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8 May 2014

Review: 'Perfect Wives' by Emma Hannigan (2014)

When actress Jodi Ludlum returns to the Dublin village of Bakers Valley to raise her young son, she's determined to shield him from the media glare that follows her in LA. But coming home means leaving her husband behind - and waking old ghosts... 

Francine Hennessy was born and raised in Bakers Valley. To all appearances, she is the model wife, mother, home-maker and career woman. But, behind closed doors, Francine's life is crumbling around her. 

As Jodi struggles to conceal her secrets and Francine faces some shocking news, the two become unlikely confidants. Suddenly having the perfect life seems less important than finding friendship, and the perfect place to belong...

On the 10th of April, ‘Perfect Wives’ by Emma Hannigan was released in the UK; the perfect timing for such a lovely Spring cover! I was introduced to Emma Hannigan’s writing when I received a copy of her novel ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ at the end of 2013. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, both the plotline and writing style were wonderful (click here to read my review), which is why I was really enthusiastic when I unexpectedly found a review copy of ‘Perfect Wives’ on my doormat! I immediately loved the colourful and bright cover, and the blurb promises an intriguing story I was quite curious to check out.

World-famous actress Jodi Ludlum has decided to go back to her roots and moves into a small cottage in Irish town Bakers Valley to raise her young son Saul. Even though this means they are far away from the always present paparazzi, they are also far from Jodi’s loving husband Darius who is also a famous actor. In the same village, Francine Hennessy is trying to live up to her reputation as the perfect wife, a great mother to her 4 children, and a successful business woman, with even time to spare to bake the most delicious treats.  However, both Jodi and Francine’s lives are not as perfect as they might seem on the outside and slowly things are getting out of control. It won’t take long before their secrets come out, and unexpectedly the two women find each other to get through the difficult times that are ahead. 

Emma Hannigan is an amazing storyteller and just like with her previous novel ‘Driving Home for Christmas’, I was swept up by the storyline and its characters after having read the first chapter. The novel focuses on two female protagonists who are completely different from one another but are dealing with the same problem: trying to uphold an image as a perfect woman. I instantly liked Jodi while it took me a bit longer to warm to Francine, who comes across as a bit shallow at the start, but this quickly changed as the reader gets to know more about her life and feelings. The book deals with a really relevant issue, namely how women are expected to be perfect wives and mothers and how they try to uphold this image to the public eye. I think many readers will be able to relate to either Jodi or Francine, just like I did even though I’m not a famous actress or a mother of four children.

Next to two great leading ladies, numerous fun and interesting supporting characters add their own touch to the story such as Saul (Jodi’s little boy, who is just the sweetest thing), Jodi’s handsome husband Darius, and Francine’s realistic family consisting of her husband and their four children. The book was really well-paced, the chapters were not too short and not too long, just right, and as I said before, I just love Emma Hannigan’s captivating writing style. Overall, ‘Perfect Wives’ is a heart-warming, delightful read and I already can’t wait to pick up Emma’s next release, ‘Summer Guests’!
For more information about this book: / Goodreads   
Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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