The Foster Husband is Pippa Wright’s third novel and the first one that I had read from her. It promised to be a light, easy read just perfect for long summer evenings. I did really enjoy it although the title is a bit misleading as the ‘foster husband’ in question does not feature as much as I was expecting.
The Foster Husband tells the story of Kate who, after leaving her home time of Lyme Regis, gained a glamorous show biz career and a gorgeous husband. However, years later, she has returned to her home town with no husband and no job. She ends up living in her recently deceased grandmother’s bungalow trying to make some sense of what her life has become. This would be bad enough but matters are made worse when her sister Prue’s fiancé, Ben, moves in to the bungalow as Prue does not want to live with him before the wedding. Kate is particularly displeased because, in her eyes at least, Ben does not seem to be in the slightest bit house trained. He is not yet suitable husband material but maybe there is still hope as Kate decides to train him up – hence making him her ‘foster husband’. The only problem is, having made such a mess of her own life, will Kate be qualified to take on the role?
The Foster Husband is a really enjoyable read although not entirely the light read I was expecting. Kate has quite a few issues to deal with from her past and these are all visited as the story moves between the present and the past. As it’s all written in the first person, the reader really comes to know Kate and to sympathise with her over past events. She is quite a complex character but one that is enjoyable to get to know throughout the story. I liked the idea of Ben becoming Kate’s foster husband and Ben certainly does need some training if he is to become a good husband. However, I was a little disappointed that this aspect of the story did not feature more as it was potentially very amusing and would provide a good contrast to some of the heavier issues.
However, this is an absorbing story from start to finish with characters that you can really care about. It demonstrates the complexities of family relationships and how, if things are left unsaid, misunderstandings often occur. There are some lighter moments as well, mainly involving Kate’s sprightly but eccentric new neighbour who insists on early morning dips in the sea even in the height of winter.
Overall, The Foster Husband is a thoroughly enjoyable book and having read it, I will be on the lookout for more books from Pippa Wright.
The Foster Husband by Pippa Wright
Published by Pan, May 2013
With thanks to the publisher for the review copy.
|Buy book online