Laura Wilson - The Other Woman
"...Wilson being the gifted practitioner of her craft has a neat twist at the end..."
Shortly after Christmas, a message arrives at Sophie's house, scrawled across her own round robin newsletter: HE'S GOING TO LEAVE YOU. LET'S SEE HOW SMUG YOU ARE THEN, YOU STUPID BITCH. Perhaps she should ignore it, but she ignored the last one. And the one before that. Now it's time to act.
But when a simple plan to identify and confront the other woman goes drastically and violently wrong, Sophie must go to extreme lengths to keep her life and her family together - while never letting on her devastating secret.
'The Other Woman', could mean the mistress, or the other woman in Sophie who comes to the fore when what she holds dear is threatened… but Wilson leaves us with that question. What exactly is it we hold dear and what would we do to save ourselves?
This is a totally different kind of fare from Wilson, a more tongue-in-cheek affair with more than a dash of dark humour. Wilson is a superior writer, but even I had difficulty liking Sophie, who I guess in a way is quite rightly smug that she 'has it all'. It is only when she thinks that she may lose it all, that the 'other' Sophie comes out – the one who will do what it takes to keep home and hearth together. However, even Sophie doesn't realise that 'doing what it takes' includes murder. It is only at this point does Wilson's latest begin to get interesting as the body in the freezer is in danger of being discovered by what at times appears to be a small army of people traipsing through Sophie's door for one thing or another.
Wilson is very adept at character and shows 'the other woman', the other Sophie who is crowded in on all sides by family and friends who think nothing of taking up her time and asking favours, while inside she is falling apart. Instead of Wilson performing an autopsy of split personalities, she instead takes the humorous route as Sophie tries to rid herself of the unwanted guest in the freezer. There are some laugh-out moments here, some that will make you cringe, some bordering farcical and others when you feel the game is definitely up. However, Wilson being the gifted practitioner of her craft has a neat twist at the end when Sophie decides that maybe self-preservation is more important than what she has been fighting for. This is a much lighter novel from Wilson and one I enjoyed once I got over my prejudices against Sophie who became more human as the story evolved. An enjoyable read.
Reviewed by: C.S.