I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to be here on Day One of the blog tour for Sheila O’Flanagan’s latest book, Her Husband’s Mistake! When I spotted this tour invitation in my Inbox, I pounced on it immediately! Sheila has been one of my favourite authors for the longest time, and as the endorsement on the cover claims, the same goes for Marian Keyes – also one of my favourite authors! I will admit – for those who don’t already know – that I love Irish books, and all things Irish. So immersing myself in a story that’s set in Ireland is pure comfort reading for me.
I loved this book right from the start, even though the beginning is not a good one for Roxy, our main character. She’s just lost her beloved dad. While he was ill she and her two young children moved in with her mom so that they could help and support her, while she also helped out with her dad’s chauffeur business. But on the day of the funeral, Roxy decides she wants to go home to be with her husband Dave. Lo and behold, she discovers him in bed with their attractive neighbour. Not exactly the welcome she was expecting!
Understandably hurt and humiliated, Roxy flees back to her mother’s house to regroup. Should she leave Dave immediately? Take some time and go back to him? Accept that he’s just a ‘weak man’ and carry on as if nothing happened? It’s all so confusing. The solid life she thought she knew has just disintegrated in an instant and nothing seems assured any more.
Over the following few weeks Roxy settles into a routine driving what used to be her dad’s car, and his clients around to their various appointments and spending time with her close friends, and with her mom who shares some home truths with her about her father. She discovers that all relationships go through peaks and valleys and that what you see on the surface usually doesn’t tell the full story. She takes the time to reflect on her life and is able to look at it from the outside. She’s not always happy with the picture she sees – and it’s not only a picture of Dave in bed with the neighbour!
She also starts to learn a lot about herself. She’s never had so much time to truly focus on herself and what she wants. She always trundled happily along, accepting the (rather vanilla) life she had with Dave, her childhood sweetheart, and the kids, assuming that it was the way it would always be and was meant to be. Now, however, she realises that she wants and needs so much more for herself and that the sense of empowerment that running her dad’s business – which is actually now her own – is giving her, is something that she thoroughly enjoys and would like to continue, because she’s really good at it!
I loved the sage advice that Roxy received from those who truly wanted to see her succeed and the people who loved her for who she was and who saw the spark of something special in her before she saw it for herself. I just lamented the fact that she was so repressed that she didn’t recognise her own worth. She has an innate inner strength that she didn’t even know was there until she was forced to use it. And the truth is that we do admire those who we think are ‘better’ than us – whether they are or not. But by doing so we learn a lot too, and this is how Roxy slowly gains what she needs to make those all important changes to her life.
As for Dave, well he provoked such a sense of anger and irritation in me that my kindle is lucky it’s still in one piece! What a self-absorbed, arrogant, selfish, worthless piece of dog-poo (and I’m being incredibly polite!!). Well written Sheila, because I’m sure that’s the reaction you intended, wasn’t it? I hope so!!
I literally did a little dance of joy when I read about Malahide Castle and Avoca – especially as this was the place where Roxy and her mom went to settle their minds and find a bit of a peaceful retreat. I’ve been there! It’s so gorgeous, and there’s just something about reading about a place that you recognise and that you’ve traveled to and invokes a similar sense of utter satisfaction!
In case you haven’t noticed by now, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It’s always a toss-up when reading through a book that you absolutely relish: do you race through it, or do you try and pace yourself and eek it out so that you don’t finish it too quickly? I tried to do a bit of both, but just couldn’t help that inevitable disappointment when I eventually reached the end. However … could there be the possibility of a sequel. I know I’d definitely love to hear more about Roxy and I’m sure other readers will want to as well!
This one deserves 5 gorgeous glittery, green Irish stars from me!
Sheila O’Flanagan is the author of many bestselling novels including The Hideaway, What Happened That Night, The Missing Wife, My Mother’s Secret, If You Were Me, and All For
You (winner of the Irish Independent Popular Fiction Book of theYear Award). She lives in Dublin with her husband.
Follow the blog tour and see what other bloggers think of Her Husband’s Mistake …