Friday, January 05, 2018
The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
I guess the first thing you need to know about this book (and maybe the only one, from this blog) is "Everyone liked it better than meeee!" No idea why that's true, but I'm often the odd reader out.
The Last Mrs. Parrish tells the story of a young woman who has chosen a wealthy man as her target for marriage. Amber wants to be wealthy. She has done some research, chosen her target, and studied up on his world and how to work her way into it. Amber buddies up to Daphne Parrish intending, of course, to take her place and using her friendship to determine the individual weaknesses of husband and wife. Will Amber succeed at luring the fabulously wealthy and handsome Mr. Parrish away from his wife Daphne and becoming the next and last Mrs. Parrish?
The book is told in several parts. Part 1 is told from Amber's POV and Part 2 from Daphne's. When you're in Daphne's point of view, things begin to change. You've only seen the marriage from the outside. Daphne's recollections are every bit as shocking as Amber's. While Amber has been studying them, transforming herself, even reading the books they read, she doesn't know what's really going on behind closed doors and you'll begin to wonder, "Who is really being played?"
I found the plotting clever, once I got to the second section and realized what was going on, but I found the first section so hard to buy into that I almost didn't make it that far. The dialogue was particularly flat and lifeless. I only stuck the book out because of a friend's gushy review. In the end, I liked The Last Mrs. Parrish enough to not think of the reading as a waste of my time, but I didn't consider it exceptional in any way. I thought the characters were far too easily manipulated, for one thing. But, it was the atrocious dialogue that killed the book for me.
Neither recommended or not recommended - It's worth noting that just about everyone else seems to love The Last Mrs. Parrish and it is, in fact, a pretty clever idea. But, I was unable to suspend disbelief and gave it an average rating. The positives were the plotting and the quick pace, although there were times I felt bogged down by dull dialogue and disbelief. The book improves after the first section because the second part is where the bones of the plotting are slowly exposed. "Oh," you'll say to yourself. "I had no idea." And, you'll wonder what's going to happen, but you might not care -- at least, I didn't. I think part of my problem was that there's nobody to really root for, possibly because the dialogue makes everyone sound like an automaton. They're not witty characters, although they're intelligent in their own ways.
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