Araminta Hall’s new novel is a captivating read, intertwining friendship and betrayal with love and loss. Imperfect Women was a thought provoking read and definitely one to add to your TBR!
From the author of Our Kind of Cruelty comes an enthralling, irresistible novel of psychological suspense about three women and the destructive power of buried secrets.
When Nancy Hennessy is murdered, she leaves behind two best friends, an adoring husband and daughter, and a secret lover whose identity she took to the grave. Nancy was gorgeous, wealthy, and cherished by those who knew her—from the outside, her life was perfect. But as the investigation into her death flounders and her friends Eleanor and Mary wrestle with their grief, dark details surface that reveal how little they knew their friend, each other, and maybe even themselves.
A gripping, immersive novel about impossible expectations and secrets that fester and become lethal, Imperfect Women unfolds through the perspectives of three fascinating women. Their enduring, complex friendship is the knot the reader must untangle to answer the question Who killed Nancy?-synopsis from Goodreads
This is the first novel I have read of Araminta Hall’s and it was an intense exploration into women’s lives. It follows Nancy, Eleanor and Mary who have been friends since their university days but the pressures of life have often threatened to pull them apart. Now, nearly 30 years later, Nancy has suddenly died leaving Eleanor and Mary’s lives in disarray.
The title is definitely fitting, as Araminta Hall shows the raw and often unseen moments of our lives in this dark exploration of friendship and loss. The women are imperfect and real and this is one of the reasons that I empathised with them throughout the novel.
“Women, Eleanor thought, carry guilt and responsibility like a second skin. So much so, that it weighs them down and stops them from ever achieving everything they should”
I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Helen Keeley and it really brought the characters to life. I enjoyed the fact that Mary’s accent was so distinguished from that of the other women which definitely enhanced my reading experience. Their individual personalities were at the forefront of the novel just as much as their friendship was, and we get to hear the story from the point of view of each of them.
The complexity of the story was building up, reaching its height during the final chapters. I would recommend this book if you are looking for a suspense filled novel! That being said it is a slow burner and Araminta Hall places the primary focus on the women themselves and their circumstances rather than on the mystery.
And what was perhaps more frightening than the fact that we never know others, is the fact that we never know ourselves”
It is almost a coming of age novel in the sense that the women are all going through transitional periods in their lives and are learning more about themselves and the world around them. Araminta Hall also draws upon the realities of life as women during contemporary society and I loved this social commentary aspect. If that is the kind of novel you enjoy then make sure to pick this up!
“There is always the possibility of new chapters in everybody’s stories”
Thank you to Net Galley and Hachette Audio UK for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for my honest review.
Rating – ★★★★