CW: Spoilers

I cannot believe the hype around this book. The quality of the writing is sub-par, with stilted, unnatural dialogue and one-dimensional characters. But it's the content that really makes this book an unpleasant read.

In the first act of the book, we follow Amber, a nasty, petty manipulator. She lacks any characteristics of a good villain and we are subjected to her self-absorbed, materialistic inner monologue. She is not particularly clever and is about as subtle as a hand grenade. The reader must suspend belief as she manages to ingratiate herself with Daphne (the original Mrs. Parrish) and begins her seduction of Daphne's husband. Although described as handsome, cultured, and wealthy, it is hard for the reader to see the appeal of Mr. Parrish who is utterly devoid of personality. Amber is eventually successful in her seduction and the authors subject you to reading the painful blow-by-blow as the affair plays out, culminating in Amber's pregnancy. This part of the book is really just designed to make you hate Amber as much as possible, but instead you start to hate the book itself.
The second act, we follow Daphne, backtracking to when she first met her husband. We witness the extensive mental, emotional, and sexual abuse he has inflicted on her. This is the big reveal - the desirable Mr. Parrish is a sociopathic abuser. We see Amber's retribution coming from a mile away and are only left to wonder how he will get his. The book lays it on thick and we see Daphne endure humiliating abuse time and time again. This part of the book, again, is painful to get through.
The final (and shortest) act, we see Mr. Parrish divorce Daphne and marry the pregnant Amber. The reader is hoping for some searing poetic justice at this point, but it just doesn't deliver. We see Mr. Parrish begin humiliating Amber in the same way he did Daphne. Daphne is free of her abuser and leaves for California with her two daughters. Out of left field, the feds come and arrest Mr. Parrish for shady business dealings. We are left to assume that he and Amber will be left penniless and stuck with each other. Definitely not the pay-off the reader deserves after suffering through the rest of the book.

You shouldn't read this book period, but you especially shouldn't read this book if you are recovering from an eating disorder or are triggered by fatphobia. Mr. Parrish routinely body shames both women (several times in from of Daphne's daughters) and obsesses over their weight, diet, and exercise regimens. Sizes and weights are both mentioned multiple times in the book. Amber's hateful inner monologue is full of fatphobia.
You also shouldn't read this book if you are triggered by infidelity. It is drawn out in detail.
You also shouldn't read this book if you are triggered by abuse.

flirtybear's rating:
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