Title: My Husband Next Door
Author: Catherine Alliott
Genre: Chick Lit
Blurb: When Ella married the handsome, celebrated artist Sebastian Montclair at just nineteen she was madly in love. Now, those blissful years of marriage have turned into the very definition of an unconventional set-up. Separated in every way but distance, Sebastian resides in an outhouse across the lawn from Ella’s ramshackle farmhouse. With an ex-husband living under her nose and a home crowded by hostile teenaged children, gender-confused chickens – not to mention her hyper critical mother whose own marriage slips spectacularly off the rails – Ella finds comfort in the company of the very charming gardener, Ludo. But is he really the answer to her prayers? Then out of the blue Sebastian decides he must move away, catching Ella horribly unawares. How much longer can she hide from what really destroyed her marriage . . . and the secret she continues to keep?
My Thoughts: MY HUSBAND NEXT DOOR is the thirteenth book written by Catherine Alliott, but the first I have read. The book captures life in rural England effortlessly – the eyes of the village are everywhere, every move is noted and everyone knows each other’s business and what they don’t know they speculate on endlessly. The major stress source of rural living is trying to keep your activities out of the village grapevine. Ella is obviously very stressed as she has lots she wants to keep out of the public eye. For me the story took a little while to get going, and I found myself enjoying some of the minor character’s more than Ella. I guess it was the whole adultery thing that made me resistant to emphasising with Ella. She may have been separated from her husband – but she wasn’t divorced. Ludo was also very much married. So when two people who are still married have a dalliance, well I’m sorry that is adultery. I did have a couple of laughs – I loved Ella’s father and understood completely where he was coming from. And I also totally related to Ella’s relationship with her mother as I have one just like it. In fact these two characters, Ella’s mum and dad, made the book for me. I had a few laughs as well, especially about Ella’s interactions with her two teens. So true to life!! I wouldn’t say the book was outstandingly funny, in fact the scene that involved a St Bernard dog and a suitcase was beyond ridiculous and really jarred with me – I won’t go into details but just seemed so stupid and unbelievable. The secret when it came out took me by surprise, but actually made a lot of sense and explained a lot of things. I did enjoy MY HUSBAND NEXT DOOR but just didn’t love it; I am quite happy to try one of her other books and actually have ‘The Wedding Day’ on my TBR pile
Rating: D – Average. Was better to read than to do the housework.
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With thanks to Penguin Books Australia and the author via Netgalley.