ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – The Woman at 46 Heath Street by Lesley Sanderson @LSandersonbooks @bookouture #BlogTour
I’m so pleased to be reviewing The Woman at 46 Heath Street by Lesley Sanderson today as part of the blog tour. My thanks to Kim Nash from Bookouture for the place on the tour and the review copy of the book via Netgalley.
The letter is addressed to me. No stamp, swirly handwriting in black ink. I pull out a piece of paper, stiffening when I read the message. Hands trembling, the note slides to the floor: Your husband is having an affair.
Six words written in neat block letters. Six words slipped through her letterbox, destroying her marriage, exposing Ella’s perfect life as perfect lies.
But Ella has a plan: Alice is the answer to her problems. A lodger, to help keep her afloat, a friend, to keep the loneliness at bay.
Only Alice has her own reasons for wanting to live at 46 Heath Street…
If you loved The Wife Between Us, The Girl on The Train and The Secret Mother, you will be totally hooked by this twisty and gripping read about family secrets, marriage betrayal and the dark side of love.
I think the title is what first drew me to The Woman at 46 Heath Street. I do enjoy books where a house is central to the plot and Ella, the main character, adores the house that was her husband’s childhood home. When she receives a note through the post saying that her husband is having an affair she wants to stay in the house no matter what and so gets herself a lodger, Alice. Alice at first seems like just a good friend to Ella but I very soon got a sense that there might be more to her than met the eye.
I must admit that I guessed what the something more was quite quickly but I still enjoyed reading along with Ella’s own journey of discovery. The chapters alternate between Ella, Alice and the diaries of Nancy, Ella’s late mother-in-law. I liked the differing viewpoints which enabled the story to unfold really well.
It’s a very twisty sort of story, one with some sinister aspects and some unusual goings-on. As it’s relatively short at around 280 pages, it didn’t take me long to read and it was a book that I found kept my interest. I thought it was well-plotted and it offered a storyline that was a bit different from the others. The focus is not particularly on Ella’s husband’s affair and revenge, but more on secrets from the past and how they can resurface many years later.
Overall, a very good, easy read.
Lesley attended the Curtis Brown Creative 6 month novel writing course in 2015/6, and in 2017 The Orchid Girls (then On The Edge) was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish fiction prize.
The Orchid Girls is her first psychological thriller.
Lesley spends her days writing in coffee shops in Kings Cross where she lives and works as a librarian. She loves the atmosphere and eclectic mix of people in the area. Lesley discovered Patricia Highsmith as a teenager and has been hooked on psychological thrillers ever since. She is particularly interested in the psychology of female relationships.