From the very start, I had no idea what to expect from this novel. The writing style is unique, it’s brusque at times, literal yet emotional, and sometimes even humorous.
Sophie thought she and Jonah were happy, bringing up their small daughter together, until one summer’s day, she discovers that Jonah is far from the man she thought he was. Sam – an attractive English teacher – seems to offer her some comfort, and new friendships are a support. But is Sam really who he says he is? Where have her new friends appeared from? Is anyone telling the truth? As Jonah’s lies threaten Sophie and her daughter, can anyone be trusted?
After the first couple of chapters, I really enjoyed the writing style of this book. It’s a bit more literal and to the point than I was used to but it actually really works here as it makes Sophie, the main character, feel more ‘real’ to the reader. It gives a true insight into her mind and emotions, as although sometimes the writing jerks between thoughts and events rather abruptly, it provides a sense of grounded realness to the book that I really enjoyed. I liked Sophie – her natural kindness, her amusing tendency to blurt out what she was feeling, these qualities endear her to the reader.
This book is definitely a little eccentric – both the writing style and the plot are unusual and definitely fast-paced. The romance that occurs (I won’t say too much!) moves quickly and some of the character progression also happens fast, but it really worked because of the slightly unique style of this book. The two plots that are occurring in this book also contribute to the gripping unique style. While the main plot centres around Sophie and Jonah, and gets increasingly more interesting, there is a sub-plot which left me guessing for some time! I couldn’t work out the connection for a while but when Levy does reveal more, it’s a really clever link.
There are a lot of names and connections in this book, but if you concentrate then it really pays off. The two plots are clever in how they link, and there’s some information that the reader is privy to before the characters which really adds to the tension. Sophie’s slight ditzy-ness contrasts greatly to the seriousness of the plot and also works really well to provide moments of both relief and also increased tension.
Levy’s writing is seriously clever and must be appreciated fully. This is not your usual easy thriller, but it’s a clever, intense, unique novel that really hooked me from the start. It’s a powerful examination of love, self-belief, consequences and crime. All these topics and themes link closely within the novel, but one core theme is the power and strength of women. Sophie is not the only woman in this novel and despite the support of some strong men, the focus is most definitely on the women. They are independent, courageous and kind. Despite the title being ‘Other Women’, these women are not other. These women represent qualities from all women, and despite the excellently bizarre plot, there are moments of realness within this book. The ending to this book keeps up the action until the very end. It was one of those books where I wanted more as it has a fast-pace right until the last page.
This really should be on your list to read – it’s got excellent characters, a fascinating plot and a truly inspired writing style.Without a doubt I can say I loved this.
The Dome Press, 10th September 2020