A Conscious Blog

27 Jul 2012

The Woman He Loved Before Book Review

 I am an avid Dorothy Koomson fan and love all her books. Dorothy Koomson first caught my eye, when I noticed it was a bestseller at a store I used to work. I was immediately intrigued, and made a mental note to myself to look out for more of her books. I came across 'My Best Friend's Girl' at my college library, and it was love at first sight. Having read four of Dorothy's books, and loved them all, it was pretty tough to choose ONE to review. I settled on this one because it was the one I felt I could relate to most.

 Libby has a nice life with a gorgeous husband and a big home by the sea. But over time she is becoming more unsure if Jack has ever loved her - and if he is over the death of Eve, his first wife. When fate intervenes in their relationship, Libby decides to find out all she can about the man she hastily married and the seemingly perfect Eve. Eventually Libby stumbles across some startling truths about Eve, and is soon unearthing more and more devastating family secrets. Frightened by what she finds and the damage it could cause, Libby starts to worry that she too will end up like the first woman Jack loved. . . Tense and moving, The Woman He Loved Before explores if the love you want is always the love you need - or deserve.

My take on it:
 I don't want to spoil the story for those of you who are planning on reading it, so I'll keep it short and sweet. The story is told from three viewpoints; Libby's, Jack's, and Eve's (via her diaries). The narrative has a non-linear time structure and uses flash-forwards and flash-backs, which is a typical occurence in Dorothy's books. Despite the fact that Libby's chapters are told in real time, and Eve's are not, I found the time jumps were unnoticeable as the transitions were smooth and seamless.

 This is a definite must-read so I suggest you add it to your summer reading list. It's one of those page turners that you just can't get enough of. There are a lot of twists and turns in the plot, and the ending is a real shocker, so kudos to Dorothy, as she does manage to keep the reader guessing right up until the very end.

 Love, Marriage, Interracial relationships, Violence, Mystery, Romance

Key Questions:
  • Is it possible to love again?
  • What is beauty?
  • Is it better to stay in an unsatisfying marriage or be divorced and happy?
More Info:
 The book has/was/is:
  • 480 pages
  • A Sunday Time Best Seller
  • Available in both paperback and hardback
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