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?
Review: The last like, 20 books I’ve read have all been Crime, Thriller, Fantasy or something on that spectrum. I rarely, rarely read Women’s Fiction anymore – I just sorta, grew out of it. So although I’d heard great things about Jane Fallon’s books (my mum being a big fan), it probably wouldn’t have been a book I would have picked up voluntarily; had it not been for Sarah at Penguin who kindly sent me a copy to review – she must have known this was the kinda book I needed to read. My Sweet Revenge is a fun, quirky and easy-to-read novel about Paula who, upon finding out her husband is having an affair, embarks on an extensive revenge plot – to attempt to make her husband fall back in love with her, before she reveals she knows and throws him out for good. But will it work? And who else will get involved and potentially hurt in the process?
I really did get a feel for this book from the first page and I know that sounds super cliché but it’s true. I instantly loved it. You come to feel so close to our main character; Paula, in this book. She really did feel like a real-life friend by the end of it. Paula is embarking on her own personal journey of weight-loss throughout this book which kind of ties in with her revenge plot but I loved seeing Paula doing more and more for herself. Losing the weight, exercising and actually growing to love her body and herself more and more as the book went on. It was no longer about her husband’s affair anymore after a while (I felt, anyway!) and I could have got my non-existent pom-pom’s out and started cheering for her.
As the rest of the characters go, there was a decent mix and not too many, either. Which sits well with me because I find nothing worse than so many bleedin characters that you can’t remember who is who. I never warmed to Paula’s husband, Robert. Ugh. What a knobber. But I liked their daughter and found Robert’s sister, Alice’s, personal growth in this book interesting. I think if anything, as annoying as she was, I would have liked to see more of her! I won’t go into too much detail about the characters or any of the other characters any more because this is the kinda book where you could quite easily give something away – and I definitely don’t want to spoil the amazing rollercoaster for you!
Which is exactly what this book was; a rollercoaster. There were times when I, as Paula did, thought I had got the complete wrong end of the stick. I found myself questioning whether I had read the entire first third of the book correctly. It takes you on a spin, that’s for sure. Right up until the last 50 pages or so when my mind was boggled and I was there sat in the bath thinking, “what?! No… Surly not?!” and just when you think you have it sussed, wham – another plot twist. You really do see a lot of different sides to a lot of different characters in this book; some good and some pretty vile. And although they’re only made up, you can really sense how some people portray different “characters” to people they know. It’s kind of scary, actually.
The only thing I would pin-point as a slight negative, for me, would be that I thought the actual aim of Paula’s “revenge” (the ‘making her husband fall back in love with her then she’ll kick him to the curb’) idea got a bit lost in translation. I would have loved for this to have gone further than it did; especially as it was in the blurb so I did expect this storyline to go a bit further. Although following Paula’s life and progress, it was easy to see how difficult it was. But that’s it. I flippin loved this book. It was so easy to get stuck right in to. Funny, real, tense and emotional. A real delight to read and an overall exceptionally satisfyingly yummy book.