My Husband's Wife

My Husband's Wife

by Jane Corry


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735220966
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/31/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 41,591
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jane Corry is a writer and journalist and has spent time as the writer in residence of a high-security prison for men—an experience that helped inspire My Husband’s Wife, her debut thriller. Corry runs regular writing workshops and speaks at literary festivals worldwide, including The Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy. Until recently, she was a tutor in creative writing at Oxford University.

Read an Excerpt

As I enter the gallery, I see the back of Ed’s head.

“Lily!” He swivels round, saying my name as though it is fresh in his mouth. As if I am an acquaintance he hasn’t seen for a long time instead of the wife he kissed good-bye this morning. “Guess who walked into the gal­lery an hour ago?”

As he speaks, a petite woman with a sleek black bob slides out from behind the pillar. Her hairstyle, apart from the color, is almost identical to mine. But she’s young. Early twenties, at a guess. Big, wide, sunny smile with glossy bee-stung lips and a wide smooth forehead. She’s stunning without being conventionally beautiful. Her face is the sort that makes you stare. I twist my silver bracelet—the one I always wear—with inexplicable nervousness.

“Hello, Lily!” she sings. There’s an unexpected kiss on both my cheeks. Then she stands back. I feel cold slice through me like a carving knife. “You don’t remember me? It’s Carla.”

Carla? Little Carla who used to live in the same block of flats all those years ago, when Ed and I were first married? Carla, alias The Italian Girl? Is it really possible that this is the confident young woman who stands before me now with her immaculate complexion, her sharp, cat-like eyes accentu­ated with just the right touch of eyeliner is Carla?

It has taken me years to achieve a confidence like that.

But of course it’s Carla. She’s a mini-Francesca, minus the long curls.

“How have you been?” I manage to say. “How is your mother?” 
This beautiful colt-like creature dips her chin and then tilts her head to one side as if considering the question. “Mamma, she is very well, thank you. She is living in Italy. We have been there for some time.”

Ed breaks in. “Carla’s been trying to get hold of us. She wrote to us.”

I breathe steadily, just as I do in court when I need to be careful. “Really?” I say.

It’s not a lie. Just a question.

“Twice,” says Carla.

She is looking straight at me. Briefly I think back to that first letter with the Italian stamp, which was sent to our old address last year but forwarded to us by the current occupants.

My first instinct had been to throw it away like all the other begging let­ters we received around that time. People assume, rightly or wrongly, that if an artist has one big success, he or she is rich. The reality is that even with the portrait sale and Ed’s trust money and my salary, we are still not that well off. Our mortgages on both the gallery and the house are huge. And of course we also have Tom’s expensive therapy and his unknown future to think of.

I want to help people in need like any other decent person. But if you give to one, where do you stop? Yet Carla was different. She was right. In a way, we did owe our success to her.

I would talk to Ed, I decided. But a critic had just written yet another snide review, questioning why anyone would want to pay so much for a “brash acrylic work that was worthy of a Montmartre street artist.” My husband had been hurt. It was all I could do to assure Ed that this reviewer was wrong. Better to leave Carla’s letter, I decided, until things were calmer.

Then came the second one, sent to the gallery where Ed had been exhib­iting temporarily before it had been forwarded to our home. Luckily, I happened to bump into the postman on the way to work. Recognizing the handwriting and foreign stamp, I slipped it in my briefcase and opened it in the office. The tone was angrier this time. More demanding. I sensed Fran­cesca’s hand behind it. If we gave them some money, I thought, they might ask for more.

So I put it away, pretending to myself that I would deal with it at “some point.” And then I conveniently forgot about it. It wasn’t the right thing to do. I can see that now. But if I had written back to Carla explaining our financial situation, she might not have believed it.

“We were worried when you left so suddenly all those years ago,” Ed is saying now. “Why didn’t you tell us you were going?”

His question takes me back to the last time I saw Carla. That awful row between Tony, Francesca and me. On top of that, I was trying to work out if Ed and I should stay together.

“Yes,” I say, gritting my teeth, “we were very worried about you.” Then my eye falls on the painting behind her. It’s hard not to. There are paintings of Carla as a child all over the room.
“What do you think of your portraits?” I ask. Might as well play devil’s advocate, I tell myself. Try to draw Carla out. It would also make me look more innocent in the matter of those unanswered letters.

The young woman in front of me flushes. “They are lovely.” Then she flushes again. “I do not mean that I am lovely, you understand—”

“Oh, but you are,” breaks in Ed. “Such a beautiful child. We both thought so, didn’t we, Lily?”

I nod.

Customer Reviews

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My Husband's Wife: A Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Page 1 till the end was amazing! I have never read a book that each page was exciting and no dull moments! Cant wait till her new book is released and just as good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book keeps giving up snatches of info in a gentle motion... one step forward, one or two back. It is an excellent read to the very last .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
just when you think you know what happened, and how it happened, you're wrong. the story twists so many ways you really have to pay attention. Great criminal suspense read with a little bit of family drama and even plays through the many different layers of love in a lifetime...
Anonymous 9 months ago
Vivi45 10 months ago
This book started out as a page turner but ended up too long and boring. I had trouble finishing it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone belonged in prison. I found this novel disappointing. I guess I expected so much more. Would not recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book has a good plot but it’s told at a very slow pace. At times I wanted to skip pages to get to the point.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was not as fast paced and exciting as I was expecting. No big twists or turns, very predictable. More of a drama than a thriller. Honestly, boring read for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I almost didn't keep up with this one. I thought the first third of the book was slow, choppy, just didn't keep my attention..but 2/3 of the way through I was hooked. Brilliant twists and turns. You don't actually root for any of these characters but they are well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book ! My grandma and I read it very fast. We both loved it. It is one of those books that you think about in the times that you aren't reading it.. I found that my mind was always wondering what is going on and what might happen next. I would recommend to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept me on the edge of my seat. I would hide in the bathroom at work and read it. There was so many twists and turns. I rarely give 5 star ratings but this one was up there. R.G
rebeccajoy84 More than 1 year ago
This book was pretty intriguing and I found myself wanting to read it in my spare time for a while, but after about the first quarter of the book, I started getting really irritated with all of the characters. I couldn't sympathize for any of them. I also did not care for the author's writing style as she frequently, with tag phrases, and a billion commas, cut sentences, and I'd have to re-read the sentence to understand what the thought process was supposed to be; it's not an effective way to write, in my opinion. The story line was engaging enough, and I was still eager enough to finish reading the book; though, when I got to Part II, I really just wanted to finish it to learn the ending but was getting annoyed with the stories. For one, there seemed to be a real distaste to me about Lily and her brother's relationship, and Ed and Carla's. Also, as a practitioner in the field of clinical psych, it seems like it's become a fad to make characters these days have Autism, and well, I don't think 2/3 of the people who supposedly had Autism in this book actually sounded like it. Maybe OCD, maybe ODD, but it's just exaggerated in this book and becomes a tiresome theme. I gave it 3 stars because it was good enough and engaging enough for me to finish it, but I probably wouldn't be recommending it to a friend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was never boring from page 1 to the end. Lots of twists and turns and written by an incredibly bright and talented author. Very glad I found this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought as an ebook to pass some time on my slow days at work. Ended up reading it obsessively for three days straight until I finished the book. I would definitely recommend to anyone that enjoys mysteries such as Gone Girl.
SGMomma More than 1 year ago
Great book from start to finish. Kept me guessing!
SGMomma More than 1 year ago
Great book from start to finish. Kept me guessing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took me about 100 pages to really get into this book. Then I couldn't put it down. Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can' wait for her second book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept my attention and has an interesting plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am in awe of this book. I couldn't get away from it even when not reading. I am defiantly Jane Corry fan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Had a hard time putting it down. I loved the author's writing style. Highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Twink More than 1 year ago
The title of Jane Corry's newest novel is sure to make you stop and think twice - My Husband's Wife. And no - it's not about polygamy - it's my favourite type of book - a twisty, psychological tale. Now, I must admit when I started the book, I had no idea where Corry was going to go with her opening chapters. We meet Lily and her husband Ed - newly married, following a whirlwind courtship. They've moved into a little apartment - Ed is pursuing his hopes of a new career in art and Lily has just begun her career as a lawyer. Her first case is an appeal for a murderer that she finds herself strangely drawn to. Down the hall live nine year old Carla and her single mother Francesca. We meet and get to know all four. How are the lives of these four going to intersect? Well, they do - in a most unexpected and clever way. The book covers a period of fifteen years - then and now - lives change and little girls grow up. Every one of the four is guarding a secret - from both the past and the present. But secrets have a way of coming out. As do lies. The opening prologue of the book has an unnamed character thinking...."So it's true what they say about dying. The past comes back to go with you." A great hook to draw the reader in. Those italicized entries continue throughout the book, narrowing down who it could be. Lily and Carla are the driving narrators. Each one is a master of rationalizing the decisions they make. All four are flawed characters, and I found it impossible to muster to find sympathy or empathy for any one of them. (Okay, little Carla did get some) They're all distinctly unlikable. But it's impossible not to keep reading - I was fascinated with Corry's plotting - and the secret machinations of each player. A strong debut - I would read this author again.
booklover- More than 1 year ago
There are secrets and there are lies. And every lie means more lies have to be said. Secrets can stay secret forever, until guilt steps in. Lily is a brand new lawyer, married to Ed, an artist but one that is not known as yet. The marriage is not a solid one, there are secrets that Lily has, and it seems like Ed has his own secrets as well. Taking on her first murder case, she is strangely drawn to this man. He's going to play a very large part of this story. Francesca and her 9-year-old daughter, Carla live next door. Carla is young, but she has learned that when she discovers a secret, she can get just about anything she wants. Years pass as Lily and Ed have a son, they become more like roommates than husband and wife. And 16 years later ... Carla comes back, setting into motion many more secrets and lies.. and death. The story is told by two different people ... Lily and Carla. Very intricately constructed and it gets especially interesting as the two stories dovetail. All the characters have issues ... large issues. They seem to have no redeeming qualities at all. I can't say that I liked any of them. But I couldn't put the book down, either. Many thanks to the author / Penguin Books (UK) / NetGalley who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.