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  • Writer's pictureNia Forrester

'The Soulmate' by Sally Hepworth

I really enjoyed this one. Sally Hepworth is the kind of domestic suspense writer I most gravitate toward. The surprises and twists are well within the realm of the possible, never go for cheap shock value, and the characters are always flawed and interesting with full backstories, the details of which she sprinkles gradually throughout her novels without being too heavy-handed about it. And then later on, when the relevance of a particular fact comes into focus, you go, 'Whoa! So that's why that was important!'

In this one, we're introduced to two very complicated couples: Pippa and Gabe; and Max and Amanda, whose lives become intertwined after a very tragic event. The event itself is extraordinary, but even more so, is the gradual deconstruction of the relationships of both couples in flashbacks as well as in how they deal with their current situation. Pippa and Gabe are a love-match, a couple who have the kind of bond they pride themselves on being beyond anyone else's comprehension. We learn this through Pippa's narration of their life together, which as the book progresses feels less and less reliable. Then there's Amanda and Max. We learn about them through Amanda's voice. Unlike Pippa and Gabe, their match was one born of pragmatism. At least that's what Amanda believes. Like Pippa, she's very confident she understands what her husband and marriage are about. And like Pippa, she may very well prove wrong. Despite the primary element of suspense, this book was also about marriage, and the secrets we keep within a marriage and the lies we tell ourselves about them. This was a quick read when I found time to do it, and I also listened. Thanks #NetGalley for both

the ebook and audiobook. Audiobook Note: The narrators were pretty good. Pippa's narrator was spot-on, but Amanda's didn't altogether match the character. There was a slyness about her delivery that made Amanda seem much more self-aware than she ultimately was. That won't make sense unless you listen for yourself. But even if you don't, this is one to read for sure. Recommended. My rating: ★★★★

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