Publisher: Grand Central
Published: April 20, 2021
Format: Print from Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina email@example.com
Life was perfect, or at least near enough….on the surface. Jade and Greg met and fell in love. Their careers fit nicely with each other – he an architect and she an influencer who specializes in interior design with a Carribean flair. Well, it’s almost perfect.
Greg and his first wife Leah had already split, but their children are less than welcoming to Jade who they see as an interloper who is only after their father’s, and hence their, money. They routinely go out of the way to point out how much older Greg is than Jade and how she seemed to suddenly get pregnant which hastened their decision to marry. Things turn decidedly ugly when two men break into the home shared by Greg and Jade, nearly killing him and beating her so badly she loses their baby. The attack leaves Greg with a traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress that causes him to make some questionable decisions. While he heals physically he spends his days watching the myriad cameras he’s placed in and around their home. And he begins to watch Jade, tracking her movements, questioning where she goes and what she does. When threatening notes turn up in their mailbox Jade realizes that a past she left behind man be coming after her. Afraid to tell Greg because of his own precarious health as well as to save her relationship she begins to track down the suspect on her own. With his paranoia growing Greg begins to question the woman he intended to marry and just what her motives were—did she target him as a rich man to marry and kill for his money, or does she really love him?
I hadn’t read Cate Holahan before but when I saw the blurb for HER THREE LIVES I was totally intrigued. Her tag line and blurb refers to her public life, her private life and her secret life. Don’t we all have those three lives. There is the us open to anyone who cares. We have a private life that those closest to us…or some on social media become privy to and then there is a part of us no one knows about. Maybe they’ll learn that secret part of ourselves when we die, but there is that part of us that not even our closest love ones know about. If they find out, there can be shock at what is revealed.
Holahan takes those three lives and adds not only a mixed race couple, but a multi-generational one into the mix. That adds some delicious elements leading the characters, as well as the readers, to question just what was the real reason behind the home invasion that cost Jade and Greg their baby and close to his life and sanity. I found myself absorbed in Jade’s life, her thought processes and as her history was unveiled wondering how she was going to handle it. I felt bad for Greg with his traumatic brain injury, but after awhile I lost sympathy for him when he continued to defer to his children over Jade. I didn’t see him trying to include them in the family he was building with Jade. He seemed disconnected from them and had little grief over his lost child.
I wondered a few times if the version I received was a draft because Jade was at different times referred to as Greg’s fiancé and his wife. He was always her boyfriend or fiancé. Either it was a draft or the editor was asleep when reading those parts.
Too often lately I see authors having a mix-race couple in a book in what appears to be an attempt to be more inclusive but does nothing to move the story along. Holahan’s use of not only two races but two cultures as well as the age difference are key parts of what drives the story and were really well done.
Since I enjoyed HER THREE LIVES so much I’ve ordered her back list. What’s not to like about some really good reads!
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.