Emma loves her husband Leo and their young daughter Ruby: she’d do anything for them. But almost everything she’s told them about herself is a lie.
And she might just have got away with it, if it weren’t for her husband’s job. Leo is an obituary writer and Emma is a well-known marine biologist, so, when she suffers a serious illness, Leo copes by doing what he knows best – reading and writing about her life. But as he starts to unravel her past, he discovers the woman he loves doesn’t really exist. Even her name is fictitious.
When the very darkest moments of Emma’s past life finally emerge, she must somehow prove to Leo that she really is the woman he always thought she was . . . But first, she must tell him about the love of her other life.
The title suggests this to be a romance novel but the fine print implies there is more that lies underneath. And that’s exactly why I chose to pick it up.
Having met at Emma’s grandmother’s funeral, Leo and Emma quickly fell in love and got married. Three years into trying for a baby, Emma was diagnosed with cancer. While she was undergoing treatment, unbeknownst to her, Leo-an obituary writer for the newspaper-began writing an advance obit for her. Every newspaper has a stock of pre-written obituaries for celebrities in fear of being caught out by a significant death. Emma being a well-known researcher in marine biology, Leo knew that if it came to it his newspaper would run her obit.
In a passing conversation with his editor regarding a missing celebrity in the news, Leo agrees to write a stock obit for Emma to go on file. As he begins to collate information on her academic history, he stumbles into a maze of secrets surrounding his wife which knock his world sideways.
The first thing I loved about this book is how it starts off as contemporary fiction, runs into mystery/domestic thriller, before wrapping up in women’s fiction, all while playing a little peek-a-boo romance. Even with two narrators – Leo and Emma, it does a good job of transitioning between genres and still keep your interest alive till the end.
The plot tends to wind a little in the build-up to the shocking turn of events so one needs to follow the story closely. A lot happens between the many characters introduced along the course and things change quickly.
At one point the events seem to become a little too unrealistic (at least for my taste) which is the only reason I’ve rated this lower than I would have otherwise. Even so, the story is full of drama and extremely tense. The characters do a lot of second guessing which throws you off with new revelations, adding to the suspense.
A riveting thriller on the surface, this is a deeply emotional and tender story of love, loss and forgiveness at its core.
The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh. Published in June 2022 by Mantle, an imprint of Pan Macmillan. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Pan Macmillan.
Book 26 of 2021.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.
Available on Amazon*.
*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
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