The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
Release Date: August 21, 2018
My Rating: 🍪🍪
I was reading the majority of this book for the ending. The reviews on the back of my copy promised a crazy, unexpected twist, and that was honestly all that kept me going. The beginning of the story seemed like a very clichéd domestic thriller, including all the most overused tropes of the genre, and I found myself literally rolling my eyes as Emily falls into a whirlwind romance and then discovers that her fiancé’s mother appears to be on an absurd rampage to break the two up. Assured by previous readers that the ending would shock me, I trekked along. This in and of itself is enough for me not to recommend this story. Even if the second half of a thriller changes everything you think while reading the first half, both need to be able to stand alone as interesting and intriguing narratives.
None of the characters in this story were especially likeable. Emily is naive and passive, her boyfriend to fiancé-to-husband, Adam, is controlling, his brother James seems to be inexplicably besotted with Emily, although we never really get a clear answer about his actions at the end. As for Pammie, Adam’s mother, she is, as is to be expected, absolutely awful. This seemed incredibly overdone to me. To the point where I almost put the book down for good several times. That being said, it was pretty clear that the ‘twist’ at the end was going to have to do with her not being as bad as she came across. I was intrigued to see how Jones would explain all of Pammie’s actions to conclude the narrative. Unfortunately, the ending fell flat for me. It was predictable at almost every turn, and I didn’t understand why Pammie had to approach everything in such a twisted manner. It becomes clear that she is afraid of what Adam is capable of, and was only trying to protect Emily through the entire plot, but we don’t get a good sense of how scared she is. Why wouldn’t she just try to explain Adam’s violent history to Emily? It was unclear to me how that type of intervention might have gone over.
The very ending frustrated me as well. There were definitely abusive aspects to Adam and Emily’s relationship leading up to this point, but when he blatantly admits that he was never, ever faithful to Emily, I didn’t buy it. If this was the case, we needed more hints throughout the first part of the story that their whirlwind romance was not all it seemed to be. As is, it seemed like a random detail thrown in to try to make him seem like the worst person ever at the very end of the story. To quell my frustration about how this book ended up, I ate a whole lot of these Congo Bars. Made with all brown sugar, these are a deliciously chewy variation on traditional blondies. Instead of the baking melts suggested in the recipe, I threw in some Mega M&Ms that I picked up in a clearance Valentine’s Day candy clearout. If you’re able to find some Mega M&Ms, I highly recommend tossing them into this recipe!