The Stepmother by Carrie Adams

Two women are vying for position in one man’s life. Their greatest fear is each other. But there’s no point taking sides because, as they are about to find out, there are just too many.

The Ex: She managed to keep her divorce amicable by burying past hurts. It cost her dear, but it’s worth it to see her three daughters so happy. Now everything is going to change. Jimmy wants to remarry. Bea worries about how the girls are going to feel having to share their father. But it’s not the children’s reaction that shocks her- it’s hers.

The Girlfriend: The only thing she’s done wrong is fall in love with a man she can’t call her own. His daughters come first. No matter what. Try as she might, she can’t seem to get them to like her. But the divorce wasn’t her fault. Jimmy swears it was no one’s fault, some relationships just break down. But if that’s the case, how secure is hers? Not all exes are bitter.

Not all stepmothers are wicked. But hell, you can understand how they get that way.

After reading the above in the inside of the book jacket, I was expecting a rather predictable ‘chick lit’ offering. I was wrong.

The most interesting thing was that these two women were given equal attention. Despite the title of the book, it actually starts with Bea, the ex-wife, and neither are portrayed as the central character. It then switches between the two women, but unlike most other books, this isn’t done by switching after every chapter, something I often find frustrating. Instead, each woman has a few chapters, allowing a particular piece of the story to unfold fully.

The writing reflects the story, showing each woman to be equally important, which is what you would expect in a situation like this.

Carrie also manages to balance some very amusing moments (look out for the pink heart!), with the more serious and insightful. All are handled well.

As the story progresses, it’s obvious that Jimmy has to make a decision about all their futures. His final choice did seem a little predictable, but it also seemed right. For once, I enjoyed a happy (yet realistic) outcome!

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