- Author: Sally Hepworth
- Genre: Mystery/Thriller
- Publication Date: April 4, 2023
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
CONTENT WARNING: suicide, mention of domestic violence, infidelity, postpartum depression, alcohol misuse, untreated mental illness, self-harm, murder, blood, misdiagnosis
Get ready for a thrilling, addictive novel about marriage, betrayal, and the secrets that push us to the edge in Sally Hepworth’s The Soulmate.
There’s a cottage on a cliff. Gabe and Pippa’s dream home in a sleepy coastal town. But their perfect house hides something sinister. The tall cliffs have become a popular spot for people to end their lives. Night after night Gabe comes to their rescue, literally talking them off the ledge. Until he doesn’t.
When Pippa discovers Gabe knew the victim, the questions spiral…Did the victim jump? Was she pushed?
And would Gabe, the love of Pippa’s life, her soulmate…lie? As the perfect facade of their marriage begins to crack, the deepest and darkest secrets begin to unravel.
I’m already a fan of Sally Hepworth, and also this type of story—the small town with a perfect-seeming family hiding secrets all wrapped up with a suspicious death. So I was prepared to love it before I even started reading. And I think it was done really well, even with some touchy issues.
The story jumps between “before” and “after” from the POV of Pippa, Gabe’s wife, and Amanda, the woman who jumped. It took me a minute to adjust to the voice of a decease character, but it was an intriguing way to allow readers to see the other side of the story. It lets us gain insight into not only the inner workings of Pippa and Gabe’s marriage, but that of Amanda and Max’s marriage, both of which seem unrelated, but converge further into the story. And while both marriages seem picture-perfect from the outside, each of them have their own issues that are handled quietly behind closed doors.
My feelings about the characters changed dramatically over the course of the story. I empathized with certain characters in the beginning, and had others painted as villains. But as more information came to light throughout the story, the lines between the “good guys” and “the bad guys” started to blur more and more.
The story was a page-turner, with short chapters and a fast-moving plot that made it nearly impossible for me to put this book down. There were a lot of surprising twists and turns, and it pulled me in quickly and didn’t let go right up until the end. It deals with some heavy issues right out of the gate—starting with suicide, and then moving into the nature of mixed families, alcohol misuse, illegal activities, postpartum depression, and both untreated and misdiagnosed mental illness. These topics are handled with care, and I appreciated how the author did it, especially how she addressed consequences, treatment, and the importance of support. Hepworth also talks about core values within a marriage, such as fidelity and loyalty, and how these values play out within a marriage, amongst major issues that come up.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 16
Is this one on your TBR? Have you read any Sally Hepworth novels?
Categories: Book Review
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