Perfect Wives by Emma Hannigan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'When actress Jodi Ludlum returns to the Dublin village of Bakers Valley to raise her young son, she's determined to shield him from the media glare that follows her in LA. But coming home means leaving her husband behind - and waking old ghosts... Francine Hennessy was born and raised in Bakers Valley. To all appearances, she is the model wife, mother, home-maker and career woman. But, behind closed doors, Francine's life is crumbling around her. As Jodi struggles to conceal her secrets and Francine faces some shocking news, the two become unlikely confidants. Suddenly having the perfect life seems less important than finding friendship, and the perfect place to belong...'
I thought that this was a nice easy read with identifiable characters with mostly believable pasts, the kind of book you could take and enjoy on holiday as it was easy to follow and not heavy. It revolves around Jodi Ludlum an actress who returns to her roots in Ireland in a sleepy village called Bakers Valley to raise her son away from the glare of the media circus in LA. It does mean that she has to leave her husband who is also in the movie business and who travels a lot on location but we later learn theirs is not a conventional marriage in the true sense of the word.
While Jodi comes to terms with returning to her mother country and facing her own demons we meet Francine who having been born in Bakers Valley appears to have the perfect life and leads the life of a perfect wife. Scratch a little below the surface and we see that her life is crumbling around her and how she struggles to keep up the facade of the perfect life while her world unravels.
An unlikely friendship builds between the two women and both discover the importance of true friendship and what truly matters in life; Francine learns that there are all kinds of perfection and Jodi learns to confront her past. Their journey makes them face their fears and come out the other side stronger and better for their experiences.
I did think that while the pace was built well through the book it was somewhat spoiled with a hurried (and to me) unfinished ending, that said it has been left open for a sequel should Emma Hannigan want to continue a series about Jodi and Francine in the future. I also felt that Jodi's secret involving the character Mac was a bit lame and out of the two main characters Francine was more believable even though she was the secondary character.
It was an easy read and did have that feel good factor of building lasting friendships but I felt it lacked something, it didn't make me see it as a great read, no unusual twists, no unexpected curve balls which was a shame.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this in exchange for a honest review.