My Husband the Stranger

by Rebecca Done

Read this in about 4 minutes

I received this review copy sometime last year and I picked it up recently as the plot looked quite interesting. It appeared to have a hint of mystery laden with emotions and topped with love (the perfect recipe for a page-turner I assume). It is a book that is built on a question, ‘What does one do when the man they loved and married, changes overnight?’ Let’s find out.

Cover: My Husband the Stranger

Cover

This book by Penguin Publishers has a simple and pleasant cover. The cover is dominated by a pair of wedding rings that are interlocked, but one ring is broken amongst the two. This picture symbolises the overview of the plot where the married couple are the protagonists, out of which one has suffered an accident leading to rifts in the marriage.

The title is bold and catches one’s attention and the Author’s name is large but in much lighter colour—making the entire layout a pleasing one.

Characters

Molly is married to Alex, who has a twin brother named Graeme—who are both very different people barring their identical appearances. These three are the most important characters in the book along with a hovering ex, the friends of the couple and the families of the same.

Content

Alex is the good boy amongst the two brothers while Graeme is still trying to win over his father who seems to have no love for him due to certain instances that tear the family apart in the past (mystery number one). Alex meets Molly at a bar and hit it off right away, while it was Graeme who intended to charm the lady off her feet. With these differences aside, Molly and Alex get married with the conviction that they have found “the one”.

They move into Alex’s childhood cottage away from the hustle of the city. The bitter alcoholic father leaves the family home to Alex adding deepening the ridge in the relationship of these twin brothers. With all these differences brewing between them, they are the family they have so the brothers spend a lot of time together. On one such instance Alex loses his footing, and this terrible accident alters their life for good.

Alex is no longer himself and forgets everything. He is incapable of holding down a job or to function normally leading to a strained relationship with everyone. Molly still loves her husband just the same but his indifference towards her and their relationship throws her into a sea of sadness time and again. A caring and responsible wife, Molly goes all the way to support her husband in his difficult times, while he seems to flirt with his ex and harbour no love for Molly. Even Graeme, who seems to harbour no love towards his brother offers to help. What should Molly do when her husband is no longer the man she loves? Should she try harder or walk away? (Mystery number two.)

With all this going on, Molly treads upon some facts that make her question all the happenings in their life, and who is really on her side and who seems to only put up a charade to help them (mystery number three).

Good Points

It’s a very real portrayal of life and all its ups and downs. Though Molly is portrayed as the brave woman who is pushing all her limits to keep her marriage going, she isn’t patronised as flawless. There are moments that show how her resolve breaks and how she can no longer go on. It is a book that shifts between the past and the present, continually throwing light on their lives at two different points, and how the sufferings in the present are heavily influenced by the past. The book shows lives from an aerial view, as if the reader were to hover over the lives of the different characters and see their lives unfurl based on the choices they make. The cover is another saving grace, as it is a very precise illustration of the plot.

Bad Points

It is a relatively flat read. It is filled with instances that could really tug at one’s heart and make the reader a part of the journey, but it somehow fails to create any impact. There are no peaks in the book though there was plenty of scope for the same.

Lastly, the climax fails to impress. The story is woven with elements of mystery which are very cliché and fall flat as the reader can easily guess what it all is about.

Overall

It’s not the best of books out there, and I just finished it because I wanted to see it through. There are some people who are suffering too much and their stories truly touch your soul. But when they go on too much about it, the sight of them has you running in the opposite direction. This is the very vibe that the book gave me.

Who do I recommend it to?

I did not really enjoy this book, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Gazala Amreen

Logophile, bibliophile, writer, designer, high on wanderlust and all things pretty.

Bangalore, KA merakipost.com