"A shocking letter threatens to destabilise three families in this compelling thriller laced with ethical dilemmas and surprising twists. "
Novels centred around sexual assault are never a comfortable read. But when they address powerful questions about society, are well-informed and sensitively crafted, their impact can help to balance the difficulty of the subject matter. Cate Ray’s debut is absolute testament to this. Her darkly suspenseful drama concerns three wives – Jess, Stephanie and Priyanka - who each receive a letter from a woman claiming that her mother was raped by their husbands thirty years ago. The three women initially react differently to the accusation, but their unrelenting desire for the truth ultimately unites them as the story unfolds. Cleverly narrated by three distinct female voices, Good Husbands holds up a mirror not only to women who are victims of abuse, but to the general experience of women in society. Ray certainly isn’t afraid to bring big issues to the table where females are concerned: racism, sexism, oppression, consent and trust are all explored through the lies of of our protagonists - as well as that of the novel's victims. Each twist and turn in this he-said-she-said saga brings about a new moral debate; we’re forced to consider how we would react in different situations and what we’d be prepared to sacrifice in pursuit of ‘doing the right thing’. This is serious and thought-provoking territory. But just as important to the core of the novel are softer themes of friendship and family, motherhood and sisterhood. The blossoming camaraderie between Jess, Stephanie and Priyanka is a real highlight of this addictive and intricate story. Be prepared to stay up way too late to discover how Ray brings her story to a masterful conclusion!
|Primary Genre||Literary Fiction|