It's Always the Husband Book Review

It's Always the Husband Book Review

Title: It’s Always the Husband
Author: Michelle Campbell
Published: May 16, 2017 St. Martin’s Press
No. of Pages: 336
Cover Price: $26.99 Hardcover, $12.99 Kindle

Michelle Campbell's novel, It's Always the Husband is a fascinating look at how class, income, and social status can influence lives. Three college students are put together as roommates at Carlisle, a prestigious Ivy league college in the New England town of Belle River, and remain friends – frenemies throughout their lives. Kate, who is beautiful, rich, narcissistic, and spoiled, is looked up to – almost worshipped - by Aubrey, who is there on a scholarship and is from a poor, broken home; Kate is tolerated by Jenny, who is a local, middle-class girl with plenty of ambition. Kate has no trouble attracting any of the college guys she desires, and she has no qualms about sleeping with them and using drugs and alcohol to excess. When a local boy tries to break up with Kate, a few friends including her roommates, witness her pushing him off a bridge to his death, which is covered up by her powerful, rich father. Later, after they have all married – Kate to a mega-rich member of their college circle of friends, Aubrey to a doctor, and Jenny to a local, Kate continues to influence all of them, especially when she moves back from her trendsetting life in New York to Belle River and is found murdered.

Campbell has done an excellent job in developing her characters; they seem like real people who resemble someone most of us are acquainted with in real life. Their actions seem to fit their different personalities, and the novel has plenty of twists and turns that end up with a surprise dénouement that comes at the very end of the novel. The story illustrates how money and political influence can change lives – not always for the better – and how much influence a narcissist can have on the lives of others.

Parts of the novel are fast-moving, and other parts seem to drag. Most of the characters are actually unlikeable, and readers will be glad that they aren’t in their personal circle of friends. Still, this is an especially good summer read, and has plenty of substance to keep a readers interest.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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