21 April 2024

Review: THE YOUNGER WIFE, Sally Hepworth

  • This edition a large print one from my local library
  • published in 2022 by Wheeler Publishing
  • ISBN 978-1-4326-9708-6
  • 477 pages
  • author website  

Synopsis (author website)

Stephen Aston is getting married again. The only problem is, he's still married to his first wife, even though she is in a care facility for dementia. But he'll take care of that easily, by divorcing her--even if his adult daughters protest.

Tully and Rachel Aston look upon Heather as nothing but an interloper. Heather is the same age as Rachel and even younger than Tully. Clearly she's a golddigger and after their father's money. Heather has secrets that she's keeping close, and reasons of her own for wanting to marry Stephen.

With their mother unable to speak for herself, Tully and Rachel are determined to get to the truth about their family's secrets, the new wife closing in, and who their father really is. But will getting to the truth unleash the most dangerous impulses...in all of them? 

My Take

This is the second time I've read this novel within 12 months. My first review is here. I'm relieved to find that I've given it the same rating.

So why am I reading it again? For discussion with my U3A crime fiction discussion group.

So this time I want to put down some of the things about the book that I want to discuss with them. So Spoiler Alert. Particularly if you have not yet read the book.

  • Should Stephen Aston be divorcing Pam (his wife with dementia) and marrying again?
  • Were you shocked at the age difference between Heather and Stephen?
  • Do you think Heather should have agreed to marry Stephen and then allow him to discard Pam?
  • How have Tully and Rachel reacted to stress in their lives?
  • Where did the money in the hot water bottle come from?
  • Who was Fiona Arthur? 
  • Was Stephen abusive? What evidence is there?
  • Was Stephen's death justified?
  • What issues did the book make you consider?
  • What did you think of the structure of the book: the narration by a person at the wedding; the fact that we know something dreadful has happened but not exactly what; the continued intervention by this narrator; her final toast to Stephen.

My rating: 4.7

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