Bea Frazier hoped she'd rediscover her incredible self after divorcing Jimmy. But being home alone with three daughters brings her demons back with a vengeance. The only solution is to reunite her family. The trouble is, her ex is about to marry someone else.
Tessa King has finally found true love, but her knight in shining armor comes with three sullen daughters and an ex who doesn't seem nearly "ex" enough. After years of singledom, what does Tessa have to do to finally live happily ever after?
As the two women negotiate carpools, puberty, and family loyalties, each finds it almost impossible not to fall into the old cliché of the bitter first wife and the wicked stepmother. But if Bea and Tessa are brave enough, they just may find a friend where they once saw an enemy. . . .
Absorbing and touching, humorous and honest, The Stepmother reminds us that there is always another side to the story.
Adams follows up 2006's The Godmother with a perceptive chick noir, once again debunking the notion that everything's smooth sailing once you've found the love of your life. Tessa King (heroine of Adams's first novel) has finally nabbed hers: James, an older man with three charming daughters from a previous marriage. These daughters including daddy's girl extraordinaire, 14-year-old Amber don't seem so lovely once stepmother-in-waiting Tessa has to deal with their dirty school uniforms and petty jealousies. Nor did Tessa sign up for the emotional baggage of James's ex-wife, Bea, who broke James's heart. With all the angst, how's a girl supposed to plan the perfect white wedding? Meanwhile, Bea who shares narration duty still has a torch burning for James and has buried years of regret and guilt under binge eating and, soon, compulsive drinking. Family dramas and crises bring Bea and Tessa together with surprising results. Particularly refreshing are Tessa's and Bea's co-starring roles, which allows Adams to explore in sometimes painful detail how the real work begins once you've got the diamond ring. Fans of Marian Keyes and Emily Giffin will enjoy Adams's engrossing second outing.