FROM THE AUTHOR OF OUR KIND OF CRUELTY
"A stunning, dark novel about who women want to be and the reality of who they are.” —Samantha Downing, author of His Lovely Wife
"Promises to please those who enjoy psychological thrillers and all those who love Elena Ferrante but wish her series was just a bit (okay, a lot) more twisted." —Molly Odintz, Lit Hub
"A psychological thriller in the truest sense of the word . . . At points I was folding pages repeatedly.” —Sarah Vaughan, author of Anatomy of a Scandal
"Creeps on you slowly, like a fog, until you find yourself enveloped in this tangled skein of relationships, eager to see how all this is going to play out, who is going to betray whom and in what way." —Sarah Lyall, The New York Times Book Review
When Nancy Hennessy is murdered, she leaves behind two best friends, an adoring husband and daughter, and a secret lover whose identity she took to the grave. Nancy was gorgeous, wealthy, and cherished by those who knew her—from the outside, her life was perfect. But as the investigation into her death flounders and her friends Eleanor and Mary wrestle with their grief, dark details surface that reveal how little they knew their friend, each other, and maybe even themselves.
A gripping, immersive novel about impossible expectations and secrets that fester and become lethal, Imperfect Women unfolds through the perspectives of three fascinating women. Their enduring, complex friendship is the knot the reader must untangle to answer the question Who killed Nancy?
Imperfect Women explores guilt and retribution, love and betrayal, and the compromises we make that alter our lives irrevocably. With the wickedly sharp insights and finely tuned suspense that has drawn comparisons to Patricia Highsmith and Paula Hawkins, Araminta Hall returns with another page-turning, thought-provoking tour de force.
This heart-wrenching psychological thriller from British author Hall (Our Kind of Cruelty) charts the fraught lives of three best friends from university. Nancy Hennessy has stayed ostensibly close to Eleanor Meakins and Mary Smithson in the nearly three decades since they were at Oxford together. When Nancy is murdered after meeting with her secret lover, Eleanor's affair with Nancy's husband becomes so engrossing and guilt-wracked that it keeps Eleanor from helping Mary with her husband's illness. Three successive narratives center on the interior life of each woman: Eleanor immediately after the murder, Nancy in the time leading up to her death, and Mary further along in the murder's aftermath. Hall shows each woman being emotionally drawn to doing something she knows is awful, revolting against feeling trapped, and feeling separated from her support system by guilt, evoking both empathy and outrage in the reader. The suspense alone is crafted skillfully enough to hold interest, but the dark portrait of the stifling nature of contemporary womanhood makes this story really stick.
A better title would be “why can’t we just be happy?”
Three guilt ridden women so consumed with living fantasy lives find it difficult to see what the real effects their choices inflict on others. A psychological thriller it is not. It’s more a saga of what happens when logical thinking is misplaced with thinking selflessness will solve everything.
Just a long soap opera of a book.