I want to make my husband fall back in love with me.
Let me explain. This isn’t an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven’t been reading articles in old women’s magazines. ‘Twenty ways to keep your man’. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he’ll care. He won’t just think, ‘Oh good’.
I want it to hurt.
Paula has had Robert’s back since they got together as drama students. She gave up her dreams so he could make it. Now he’s one of the nation’s most popular actors. And Paula’s just discovered he’s having an affair.
She’s going to remind Robert just what he’s sacrificing. And then she’s going to break his heart like he broke hers. It will be her greatest acting role ever.
Revenge is sweet. Isn’t it?
Robert’s default setting is cynical disdain, which can be amusing but eventually becomes wearing. You can be too scared to express an opinion about anything. Sometimes I just want to talk about how much I like something without worrying about whether or not it’s the right thing to like.
Paula has just found out that her husband Robert is having an affair, with his co-star that he supposedly doesn’t get on with. Instead of confronting him straight away, Paula decides to make Robert fall back in love with her, so that when she tells him its over he’ll really feel it. As she starts on her journey to make herself more glamorous and to become the perfect wife, she begins to realize that it’s going to take a lot more than just changing herself to exact revenge.
I was hooked with this book as soon as I read the opening paragraph, I couldn’t help but be excited that this was a book I knew I was going to love. The idea of what lengths Paula was going to go to all so she could win back her husband was intriguing. Also the fact that the tone from the offset was quite jovial meant that I knew that this was going to be quite a lighthearted story, considering the fact it is about a topic that can be quite devastating.
I really connected with Paula, I liked that her outlook on the situation was so different to how a lot of people would handle it. I also admired the amount of humor I found through her voice and actions as the situation started to progress. Her determination to put a plan into action and subsequent contrition as things start to unravel made her feel very genuine.
However there was a part of the storyline that immediately deducted points for this book, because in all honesty it made me a bit mad when I started to read it. Paula describes herself as overweight and always wearing baggy clothing but as soon as she finds out that Robert is having an affair and that the women he is having the affair with is skinny, she is determined to lose weight.
I understand that it was maybe to highlight that Robert was quite superficial and that she would stand a better chance in her goal at winning him over by losing the weight, but it just felt clichéd. With how interesting the plot was, I felt a little bit let down that this was the reason for her doing it. I could understand her wanting to better herself to make him take notice as part of her plan, or just for herself but something about it being just because of this other women, I don’t know it just didn’t work for me.
Having said that once I got past this bugbear I did find myself cheering her on, empathizing with her over running for the bus and I really enjoyed seeing how she became a lot more confident in herself.
I daren’t take my eyes off the exiting crowd for a second. This is all for nothing if I miss her. I’m surprised to see there are a few men too. I’d imagined a room full of identikit pretty blond skinny women. And, actually, they all do fit the description for the most part. It’s a bit like looking for a polar bear on an iceberg crammed with other polar bears. In a blizzard. I am rendered snow blind by honey highlights.
The storyline in this book is brilliant and certainly unique. I loved that everything got flipped on it head, and that Paula was getting just as dastardly as Robert at points; some of her schemes really made me laugh.
There were a few little bits and pieces that I thought were fairly obvious to guess at what would happen, but then there were other points where I thought it would take the predictable route and there was a twist that I didn’t see coming. I have to say that I didn’t want to put this book down because I wanted to know what nonsense Paula was going to get herself into next, and if she’d manage to get out of it.
This is a really fun and enjoyable read, full of twists and turns that you won’t always expect. Even if it’s not a situation you would ever find yourself in, you’ll feel a camaraderie with Paula, as she navigates the new direction her life has taken.
Thank you to Michael Joseph, Penguin UK and Netgalley for the review copy of this book.