Title: The End of Her
Author: Shari Lapena
Published: July 21st 2020
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Suspense
Rating: 3.5 stars
It starts with a shocking accusation . . .Stephanie and Patrick are recently married, with new-born twins. While Stephanie struggles with the disorienting effects of sleep deprivation, there’s one thing she knows for certain – she has everything she ever wanted.Then a woman from his past arrives and makes a horrifying allegation about his first wife. He always claimed her death was an accident – but she says it was murder. He insists he’s innocent, that this is nothing but a blackmail attempt. But is Patrick telling the truth? Or has Stephanie made a terrible mistake? How will it end?
Domestic life is the central preoccupation yet again for Shari Lapena’s new novel, The End of Her. The author of the global success The Couple Next Door, graces her readers with a tale of truth, lies, choices, mistakes, accusations, estrangement, life stresses and strains.
The End of Her introduces couple Stephanie and Patrick, who are struggling with the demands of parenthood. With a set of newborn twins, the sleep deprivation and the general care for the twins is putting added pressure on their relationship. Despite these hard times, Stephanie and Patrick know that these trying times will not last forever, they just have to stick together. But further strife comes in the form of a figure from Patrick’s past. A terrible accusation is made and the events that follow implicate Patrick in a possible murder case. With the lines of truth, innocence and blame all coming into effect, it is unclear who is at fault. Stephanie is faced with a personal dilemma, can she trust her husband or did she make an error in judgement?
The End of Her is Shari Lapena’s fifth published novel in the suburban noir genre. I have read two of Lapena’s previous novels and I have another couple sitting on my TBR shelves to catch up on. I have enjoyed Shari Lapena’s novels and I was definitely excited to take up The End of Her.
Domestic fiction is becoming a very popular sub genre in recent times and Shari Lapena is an author who I consider to be a key fixture in this fiction category. Lapena seems to have a good handle on the key ingredients that are required to produce a novel of this particular inclination. With suspect characters, unreliable narrators, fast pacing, unexpected twists and a solid focus on domestic life, The End of Her slots in very nicely to the suburban fiction field.
I think Lapena did an good job with setting her characters up for a fall. We have a freshly married couple, who are placed under a significant amount of stress due to the demands of new parenthood and the sleep deprivation that comes with having newborn twins. Lapena presents this scenario very well, it was realistic and authentic. With the added suspicion raised on the death of Patrick’s first wife coming into the play and the appearance of a woman hell bent on calling him out, there are plenty of complications for the characters to contend with. The interplay between the cast and the resulting interactions made for a dicey read! With suspicions, theories, risky dealings and matters of the heart to contend with, The End of Her proved to be quite the brain teaser, which did infuriate me at times! I have to be honest and say that I don’t think this one is my favourite release of the Shari Lapena collection.
Shari Lapena manages to keep her readers in the dark for as long as possible in her latest novel. I raced through The End of Her, as I was keen to see what would eventuate on each new chapter and paragraph. With a novel and an ending that taps into present day concerns and fears, The End of Her made for a satisfying read.
The End of Her by Shari Lapena was published on 21st July 2020 by Penguin Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The End of Her, Shari Lapena, visit here.