Other Women by Jean Levy #BookReview #BlogTour


 


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?

It's such a pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for Other Women today. Many thanks to Jean Levy and to Emily Glenister from The Dome Press for inviting me and for sending me a copy of the novel.

Although Other Women is a fairly slow-burning novel, life actually changes quickly for the main character, Sophie. At the start of the book she is living with her partner of five years, Jonah and they are raising their infant daughter, Laura in what seems to be a fairly settled - albeit very much on his terms - relationship. When he makes a shock announcement, which is shortly followed by a terrible accident, things unravel very quickly for Sophie as she discovers that much of what she thought she knew was actually a lie.
Other Women is a story about secrets and lies and as I don't want to give anything away it's not that easy to review! Some of the revelations are more surprising than others, some are concealed from Sophie, in particular for longer than they are from the reader, and there are a few I guessed - although Jean Levy's cleverly laid trail of crumbs led me there - and I was totally blindsided by something that comes to light only towards the end of the novel. 
The speed at which Sophie's life changes isn't just limited to the disclosures regarding Jonah's lies and the relationship that develops between her and Sam is perhaps surprisingly hasty considering everything she is going through. That said, it seems as though she is the sort of person to fall hard and fast for somebody so while it may not necessarily appear to be the most rational course of action, it does fit with her character, and she deserves somebody like Sam who is an immensely likeable, supportive man.
There is a police investigation taking place throughout Other Women but it would do this engrossing novel a disservice to describe it as just crime fiction. It is also a book about relationships, love, lies and secrets. One of the highlights for me is that the women featured are flawed - they make mistakes, act irrationally and in the case of Sophie's best friend, Katie say things that are sometimes wildly inappropriate but they are never merely cast as victims and have an inner strength which results in some surprising alliances. For much of the book, Jonah is talked about rather than actually appearing on the page; right from the start, Jean Levy makes it clear that he is manipulative and controlling and it's to her credit that his apparent appeal is totally believable.
There are a few tense and dramatic scenes in Other Women but interspersed between the longer chapters following the main narrative, there are snippets of conversations between members of a sinister organisation and it was these moments which I found especially chilling. Sam isn't all he seems to be either although he is undoubtedly genuine and I suspect that this isn't the last we see of him, I certainly hope that's the case because there is definitely still yet more to be revealed regarding the disturbing practices that are occurring behind the scenes here. 
Jean Levy's strong and engaging authorial voice is felt throughout Other Women and I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully written book; the riveting plot twists and turns, the dialogue often sparkles with humour amidst the drama and the characters are compelling and authentic. Very highly recommended.

Other Women is published by The Dome Press and can be purchased from Amazon, Waterstones and Hive or ordered from independent bookstores.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.



About the Author

Jean spent several years in genetics research before abandoning the laboratory to pursue a career in academic publishing both in Holland the UK. She has been a database trouble- shooter, an editor, and a writer for publishing houses, pharmaceutical companies and the EU. She has degrees in Botany, Pathology, Philosophy, English, Law and Creative Writing and is currently completing a doctorate in Linguistics.
In her spare time she has campaigned for the environment and read a lot of books, the most memorable being Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice, everything by Margaret Atwood and Jeanette Winterson, and a few things by Sebastian Faulks, Calvino, Ian McEwan, David Mitchell and Shakespeare.
She currently lives in a converted barn in the South Downs with her husband and a Heritage Plant Collection, accumulates Christmas tree decorations and aspires to writing multi-genre fiction, travelling on the Orient Express and seeing the Northern Lights.
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Comments

  1. So glad you enjoyed Other Women. Sam and Sophie were such interesting characters, who, around halfway through the writing, began to take over their own scripts. They live on in my imagination and also, given time, will reappear in an extra chapter on my website. Thank you so much for this excellent review.

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