"The Other Mrs." by Mary Kubica

Updated: Apr 19, 2020

" Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie. But it's not just Morgan's death that has Sadie on edge. It's the eerie and decrepit old home they inherited. It's Will's disturbed teenage niece, Imogen, with her threatening presence. And it's the troubling past that continues to wear at the seams of their family. As the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of Morgan's death. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light."

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Mental illness.

I've read a lot of horror books that cover this subject, watched horror movies covering this subject, listened to music covering this subject, but none of them have covered mental illness as well and correctly as Mary Kubica's "The Other Mrs.."

So, with that said, if you have any type of PTSD, this book may be hard for you to read. Otherwise, this novel is very addicting, filled with so many twists and turns that you won't be able to set it down for long. For me, someone who deals with C-PTSD, 'The Other Mrs.' by Mary Kubica has been a heartache to read, but also very fulfilling to finish.

Kubica is known for her best-selling novel 'the Good Girl' - - - a thriller following a mother and a detective in search of the the former's missing daughter that leads them down a twisted tale of family secrets. From highly acclaimed critics, 'the Other Mrs.' has out-done 'the Good Girl' as Kubica's best novel so far. Kubica sticks with her psychological thriller writing that she is known for in this newest novel. She keeps the reader guessing at what will happen next, and she plays out mental illnesses in a way that most who suffer can relate while winding in a mystery well enough that the reader won't be able to guess everything before the ending.

I can't give such a heavy review on this book because, to do so, would give away a lot of the ending, so I'll stick to talking about noteworthy characters that make up the novel. The main character is a woman named Sadie, whose family is being uprooted from Chicago and moved to a small island in Maine after her husband's sister dies, which leaves them with not only a house in the will, but a sixteen-year-old niece named Imogen.

Sadie is already a mother of two sons, both younger than sixteen, when she suddenly finds herself in-charge of the stereo-typical edgy teenager, Imogen. Sadie describes her the first time she sees Imogen: " But there she stands, a morose figure dressed in black. Black jeans, a black shirt, bare feet. Her hair is black, long with bangs that slant sideways across her face. Her eyes are outlined in a thick slash of black eyeliner. Everything black, aside from the white lettering on her shirt, which reads, I want to die. The septum of her nose is pierced. Her skin, in contrast to everything else, is white, pallid, ghostlike. She's thin. "

Early one morning when Sadie is heading off to work, she finds a word spelled on her car window. The word reads: "Die." Sadie, as most readers, quickly assumes that Imogen is responsibly for this, as she tries to explain: "I've tried to be understanding because of how awful the situation must be for her. Her life has been upended. She lost her mother and now must share her home with people she doesn't know. But that doesn't justify threatening me. Because Imogen doesn't mince words. She means just what she said. She wants me to die."

The next character that makes up a big part of this story is a confident, self-centered woman, whose name is Camille,and is also the 'other woman' in this story. Camille is a woman who gets what and who she wants, and won't let anyone get in her way, including Sadie, whose husband is someone Camille wants. I can't go much into the things that Camille's character does because it would give away a lot of the surprises in this novel - - - I can say though that there is murder and mystery throughout; the book will leave most readers guessing until the very end.

One other character who deserves mentioning is a little girl- - - with the nickname 'Mouse' - - - who finds herself suddenly dealing with a horrific stepmother, who abuses her physically and mentally unbeknownst to Mouse's father. One time, in which Mouse shows how smart she is to her the stepmother while being in front of her father (who Mouse likes to call 'Fake Mom'), later that night, when Mouse's father isn't looking, Fake Mom lets Mouse know how she felt about that:

" But later that night, when he father wasn't looking, Fake Mom got down into Mouse's face and told her if she ever made her look stupid again in front of her father, there would be hell to pay. Fake Mom's face got all red. She bared her teeth like a dog does when it's mad. A vein stuck out of her forehead. It throbbed. Fake Mom spit when she spoke, like she was so mad she couldn't stop herself from spitting. Like she was spitting mad. She spit on Mouse's face but Mouse didn't dare raise a hand to wipe it away."

Mental and physical abuse make up all that The Other Mrs. is about. So far, this is the best story I have read in a long time. My only problem with it is it's written like a YA novel, where it seems Kubica tried to keep that from happening by throwing in some heavy syllable words to make it more fitting for adults. But, luckily, she left out most of the wishy-washy elements that make up YA novels, so I believe most adults will enjoy this. I highly recommend this book to people who love murder mysteries!

- Hadley

My rating:

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