Sunday, July 9, 2023

The Bad Wife

   ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

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Book Summary:  A married woman’s lust for a stranger compels her to risk everything, in this new suspense by the bestselling author of His Other Woman.


It’s just a small picture in the local paper—Katie can’t explain why it sets her heart racing. But hiding the photo of local GP Joe Harvey in her bag sets in motion a chain of events that will dramatically alter her life forever.


Driven by an unhealthy desire for a man she hardly knows, the mother of two begins to worm her way into Joe’s life, knowing it’s reckless but still unable to control herself. As her obsession intensifies, Katie’s world becomes increasingly stressful and she’s forced to cover her tracks by lying to everyone around her. Katie’s dancing with danger, and there will be consequences. And while she can’t live without him, Joe barely knows she exists . . . yet. 


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Sarah Edghill worked as a journalist for many years, before turning to fiction. She has been short-listed in several short story and novel competitions and lives in Gloucestershire with her husband, three (mostly grown-up) children and far too many animals. Her debut novel, A Thousand Tiny Disappointments, was published in September 2021 and her second novel, His Other Woman, followed in May 2022 and was a Kindle Best Seller.

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Words from Sarah: My latest book, The Bad Wife, features a woman called Katie, who becomes obsessed by a stranger. She meets him when she’s at a low point in her life and, despite knowing nothing about him, falls in love. Unable to get this man, Joe, out of her head, she fantasizes about the two of them getting into a relationship, then begins to worm her way into his life – with devastating consequences for both of them.


Obsession isn’t a new subject, especially in thrillers, but The Bad Wife isn’t a thriller in the traditional sense. Katie is a normal mother of two, there’s nothing particularly unusual or weird about her family and the plot isn’t full of car chases, kidnaps, stabbings, skeletons in cupboards, or big reveals. However, there are secrets, and Katie’s actions have consequences; as she becomes increasingly obsessed, she starts to wreak havoc in her own life – and that of the man she barely knows. 


Katie’s obsessive behavior can’t be justified, but the way she behaves (and at times she does behave very badly indeed) is driven by circumstances in her life: she is dealing with overwhelming grief for her dead mother, frustration at the behavior of her self-centered children and depression at being in a marriage where all the love seems to have melted away. She is also stuck in a dead-end job and – probably most relevant of all – she is in her early forties and heading towards the dreaded menopause. Nowadays we’re more aware than ever that the menopause can affect women’s mental and physical well-being – along with their behavior - in ways which can be disruptive and overpowering.


My starting point for this book was unrequited love: the idea of a woman falling head over heels for a stranger. Love is a powerful emotion – even when it’s one-sided – and I wanted to show how relatively easy it might be for a woman who is struggling with her own demons, to fall in love with someone to such an extent that, even though she knows little about them, she starts to wonder what her world would be like if they were part of it. 


Having said that, love is no excuse for outlandish behavior, and I’m certainly not trying to defend what Katie did. But I hope I show in The Bad Wife that she’s a woman who’s feeling under fire from all sides – even the people who should love her and care about her the most, don’t appear to be looking out for her. So, take all those factors into consideration – grief, depression, hormones – and you’ve got a fairly volatile emotional cocktail waiting to explode on the page.


I can’t imagine actually having to live through this nightmare but, as an author, it’s fantastic material and I hope readers of The Bad Wife enjoy hearing Katie’s story as much as I enjoyed creating it. One of the best things about writing fiction is that you can create characters who display an endless range of emotions – happiness, misery, anger, kindness, hate, love, meanness, jealousy, and frustration. And all of these natural human responses can be used to cause drama and set up potential flashpoints and damaging situations. What every author hopes, is that the reader gets so wrapped up in what’s happening, that they can’t put the book down and are impelled to read one more chapter before turning off the light at night. Then just one more...

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