental Excuse for a Human Being.

Sylvie and her daughter live on the West Coast, whilst her charming husband Mark travels for work. Maggie lives in a big, beautiful Connecticut house with her perfect family. But her husband is consumed by business in New York.

SPOILER ALERT (although you can see it coming from miles off) Mark is a bigamist, leading parallel lives with both women. As they find out, both families crumble.

I like how many supportive and kind female characters there were. Maggie and Sylvie are very much the focus, along with their children. Green details well how family can disturb and destroy you well into adult life.

Maybe because of the focus on the two women, we never get to the bottom of the motivation for the dual life. What drives someone to commit fraud and deceit on that scale? I get that it’s not really about Mark, but the plot points hinge on him being believable and dynamic enough for both Maggie and Sylvie to fall for him.

The book is zippy enough, but would pack more of an emotional punch if Mark were even marginally convincing.

Read: for some light distraction on the bus- the print is helpfully large.

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