ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – Good Husbands by Cate Ray
Good Husbands by Cate Ray is published by September Publishing and is out now in hardcover and eBook. My thanks to Ruth Killick Publicity for sending me a review copy.
Jess, Priyanka and Stephanie are all happily married to men they think they know inside out.
Then each woman receives a letter accusing her husband of involvement in a sexual assault that took place 20 years ago.
Who do they believe, what should they do and can they come together as their lives are upended?
A compelling, beautifully crafted thriller about consent, friendship and prejudice which asks – would you sacrifice your family life in support of another woman?
Good Husbands is a really thought-provoking and gripping read. It begins with three women: Jess, Priyanka and Stephanie, each receiving a letter stating that their husbands raped the writer’s mother 20 years earlier. The women have different reactions to the letter. Jess is immediately horrified and questions all she’s ever known about her husband. Priyanka feels her husband is a good man who was there for her in a crisis so it takes her a lot to think of her husband as a rapist. Stephanie’s first reaction is to bury her head in the sand and try and forget about the letter.
All the way through the book I was putting myself in the women’s shoes, wondering how I would react if I got such a letter. I think you don’t ever know unless you are in that situation but this is very much a book that got me thinking. The women come together to start to look into the allegation more, and they gradually learn to deal with it and make decisions about where their futures lie.
It’s a powerful read, and a moving one at times. It took me a little settling into the three narratives but it felt very real and relevant, and whilst I think it has a slow burn to it I found myself really drawn into the story and thoroughly hooked on it. It felt original and smart. I was gripped reading about the women as they carry on their day to day lives, going to work, looking after their children, all the while dealing with a ticking bomb that’s about to explode.
Cate Ray is an excellent writer, encouraging and challenging the reader to ask themselves ‘what would I do?’. The moral dilemma that lies within Good Husbands is whether the past influences the present and whether you can live with a partner’s mistake that he made before he met you. Is he, in fact, a Good Husband? Compelling stuff!
Cate Ray is the author of four novels published in the UK as Cath Weeks and she was named an “Author to Watch” by ELLE. Her novel GOOD HUSBANDS is an Apple Best Book of June, a Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ Favourite, a Walmart Canada Read of the Month and a Kobo Best Mystery & Thriller. You can follow Cate on Instagram & Twitter @CateRaywriter, or visit her website: www.CateRay.co.uk