As I attempt to get into a regular blogging pattern so that my readers know what to expect, I am using Mondays to focus on reading. I hope you enjoy my book review of The Missing Wife by Sheila Flanagan.
Book review of The Missing Wife
The book starts with a journey as we meet our heroine Imogen for the first time. I always think at public transport stops and stations that every passenger probably has quite a powerful story to tell. Imogen is making a journey from A to B but also from a relationship of coercive control with Vince to one of self-discovery and liberty. She uses a business trip to Paris as the catalyst to put her carefully planned bolt to freedom into action. Returning to her roots, she finds a place to live and a cleaning job and so her journey back to herself begins in earnest.
Imogen heads for a place she remembers with great affection from her childhood when her mother was a housekeeper to the Delissandes family at Villa Martine. This is a place they were both happy but something led to them having to leave at speed. In the end by going back there decades later, Imogen finds out truths and realises some of her assumptions were wrong. How often when we are unhappy in life do we seek out places that act as touchstones form us. For me, these would be Cambridge and Yorkshire of course.
There are many characters in the book and I felt they were described very well so that you really felt that you got to know them. I was rooting for Imogen from the start but then we pick up books with their titles and their plots for a reason. It was interesting to see Imogen’s husband take on things. I find the subject of coercive control fascinating and confusing. Of course, it is wrong but how do we identify it and what it too much or too little control? What looks like loving protection to one person may feel very different to another. I never lost my affection for Imogen and also loved Rene who helped her settle in to her place of liberation.
Who would this book appeal to?
I think this novel would appeal to any woman who is at a crossroads and wants to change her life. It might help some women to see negative aspects in their own relationships and perhaps to seek help because help it out there. Having said that, this is not a heavy read on coercive control or a guide as to how to escape it. It does not purport to be and is a good page-turner about one woman’s tale as she returns to old haunts and discovers heartfelt friends old and new. One of those friends is herself and although it is a cliché it is also very true that moving forwards positively always starts with a healthy dose of self-love.
I loved this book and have put off writing this book review of The Missing Wife as I did not feel I could do it justice. I loved how we are given different characters’ perspectives. It was also great how we looked into the past seeing more of the stories of Imogen’s own mum, her mum’s employers and her half-sister. Women can always learn from each other’s stories and we need to start saying loud and clear what goes on behind closed doors.
I hope you enjoyed my book review of A Missing Wife by Sheila Flanagan.