The Soulmate

Source: DRC via Netgalley (St. Martin’s Press) in exchange for an honest review.
Publication Date: April 4, 2023
Synopsis: Goodreads
Purchase Link: Amazon

Why did I choose to read this book?

This book was a spontaneous arrival in my DRC list on NetGalley. I want to thank St. Martin’s Press for putting me on whatever list I am on so that I keep getting to review Sally Hepworth’s writing. I am so grateful!

So technically I did not choose to read this one, BUT I would have because I enjoyed The Good Sister and The Younger Wife very much. I have reached the point in my book reviewing career(?) where I am starting to have a list of authors that I trust explicitly with my entertainment, and Sally Hepworth is definitely on that list.

What is this book about?

This book is about how difficult marriage is. That’s it, that’s the tweet. (Don’t forget to click the Goodreads link up above for a better synopsis of the plot.)

I mean, I think this book is about how men manage to train their women to carry all their burdens for them, both physical and emotional, by being gigantic babies. Being a wife means becoming a mother without ever giving birth. Being a manager, a psychologist, a care nurse, the bearer of guilt and worry so the husband isn’t bothered, because if the husband is bothered he gets angry/sad and has a tantrum, and for most it’s just easier to avoid the tantrum than to stand up and demand equal, decent treatment. And divorce is expensive, so your life just becomes about survival instead of being in a partnership where you thrive and learn to live your best life.

What is notable about this story?

This is the first book that I have read by Hepworth that kept me guessing about what was going on until the very end. I could not figure out who the bad guy was, or who had wronged who, or who was telling the truth or lying. The short chapters helped keep me hooked and moving through the story and the mystery was thick and tense right until the conclusion. It is very difficult to keep me guessing this long, so I wasn’t just pleased with the book I had just finished, I was impressed yet again by Hepworth’s writing ability. Book after book she just keeps writing amazing stories. HOW DO YOU DO THIS SALLY???

Was anything not so great?

Trigger warnings abound in this one, but nothing was so graphic that I would say not to read it. There’s a lot of suicide talk (the main couple lives in an ocean house that has “The Drop” in front of it, which is a place famous for having people come and jump to their death on the rocks below) and many mental illnesses are displayed. There is a lot of that imbalance of roles in a marriage, so if you know how this feels you may experience some anxiety as you read. But Hepworth handles all these topics so well that they never stray into the realm of disturbing, they remain in the real world and are portrayed realistically.

What’s the verdict?

4 stars on Goodreads and as always with Sally Hepworth’s work, it receives a resounding endorsement from me. It’s a perfect book to request from your local library to enjoy, and then return so another patron can enjoy it too! If you like psychological thrillers this book is definitely for you!

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