The First Wife: An unputdownable page turner with a twist

The First Wife: An unputdownable page turner with a twist

by Jill Childs


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I moved closer to the little girl, afraid that our voices would be caught by the monitor.

‘What happened to you, Lucy? Can you tell me?’

When Sophie’s life falls apart, she accepts an invitation from a childhood friend, Caroline, to visit her family’s beautiful beach house, situated at the mouth of an isolated cove, miles from the nearest town. The silence is broken only by the rhythmic crash of the waves against the jagged black rocks below.

But when Sophie arrives, she finds her friend much changed. Caroline – who used to be so warm and confident – is secretive and on-edge, spending long, unexplained hours away from her family. And then there’s Caroline’s little daughter Lucy – who stopped speaking soon after they moved in. Caroline assures Sophie that it’s only a phase, but Sophie thinks Lucy looks a little uncared for, a little afraid…

Then one night Sophie is woken by a scream and runs to find Lucy, out of bed and at the attic window, staring in terror at the view below. When Sophie goes to look, her blood runs cold…

What secrets hide behind closed doors in this isolated house by the sea? A compelling domestic drama from the USA Today bestselling author of Gracie’s Secret. Perfect for fans of Big Little Lies and The Couple Next Door.

What readers are saying about Jill Childs:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐‘Left me speechless… Don't hesitate, just read this. Immediately.’ Goodreads Reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐‘An absolutely brilliant emotional roller-coaster of a novel, beautifully written…. The final chapters were so touching I was close to tears and I didn’t want it to endit will stay in my thoughts for a long time.’ NetGalley Reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐‘This book was so amazing. It was thought-provoking and wonderfully well-written… I will spend many days thinking about this book… so good!’ Goodreads Reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐‘I love Jill Childs’ books and this one might be my favorite. I couldn't put it down… I read it in less than 24 hours.’ Goodreads Reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐‘What an amazing read. This was a brilliant fast-paced domestic drama!… I LOVED the first page until the last… the ending blew me to pieces.’ Goodreads reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐‘This was truly an amazing drama. The storyline flowed, the characters were engaging and I could barely tear myself away from this book. Highly recommended! Very emotional, too.’ Goodreads reviewer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐‘Jill Childs is a good storyteller and she also writes beautifully... A great story – read over 24 hours. Recommended.’ Goodreads Reviewer

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781838881245
Publisher: Storyfire Ltd
Publication date: 03/18/2020
Pages: 242
Sales rank: 94,489
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.55(d)

Customer Reviews

The First Wife: An unputdownable page turner with a twist 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
CCinME 3 days ago
Jill Childs writes with a range of emotions that capture you from the beginning and hold on to the stunning end. The First Wife is another hit and well worth the read.
LoriKB 4 days ago
3.5 Stars. Sophie and Caroline couldn’t be more different. But, they’ve been friends for ever. Sophie gets an email from Caroline begging her to visit. Since Sophie is at a huge crossroad in her life, she jumps at the chance. Thus throwing her into a situation filled with lies and deception. Fast paced, well-written read. First book by this author, will definitely read again. I love books with dual voices, and this one didn’t disappoint. Storyline developed slowly, but didn’t drag. Characters were well developed. Ending was perfect! Can’t say it was a total thriller, with some of the plot being loosely hidden, but it did tease you. Thanks to Ms. Childs, Bookouture and NetGalley for this ARC. Opinion is mine alone.
booksandnaps88 6 days ago
looking for a book that is packed with lies and secrets? than look no further than Jill Childs book The First Wife. this is the first book i have read by this author but it will def not be the last. page turner, thriller, tons of plot twists. the characters are well developed and intriguing. i have to say that it took me a while to get thru the first couple of chapters but i held on and than could not put it down. i was given this book from netgalley and publisher for an honest review and opinion.
Kourtney919 10 days ago
3.5 stars for Jill Childs book, “The First Wife”. The story opens up with two characters, Sophie and Caroline, childhood best friends that haven’t seen each other in 25 years. Sophie just lost her parents and is trying to put her life back together. Caroline, who grew up wealthy, now with a gorgeous husband and child live in a mansion by the sea, extends an invite to Sophie to come visit. This is my first experience with the author and I enjoyed her writing style. You could place yourself upon the cliffs overlooking the ocean. The alternating point of view between Sophie and Caroline was very helpful, as you gain more insight into what has occurred. The slow burn is my only reason was not putting this at 4 stars. The action really didn’t start until about 75% of the way through the book and I felt like the ending was a bit rushed. I look forward to seeing what Jill writes next. Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture, and of course, Jill Childs for providing me with an ARC.
Teri1957 10 days ago
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this book but it was twisted and sad in parts. Well written, characters needed more development. Stories like this make me wonder how and why an author writes about certain things. Enjoy!
Inkslinger 10 days ago
"There was something desolate about them. They showed a melancholy sky bleeding into a grey, formless sea. Eternal and unpeopled." 'The First Wife' by Jill Childs, a journalist turned author who lives in London, is a shadowy thriller about a woman who's life has sort of crumbled.. leaving her alone and adrift. When her childhood friend asks her to visit, she accepts.. but when she gets there, her arrival seems unexpected. Her friend has changed greatly from what she remembers and her little girl is withdrawn and silent, prone to terrors and seemingly isolated from her family in the home.. and Sophie's presence sets off a chain of events she never sees coming. To be fair, I'm typically really intuitive and adept at seeing plot threads as they emerge, so I did have some inklings as to what was happening and where the story might end up. BUT.. that being said, the threads were far from blatant. "We had treats and outings, paying final visits to the places in Hong Kong she knew, without her even realizing she was saying goodbye to them." Childs is a skilled writer, with a knack for subtle foreshadowing. She doesn't overuse that skill and allow you to grow too accustomed to it either. Occasionally, she might clue you in a bit heavy-handedly, I suspect as a way to draw you in and help you feel secure. However, the most important glimpses of that foreshadowing are handled with all the expertise of a surgeon. Carefully placing them in the least obvious spot, she diverts your attention with other things. Each time I saw it happen, it was enough to rouse my suspicion, but then I'd read on before focusing on it and it would become more of a nagging buzz at the back of my thoughts. I was engrossed enough that I just wanted to keep reading.. to keep discovering.. rather than giving that buzz any real attention. As the story developed and new things would come to light, I'd find myself thinking.. 'I did notice that' or 'I considered that possibility'.. but I never dwelt on it long enough to become so certain in my suspicions that I lost interest and didn't want to read any further. And I think that's a gift. To welcome the reader in enough as to let them feel as if they're in on the secret, without ruining the discoveries. I wasn't positive I was correct in my assumptions until I was nearly two-thirds of the way through the book and that's saying a lot for the author's ability. The twists aren't really shocking, in fact.. there are one or two too many of them for my liking, but I still enjoyed the book immensely. "The sea, out there in the darkness, indifferent to us all, ebbed and flowed, its waves breaking and retreating in a rumble of stones. As invisible as death and just as certain." My only complaint came after the climax in the final pages of the novel. I just thing.. considering how the person felt.. and the situation they found themselves in.. it didn't ring true. The words laid down as you get closer and closer to the end.. are actually rather cruel and it felt like they existed solely for the purpose of some sweeping drama which the story didn't need. Granted, it worked. Out of the blue, this story left me bawling my eyes out and thrillers are never particularly emotional. But, well.. they're something to be said for relating to a feeling for someone. Definitely a worthwhile read, I highly suggest it to anyone who's a fan of thrillers or mysteries. (I received this title as an ARC. All opinions are mine and freely given.)
booklover- 10 days ago
Sophie is thrilled to receive an email from a school friend, Caroline, who she hasn't seen in 25 years. She's been invited to spend some time in a beach house, an isolated cove. As her father has recently died, and she desperately needs to find a way to live with no family, she eagerly accepts. But it's not quite what she was expecting. Caroline has changed in all ways. She seems secretive. Her husband, Dominic, doesn't seem to like Sophie at all and he's gone an awful lot .. mostly during the week, only returning on the weekend. Their 3 year old daughter, Lucy, is a solemn child. She never speaks and rarely smiles. And Lucy is subject to horrendous nightmares and wakes up screaming night after night. Sophie thinks it's time for her to return home ... but then she discovers a secret and she knows she cannot leave for any reason. This was a slow starter for me ... descriptions were overly wordy that didn't contribute much to the story. However, persevering, the story became much more interesting toward the middle of the book. The suspense became palpable with twists and turns leading to an unexpected conclusion. Many thanks to the author / Bookouture / Netgalley for the digital copy of this domestic thriller. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
JillB1 11 days ago
This was a careful slow building simmering book and the tensions were palatable from the first few pages. Two old friends reunite after 30 years - and wow, how they have changed. Told from the two perspectives, I felt so sorry for Caroline’s daughter Lucy, living in the gothic mansion when Sophie arrives to regroup after her fathers death. No rest here. This one fooled me and I did t see the ending coming.