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I enjoyed this story, although there was one rather large challenge that I could not overcome.
The book starts with a captivating teaser: a skeleton found in the garden – intriguing! Who is it? and whodunit?
We then rewind to just after WW2 and are introduced to our cast of characters: Gus, an Englishman who returns from war with a German bride, his two sisters who have a hard time accepting this new reality, his jilted fiancée who REALLY has an issue with Gus getting married behind her back! And the jilted fiancée’s brother who just hates him. That right there is a TON of possibilities for who killed whom!
The story moves along at a good pace, we get to know all the players and learn about their intrigues and secrets, guessing along the way who had motive to do what to whom… all in all really great stuff.
The reason I was challenged is that on top of the secrets everyone is hiding from everyone else, we are kept in the dark as to why Gus married his German bride. Instead of adding to the intrigue it just annoyed me because the bits and pieces just made no sense – in fact, on multiple occasions, I wondered if we WERE told why and I just missed it because I tuned out at the wrong moment. This situation made their storyline frustrating instead of interesting and when we do eventually learn the truth it’s just stupid.
Frankly, I don’t feel like we even needed a secret reason to up the tension and add another potential murder to the list by creating the premise for a jilted fiancée in that way. Gus could have just genuinely fallen in love with his German bride and that would have pissed everyone off just as much!
Aside from that complaint, it was a great story.
I listened to this book because it was chosen by a book group I belong to, I wouldn't have chosen it otherwise.
It took about a third of the book to have me gripped, at times the story was slow moving, then I had to hear it through to the end.
Overall I enjoyed the story and didn't guess the plot twists. The author left some scenes hanging at the end of chapters unresolved which was frustrating. I'm not sure I would choose to read another book by this author.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to The New Mrs Clifton the most enjoyable?
A well written book and read very well.
What did you like best about this story?
A few twists and turns in a tale set in a bleak time just after the second world war.
Have you listened to any of Julie Teal’s other performances? How does this one compare?
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I felt very sad to hear what a bad state German was in after the war and how badly the women in particular were treated. The privations suffered by the English too with the food shortages were hard to comprehend.
Any additional comments?
I enjoyed it very much and will recommend it as a Reading Club book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful