Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2021
Claire Amarti’s second novel, “The First Wife’s Secret,” is a family drama about three women (sisters or step sisters) who are forced to reexamine the long-held confusion and hurt that they’ve felt toward one another.
At the party celebrating George Spencer’s 25th wedding anniversary to his second wife Mara, he has a heart attack. Mara is the mother of Lottie, and step mother to Dina and Vaughn. All three daughters are devastated. But they’re also reminded how precious life is, and begin to struggle with what, exactly, created the unspoken tension in their family. As their father lays struggling for life in the hospital, they begin to rethink their relationship with each other and their loved ones. What went wrong? Mara and her daughter, Lottie, reveal their secrets to each other. Vaughn and Dinah, George’s daughters from his first marriage, still feel the pain of losing their mother, Bonnie, in a tragic car accident, but their father’s close call is a warning for them to reach out to the others.
This is a fantastic story. Sometimes family life is hard, but there is, ultimately, joy in the difficult job of reconnecting to face life’s battles together. Bonnie, the first wife, was far from perfect in ways that Vaughn and Dinah never knew. When the truth comes to light, they realize how different their lives could have been, and are stronger for it. At the heart of this story is the wonderful theme of second chances. I really enjoyed it, and will recommend it to friends. Five stars!
Thank you to Claire Amarti and BookSirens for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.