debuts of the month
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Reader Reviewed
My Husband Next Door by Catherine Alliott

My Husband Next Door

Relationship Stories   Books of the Month   Family Drama   Romantic Fiction   eBook Favourites   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Relationship Tales Facebook group Share this book

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

July 2014 Book of the Month.

A fun and easy read, Alliott’s novel is a look at domesticity gone wrong and particularly at what happens to us when we brush things under the carpet rather than tackling them head on. Ella’s life is the centre of a storm that many will recognise, as children, work, mother, sister, ex-husband, handsome but unavailable gardener and a myriad of other things crowd for her attention. But fun as much of the story is, Ella herself isn’t that likeable and so it’s difficult to end up feeling much empathy for her life.

If you like Catherine Alliott you might also like to read books by Sheila O'flanagan, Cathy Kelly and Katie Fford.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.


Kath Martin - 'This is so much fun!  A rollicking Aga-saga of the very highest calibre...Bliss!'

Read the full review >

Joy Bosworth - 'When I started the book I found it an amusing piece of chick lit like many others I have read. How wrong could I be?  One finds oneself laughing out loud quite unexpectedly.  I really loved this book.'  Read full review >

Sam Lewis - 'This was a really humorous and fabulous holiday read for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it and loved the way the story was told in such a matter of fact way!'  Read full review >

Cherrill Deans - 'this author writes with style and sensitivity and unfolds an insightful tale of the tangled emotions of a middle-class family whose lives and marriages are falling apart.'  Read full review >

Louise Woods - 'all the makings of a great beach read.  Enough of a story to last longer than a quick weekend read, and yet easy enough to dip in and out of without losing touch with the plot.'  Read full review >

Manisha Natha
- 'A great book if you are looking for something easy and relaxing to read on a nice summer’s day, or just something to curl up with whilst in bed.'  Read full review >

Sarah Davis
- 'I really enjoyed the book and it was certainly a page turner...the perfect beach holiday read. It also made me feel that I shouldn't judge a book by its cover alone!'  Read full review >
Susan Walsh
- 'A great book just begging to be read and enjoyed. 10/10 for this one; love it!'   Read full review >

Jo Turner
- 'This is a charming book, full of wit and humour...A perfect summer read!'  Read full review >

Barry Griffiths
- 'Funny, entertaining, escapism - this is a holiday book you will want to lose yourself in.'   Read full review >

Sian Spinney
- 'A good read which should keep you absorbed but not a page turner so you'll have time for a swim too.'   Read full review >

Dawn Shaw
-  'overall I really enjoyed this book, and at times found it quite funny.'   Read full review >

Carol Peace -
'Will there be a happy solution to her never ending catalogue of mishaps?  You'll have to read it to find out!'   Read full review >

Jill Peters
- 'I’m sure other readers will relate to Ella and her life, reaching the end of the book and thinking phew, ‘I thought that could only happened to me’...I loved this book!'   Read full review >

Rachel Bridgeman
- 'I adored this book! It was perfect summer reading...poignant, unexpectedly moving and also deeply funny.'   Read full review >

Lynda DeFreitas
- 'a possible lover who is just waiting for the chance to consummate the relationship, an estranged husband, desperate, disenchanted wives, a romp through the Oxfordshire countryside and a happy ending, who could ask for more?'   Read full review >

Amanda Donovan
- ' Expect to laugh out loud at the skillfully written awkward moments and enjoy meeting a hen called ‘Ladyboy’.'   Read full review >

Michelle Hemmingway - 'It was a well paced and enjoyable...A great holiday read or something to curl up with on the sofa with a glass of wine and a box of chocolates.'  Read full review >


Kate Wolstenholme - 'Definitely recommended for fans of a more intelligent ‘chick-lit’ who want a mixture of laugh out loud moments and an uplifting tale.'  Read full review >


Sarah Tilley - 'You can visualise the main character in the same mould as the hapless Bridget Jones, with oddball family to match...All in all, a book that is fun and perfect for summer.  Read full review >


Ruth Paterson - 'The story is one of not much action but lots of laughs and tears...I really immersed myself in Ella’s world...I was with her all the way and would read more if this were to become a series.'  Read full review >

Helen Gough -'read this wonderful book...You won't regret a minute spent and you will have had a very satisfying and enthralling time!'  Read full review >

Josie Barton - 'The fine attention to detail, and the gentle and self depreciating sense of humour which is evident throughout the story, makes for an uncomplicated but ultimately entertaining read.'  Read full review >

Michelle Russ - 'Overall I really enjoyed this book and thought it was really well written, well paced and brilliantly funny... I can't wait to find out who the author was to read more!'  Read full review >

Linda Hill  - 'This is a heartwarming, easy read about how we all need to be loved and the mistakes we make along the way in finding that love...I would recommend it as a book to put in your suitcase for a beach holiday.'    Read full review >


Judy Connolly - 'I like this book; all the characters are well portrayed, and feel real... A good story with a bit more depth than some of the ‘chicklit’ I’ve read.'  Read full review >

Edel Waugh - 'Marriage and the ups and downs of it are at the forefront of the story, and it's not just Ella's marriage that’s in trouble! A beautiful story that's perfect for a relaxing read.'  Read full review >


Sue Broom - 'a finely-observed family drama, witty and wise, with interesting characters and dialogue that rings true...There are some great slapstick moments and some terrific turns of phrase that I shall steal for my own repertoire.'  Read full review >

Francesca Ashurst - 'I was soon drawn into a wonderful story narrated by Ella with a supporting cast of family, friends and some very entertaining chickens!'  Read full review >


Helen Clark - 'An easy read, a great book to take with you on holiday to make you relax...Fun, poignant yet thoroughly enjoyable.'  Read full review >


Emily Wright - 'Into this eclectic mix of characters and family life the author adds a gender confused chicken, randy cockerels and a goat named Curly to set the scene for a novel mingling relationship tales set alongside light-hearted, humorous country antics.'  Read full review >


Berwyn Peet - 'Perhaps a little predictable at times but written with a dry humour and certainly a witty, engaging read.'  Read full review >


Carolyn Huckfield - 'It is a fantastic read and much more than just the family saga that it first appears to be. This is a must read if you enjoy gripping and heartwarming family stories.'  Read full review >


Karin Gibson - 'What a disappointment, I usually love Catherine Alliott's books but I struggled to read this one.'  Read full review >


My Husband Next Door by Catherine Alliott

Catherine Alliott brings us the fabulously funny and wonderfully heart-warming My Husband Next Door. For better or worse...Ella was nineteen and madly in love when she married dashing young artist Sebastian Montclair. But that was a long time ago. Now Ella and the kids live in a ramshackle farmhouse while Sebastian and his paintings inhabit the outhouse next door - a family separated in every way but distance. Is it a marvellously modern relationship - or a disaster waiting to happen? So when charming gardener Ludo arrives on the scene and Sebastian makes a sudden and surprising decision, Ella sees a chance at a fresh start. Yet with two teenagers and her parents on the verge of their own late-life crisis, will Ella be allowed to choose her own path? And how long can she hide from the truth which haunts her broken marriage? Step into Alliott Country with My Husband Next Door. Another huge treat from Catherine Alliott. It's hilarious yet poignant, with wonderful characters, including all the animals! I lapped up every page . (Sophie Kinsella). Captivating and heartwarming . (Closer). Catherine Alliott is the author of twelve bestselling novels including A Rural Affair, One Day in May, The Secret Life of Evie Hamilton, and A Crowded Marriage. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire.


Compulsively readable - The Times

Another huge treat from Catherine Alliott. It's hilarious yet poignant, with wonderful characters, including all the animals! I lapped up every page - Sophie Kinsella

Captivating and heartwarming - Closer

About the Author

Catherine Alliott

Catherine Alliott was our Guest Editor in August 2013 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing.

Catherine Alliott started her first novel under the desk when she worked as an advertising copywriter. She was duly fired. With time on her hands she persevered with the novels, which happily flourished. In the early days she produced a baby with each book, but after three she stuck to writing as it was less painful. She writes with the nearest pen in exercise books, either in the garden or on a sofa. Home is a rural spot in Hertfordshire which she shares with her family and a menagerie of horses, cows, chickens and dogs, which at the last count totalled 34 beating hearts, including her husband.

Author photo © Neil Cooper


I first met Catherine because my youngest son was at school with her son. Catherine writes her novels in the first person which immediately makes you feel you know the heroine. I love all her books, including the latest The Secret Life of Evie Hamilton : I usually spot other people's twists but I didn't get this one until it jumped up and hit me off the page.

Author photo © Neil Cooper

Below is a Q & A with this author.

Q. If you couldn't be a writer, what would you like to be?
A. A painter – as in artist, not decorator.

Q. When you need to escape from your everyday routine, what do you do?
A. Light the fire, watch daytime TV and eat chocolate.

Q. Who is your style icon?
A. Wasn't aware I had one but very much admire Kristen Scott Thomas's style. So cool.

Q. What is your favourite food?
A. In - macaroni cheese. Out - Dover sole.

Q. What's your favourite movie?
A. Truly Madly Deeply.

Q. What's your idea of hell?
A. Shopping malls.

Q. When did you last cry and why?
A. Two weeks ago, at Badminton Horse Trials, watching a great friend's daughter jump round the cross country course. Amazing. I've known her since she was seven.

Q. What is so your idea of perfect happiness?
A. So corny. All my children plus boyfriends, girlfriends, any other friends and of course my husband, eating around the same table. Or actually, a table somewhere hot, on holiday, abroad, i.e. without me having to cook. Oh - and grandparents too.

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
A. Deplore. Golly. Quite strong. Well I'm not mad about bad manners which come in many guises.

Click here to read the full Q&A

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

3rd July 2014


Catherine Alliott

More books by Catherine Alliott
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...


Penguin Books Ltd


496 pages


Relationship Stories
Books of the Month
Family Drama
Romantic Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



At Lovereading there are fabulous books available in every genre, with great reviews to help you pick the right book for you.

Teresa O'Halloran

It's the first site that I visit when deciding on the next set of books to buy. A particular treat is being able to download an extract.

Tessa Olson

Lovereading is an amazing place to be, the website is wonderful and to me if I'm sad I'll go here and it cheers me up!

Sophia Upton

Its jam packed with fantastic titles, informative descriptions & fantastic reviews and has a vast array of great features & competitions.

Linda Rollins

Lovereading tells me about new books before they hit the shelves, lets me find other authors I may like and has great prize draws!

Sheila Dale

My horizons have been broadened by some of the books I have been lucky to review and I expect it to be no different in the future.

Daran Bellingham

I read new, exciting writers and established authors before publication and there is a great website full of brilliant books and opinions.


Love Reading - it not only does what it says on the tin, it does it with Jam on!!

Maz Tucker