cover image The Younger Wife

The Younger Wife

Sally Hepworth. St. Martin’s, $28.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-22961-8

In this appealing domestic suspense novel from bestseller Hepworth (The Good Sister), Pamela Aston’s two adult daughters, Tully and Rachel, are already reeling at the swiftness of the Melbourne, Australia, homemaker’s deterioration with early-onset Alzheimer’s when their cardiac surgeon father, Stephen, blindsides them with another bombshell—his plan to divorce Pam, who’s soon moved to a nursing home, and marry interior designer Heather Wisher, who’s younger than either sister. Further shocks await Rachel, a gorgeous plus-size baker who by her own account eats her feelings, as well as Tully, the always anxious mother of two little boys, as they try to figure out how seriously to take Pam’s occasional utterances suggesting that life with Stephen may have had a darker side. Meanwhile, the surprisingly sympathetic Heather starts to question her wedding plans—and possibly her sanity—now that she’s living with Stephen full-time. The toxic secrets each woman has been hiding, a surprise romance, and the small fortune Rachel discovers in her mother’s hot water bottle nicely complicate the fast-moving plot. This often funny and affecting outing should win Hepworth new fans. Agent: Rob Weisbach, Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (Apr.)