The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine

I was recommended this book by a friend, and I have to admit I wouldn’t have chosen it on my own, given that its plot seemed melodramatic at first sight. However, I was pleasantly surprised by what a readable and enjoyable book it was.

The Last Mrs Parrish was written by two sisters, Lynne and Valerie Constantine, who emailed and Skyped each other as they worked on plotting. Their story was inspired by the dark stories told to them by their Greek grandmother. Theirs is an unconventional method that is surprisingly effective when it came to this book. The two manage to take hold of the reader and keep them turning pages until the end. And there is something deliciously satisfying about a book that dishes up a hearty dose of revenge, and that is exactly what this one does.

The story is told from the perspective of three people: a husband, his wife, and a woman who plans to tear apart their apparently blissful marriage. There are surprises for all characters, and that is what makes this book such a compulsive read. While it is tempting to guess at what turn the story will take, it’s nice to be taken for a ride and enjoy the scenery, and the conniving manipulative characters in particular.

While themes of violence and manipulation are touched upon in the book, the neat resolution and unchallenging language makes this an excellent holiday read, or perhaps an option for when you are between two heavy books. I had just finished the dense The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree, and was about to read The Tattooist of Auschwitz, when I picked up The Last Mrs Parrish. This escapist work of fiction was the perfect cushioning.

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