Monday, June 19, 2017

Book Review: It's Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

Pages: 320
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin's 
Source: She Speaks
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars  

Goodreads says, "Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge . . and someone else is urging her to jump.   How did things come to this As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband? "

I received this book free from SheSpeaks.

Aubrey, Jenny, and Kate are assigned rooms together at the prestigious Carlisle College, but they couldn't be more different.  Aubrey is leaving behind a life that's rough with a mother who uses her and can't pay the bills; she sees college as a way to escape and start over.  Then there's Jenny, who is a townie, but is so much more than simply that. Obviously, she is a high achiever since she got accepted to Carlisle, but she wants to take herself even further and make the right connections.  Lastly, there's Kate. The quintessential rich girl who only got to school because of, well, nepotism.  One would think these three girls living together would be an epic disaster, but somehow they end up being friends despite the many complications that college brings.  There's death in the family, keeping up grades, spring break, drugs, controlling parents, backstabbing, and so much more.  Then tragedy strikes. Fast forward twenty years later they all end up living in the college town married, but the secrets are still there and the truth always comes out.  It's Always the Husband by Michele Campbell is an entertaining thriller and perfect for those who like darker summertime reads.

Somehow I found it hard to identify with either of the girls as they are all so despicable in their own ways.  This is definitely one of those books where I didn't necessarily enjoy the characters, but Campbell did a good job making me care about their journey and their secrets.  With that said, I cared most about Aubrey; she is a sad character in It's Always the Husband. She latches on to Kate and in turn ends up in situations that she probably would have never been in prior to meeting Kate.  She has a hard time dealing with her past as well as some of the future familial issues that pop up while she is in college.  

Kate is straight up annoying in It's Always the Husband. She's spoiled, troubled, and uses people. Honestly, she needs to get help. She influences people and takes them down the wrong path. I mean her "picture perfect" rich girl life isn't exactly perfect, but that doesn't excuse her bad behavior.

Jenny, I guess, has it together the most in It's Always the Husband, but I also didn't agree with her motives half the time. She is all about connections and doesn't care about what she has to do to get to the top. I think she tried to be a good friend, but essentially, doesn't know how.

I like how Campbell tells their story and how things unfold in college.  The narrative also picks up in the "future" with them as adults in It's Always the Husband. Getting bits and pieces this way sort of puts everything in perspective; plus, there's a major issue surrounding a tragic night.  There's some secrets about what truly happened and who is at fault. Since things were never really dealt with in the past, they become an issue again in the future, especially since more drama ensues. 

Without giving too much away, there's a murder mystery in It's Always the Husbandand this aspect of the novel kept me flipping the pages despite the fact that I found all the characters to be troubled.  Campbell is a federal prosecutor, so you could really tell that portrayal of an investigation and the issues surrounding the murder were well done and realistic.  

If you like darker summer time reads and thrillers, giveIt's Always the Husband a try this summer. 

Thanks to She Speaks and St. Martin's I am giving away my ARC to one lucky US reader. Please refer to my giveaway rules and the deadline is June 28th.  Good luck! 

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