The Secrets of Married Women by Carol Mason


Review - Secrets Married WomenFalling in love is easy. Staying in love is harder.
Jill and Rob are happily married and still very much in love. Then everything changes when they discover that Rob is infertile. Having children has never been the be all and end all for Jill. Yet, admittedly, a tiny part of her now wants what she can’t have. But more than craving the impossible, Jill just wants her marriage back to the way it was. But Rob has taken the news badly. He won’t touch her. They never have sex anymore. And worse still, he won’t talk about it.
Frustrated and unsure what to do, Jill is drawn into being an unwitting ‘ear’ for her best friend Leigh who is having a steamy extra-marital affair. Married to a man who is eager to please but fails to satisfy, Leigh has decided that life is too short to put her own happiness last. She has given her affair an expiry date: six weeks and then she will end it.
Then there is Wendy, who is married to handsome Neil, a top policeman. Wendy is one of those friends who never lets her guard drop – a content mother and a wife whose trust and faith in her husband seems to know no limits.
But are things ever what they seem?
Does life ever go according to plan?
How well do we ever know our husbands, our best friends, or even ourselves?
Jill is about to find out when she faces infidelity and the truth head on…

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Reviewer: Gina

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars


This story follows the intertwined lives and loves of three female friends. It’s an almost painful look at marriage, complete with warts, flaws, humour and sadness.

Halfway through, I realised I was reading a story written in present tense, when they are not my usual preference at all, so that is a very good indication of how well crafted the story is.

The frankness in the story  – the exploration of marriage and related themes, especially adultery -might be uncomfortable reading for some as all of the rawness of the characters’ emotions being spread all over the pages. But the book is also about love and friendship…about love gone right and wrong, and also about the bonds of friendship between women.

The book is set in the north-east of England. As a British reader, I enjoy my Brit women’s fiction – I enjoy  the rhythm of the words, the dialogue, the conversation with the author and the characters. I feel at home in these books, regardless of the subject, as I am comforted by the familiar surroundings.

I found the characters to be very three dimensional – flawed and believable but also sympathetic in their own ways. I understood their motivations for the most part, and they were realistic.

I’ve given the book 4 1/2 stars rather than 5 because, although the book is set in England, Americanisms like ‘pants’ for ‘trousers’ and ‘store’ for ‘shop’ crept in alongside some homophones and they pulled me from the story just for those brief moments that I stumbled reading them.

This is a great book that has earned its place on my bookshelf.