Who is the Missing Husband?
Peter is the husband in question married to Kate and together since teenage days. Appearances suggest they are doing well with Pete in a good job and Kate staying at home with their two young daughters. They have an impressive London townhouse and a nanny. As many of us know, appearances can be deceptive and what goes on behind closed doors would shock outsiders.
Where did it all go wrong?
I guess everyone who goes through a marriage breakdown goes through a forensic analysis trying to work things out. How do we go from long lingering looks to toxicity? I have often thought the way we do things so often as couples is not helpful to staying happy. All too often, mums who may have had careers of their own stay at home to become primary care-givers to the children. They swap the excitement of the workplace for nappies and bottles. It was a shock to my system and I experienced post-natal depression and did not get help with that for years. Kate in the novel is very much the same. I imagine in this state husbands get bored and wonder where the woman they fell for has disappeared to. Temptations show up. In my husband’s case it was dating sites and in Pete’s in the book it is another woman who he meets at work.
Pete is faced with making a choice between what he knows with Kate or a new life in France with his lover. He struggles to decide which way to jump. Eventually, he decides France is the answer and bottles telling Kate deciding he will leave a note. He leaves his mobile phone behind and deletes his social media accounts.
The book shares Kate’s story before and after Pete disappears. We see her build in confidence now she is a single parent. I can empathise with that. When you don’t have your life partner by your side, you just have to get on with things particularly when you have children to support financially and emotionally. Only one parent gets to just resign from their responsibilities!
The main characters in the book are Kate, Pete and Claire the lover. Having said that we also meet Kate’s sister, mother-in-law, nanny and mums from school. There’s also Pete’s colleague, Dan, who is not at all impressed with Pete giving up on his family.
What I thought of the novel
I really enjoyed the novel. It was easy to read and a page-turner. Inevitably, there were moments when I put it down as some of the feelings were a little too close to home right now. Then all of a sudden I read loads of it right until the end.
I felt the characters were well described although I struggled to get a real feel for the lover. I could sympathise with both Kate and Pete surprisingly.
There is a plot twist towards the end which I didn’t particularly like but I can see that many readers would.
Here’s what the author says about the novel.