When aspiring novelist Christopher Flinders drops out of university to write his masterpiece (in between shifts as a fish delivery man and builder’s mate), his family is sceptical.
But when he is taken up by the London editor Owen Goddard and his charming wife Diana it seems success is just around the corner. Christopher’s life has so far been rather short of charm – growing up in an unlovely suburb, with unambitious parents and a semi-vagrant brother – and he is captivated by his generous and cultured mentors. However, on the brink of realising his dream, Christopher makes a desperate misjudgement which results in disaster for all involved. Shattered, he withdraws from London and buries himself in rural Yorkshire, embracing a career and a private life marked by mediocrity.
Twenty years on a young academic researching into Owen Goddard seeks him out, and Christopher is forced to exhume his past, setting him on a path to a life-changing discovery.
The Editor’s Wife is another great novel from this author – a previous novel which seems to have been re-released in light of the success of Clare Chamber’s newest novel, Small Pleasures (which I absolutely loved!)
The story follows Christopher, who has recently lost his job. Feeling quite down about it all, he moves to North Yorkshire and lives a seemingly mundane life until one day he is contacted by an academic writing about Chris’s previous editor, Owen Goddard.
We then go back in time and learn about the history between Chris and Owen, and the difficult situation he got himself into with Owen and his wife. Finally, we return to the present day where we find out that everything is not as it seems, and Chris is missing a crucial piece of information which could have changed everything…
The characterisation in this novel is brilliant. I loved reading about them all. Chris is a bit full of himself at times but is still really likeable, and I really cared about what happened to him. I was definitely invested!
This novel made me feel emotional at the end, and I didn’t want it to end to be honest… I felt that feeling where you’d finish a ridiculously long novel that spans all of a character’s life and you feel like you’ve been with them the whole time. However, The Editor’s Wife is not a particularly long novel – yet I still felt like I’d seen so much of Chris’s life.
I find it very hard to categorise this novel as it has a bit of everything in it, from humour to romance and much more, so I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this! It’s fairly slow in parts but this is entirely suited to the story and never boring.
I’m not sure it quite lives up to the utter brilliance of Small Pleasures (but that had set the standard ridiculously high, so perhaps it’s not fair to compare anything to that novel!) but I still hugely enjoyed this wonderful novel and would highly recommend it!
Thanks to the publisher, Cornerstone, for providing a copy of this novel on which I wrote an honest review.