Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Book Review: Ten Things My Husband Hated

By Sara Steven

Maggie Moone is happily divorced.

And with her talent for fixing things, she’s perfectly content with her mundane life in the sleepy English village of Saffron Sweeting. That is, until one humiliating March evening when she learns everyone else assumes she’d love to mend her broken marriage.

Determined to prove them wrong, Maggie and her friends concoct a list of ten ways to assert her independence and live large. But her mission to move on leads to unexpected encounters, and Maggie soon finds herself mixing business with pleasure. Is the attractive young Irishman just another item on her list, or is he something more?

Before long, unresolved issues from her past begin to clash, and Maggie is forced to wonder if antagonising her ex-husband was such a stellar idea.

No sooner does she begin to understand what’s important to her, than she stands to lose everything that truly matters.
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

The synopsis starts off as stating that Maggie Moone is happily divorced. I think there is a lot of truth to that, but I also think that Maggie is still attempting to rediscover who she is, trying to disentangle herself from her ex. It’s hard when you’ve been married to someone for so long, and know so much about them. There are plenty of moments where Maggie compares and contrasts her life to what it had been, based on the way he’d wanted things to be, his likes and dislikes. There is speculation that she wants to mend her marriage and get back with the ex, leading her and her friends in creating a list in breaking her ties with him.

I thought that was a clever and unique way to help Maggie move on with her life. The list not only helps in enabling her to find who she really is again, but it also provides a way to boost her confidence. I also appreciated that Maggie doesn’t fit standard female stereotypes, that her passions lie in fixing things that are broken, not in calling a handyman to do it for her but doing it all on her own. I think there was a subtle message there, a parallel to what she’s dealing with in her own life. In fixing other people’s problems, she’s fixing her own as well.

I had a hard time tolerating the ex. It’s more than obvious why these two didn’t work out. It’s hard to imagine there was ever a time when they might have been happy together, but much like in real life, sometimes we find ourselves in a relationship that is a toxic one, often too late. I liked seeing the gradual shifts in power between them, and it left me wondering what Maggie would do or not do, particularly when there is a potential love interest thrown into the mix. There are bits of chaos, and she has to make some tough decisions- right from wrong, what’s right for her versus what’s right for those around her. The list at times becomes not only her strength, but also a hindrance, leaving her confused and unsure of what to do.

This is my first venture into the Saffron Sweeting series, and I really enjoyed Maggie’s story and the rocky road she takes in re-discovering herself. Where was a book like this when I had gone through my own divorce, with the concept of a list to get me through those tough times? While Ten Things is part of a series, it can certainly be read as a stand-alone, but I think I’d like to get to know the other books and characters of Saffron Sweeting, too!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Ten Things My Husband Hated.

British by birth, Pauline Wiles is now a contented resident of California, although she admits to occasional yearnings for afternoon tea and historic homes.

Her debut novel, Saving Saffron Sweeting, reached the quarter final of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Three further books set in the same village are now available, along with a collection of short stories and Indie With Ease, a self-help guide for other self-published authors.

When not writing, Pauline can be found pondering how many miles she has to run to justify an extra piece of cake. She’s also fond of daydreaming about flying herself and a reader to London for tea.

Visit Pauline online:
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Pauline Wiles said...

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing. And that's a great point, maybe I should put quotes around happily in the blurb, to call it into doubt from the start. Also relieved to hear that book 4 in this collection worked fine for you as a standalone. I appreciate your thoughts, thank you!

cambodian said...

Thanks for sharing this review, awersome book!