Amanda Prowse has a real talent for creating characters who her readers can identify with. They could be friends, neighbours, relations, or you may even recognise elements of yourself. In Rosie Tipcott she has done it again. Rosie is an ordinary wife and mother, loves her home and does her best to provide happy and caring environment for everyone. Money is perhaps a bit tight, so she has a job cleaning caravans in the local holiday park to supplement what husband Phil earns in his family’s building firm. Rosie’s a bit heavier than she’d like to be, not as glamorous as she’d maybe like, slightly self-conscious about her body and is aware that the physical side of her marriage has dwindled a bit since her two girls were born. See what I mean? Rosie could be so many people you probably know.
Rosie’s world comes crashing down when her husband suddenly announces that he is leaving her for another woman. This on the day that she has just found out that her mother, who she has never known, has recently died denying her the opportunity to ever meet her. Rosie goes completely to pieces and I feel that Amanda Prowse recounted these scenes perfectly. The way Rosie reacts is how I can imagine many women in her situation reacting. Yes there is anger but mostly there is disbelief, hurt and fear. How can she cope? I felt so sorry for her. Not having had her own mother growing up, all she wanted was to have a happy, stable home and that has been her priority for her family. The reader follows Rosie as she tries to carry on as best she can, trying to keep things as normal as she can for her girls while hurting so much inside. Through a series of events, the girls go to live with their father and his mistress Gerrie and Rosie really does feel that she has lost everything. Family was all important to her and without it she doesn’t know how to define herself anymore.
I found this book a really compelling read, mostly because I found Rosie’s situation so convincing and I wanted to know how she could move on from the loss of all she held dear. Amanda Prowse has conveyed perfectly all the emotions Rosie was experiencing. Her other characters were very convincing too from selfish Phil, to the bundles of energy who were their young daughters, to Rosie’s father. At first I was quite annoyed with him as it seemed he had denied Rosie the chance to ever get to know her mother, but as the story went on I realised that he had been doing his best given the situation he was faced with. There were some really moving scenes between Rosie and her Dad as they come to know each other better and he showed just how much he loved his daughter. My only criticism – and it is a small one – is that I felt the final chapter or two could have been a bit longer. The ending was perfect, don’t get me wrong, but I feel it all happened rather suddenly and I would have liked just a few more pages building up to the resolution of the story.
A realistic portrayal of a marriage breakdown and the strength Rosie finds to carry on, My Husband’s Wife is another excellent read from Amanda Prowse and one which her many fans are sure to enjoy. I know I did!
My thanks to Simeon Prowse for asking me to read and review this book. My Husband’s Wife was published by Head of Zeus in hardback and as an e-book on Thursday 14th July. You can order a copy here: My Husband’s Wife
From the back of the book
Once a week, Rosie Tipcott counts her blessings.
She goes to sit on her favourite bench on the north Devon cliffs, and thanks her lucky stars for her wonderful husband, her mischievous young daughters, and her neat little house by the sea. She vows to dedicate every waking hour to making her family happy.
But then her husband unexpectedly leaves her for another woman and takes the children. Now she must ask the question: what is left in her life? Can Rosie find the strength to rebuild herself? More importantly, does she even want to?