This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kay Brooks
Kate returns to the seaside town of Lyme Regis where she grew up, after losing her glamorous job in the media industry and declaring her marriage a failure. Living in her late granny’s bungalow while she decides what to do with the rest of her life seems like a good idea until she’s forced to share her home with her sister’s soon-to-be husband, Ben. Worried that her sister’s marriage will follow the same path as her own, Kate sets out on a mission to train him to become the perfect husband. Unknowingly, Ben has become her foster husband.
I could not put this novel down! I absolutely enjoyed it from start to finish.
Rather than being told in a chronological order, the novel alternates between Kate’s past and the present, allowing the reader to see different versions of Kate as she has progressed from being a teenager to a woman in her early thirties. This explained a lot about her character, showing how she was affected by past events and how she changed because of them. Kate goes on a journey of self-discovery along with Minnie, her puppy, the eccentric Mrs Curtis, whose way of getting herself a cup of tea without parting with a penny made me chuckle, and of course, hapless Ben, her sister’s fiancé.
Although the novel is called The Foster Husband, the story really revolves around Kate’s past and present relationships and how they have affected her sense of self. Ben plays a surprisingly small role in the story-line. The novel explores that age where you should really see yourself as being a grown-up but are still able to feel so much of your teenage self, a period of time that I believe lots of women in their twenties and early thirties will admit to finding difficult.
The book explores the complexities of Kate’s relationship with her family and estranged husband, Matt, who have been kept at a distance due to Kate’s insistence on dealing with a problem by running away from it. Her sister, Prue, is an irritating character to begin with but it is revealed that unspoken feelings and intentions have driven a wedge between them.
Kate is a fully rounded character and through the memories explored and her self-reflection, even her most irrational responses can be understood and to some extent, related to. She is far from perfect, which makes her all the more likeable. Interestingly, Kate is never physically described; we aren’t told the colour of her hair or eyes, for example, yet as a very visual reader I still had a firm impression of what she would look like.
Wright shows that Kate is still developing and growing as a person through a mixture of laugh-out-loud moments and memories that make you want to weep for her. Despite some harrowing events plus some moments of self-doubt, the novel is light-hearted, optimistic and left me with a smile on my face. There is much more to this novel than the blurb suggests.
A thoroughly enjoyable and superbly written tale!