I received a copy of A Palm Beach Wife in exchange for a review.
A Palm Beach Wife by Susannah Marren features a vivid setting of Palm Beach with plenty of secrets and gossip. If you like the Real Housewives franchise on Bravo, you’ll definitely enjoy this one!
First of all, how gorgeous is this cover? I totally want that dress and purse. There’s something about the warmer months where I’m more drawn to contemporary fiction. And this is an ideal one to read by the pool with a glass of rosé.
The story follows Faith, a mother, wife and owner of a consignment store in Palm Beach, Fla. With her secret past long behind her, Faith has almost completely embraced the Palm Beach high society lifestyle. And then her husband Edward throws her a devastating curveball: the money is gone due to his poor investments. Faith is desperate to keep a grip on everything she holds so dear. And yet even she―the only one who knows just how far she has to fall―never suspects from which direction, or how many directions all at once, betrayal will come.
Cost of high society
This novel is rich with details from the designer clothing to the plastic surgery to the huge oceanfront mansions. The author Susannah Marren really paints a picture of the lifestyles of multi-millionaires and billionaires. But of course, money doesn’t always buy happiness; even if it does buy everything else. And it’s very apparent that many of these people are hiding flaws and secrets behind flaunting wealth.
Faith is a well-rounded character. We eventually learn all about her background, which is world’s away from the rich playground of Palm Beach, and how far she’s come. When everything begins to fall apart, she really sees the cracks beneath the Palm Beach perfection veneer. I thought her character arc was quite interesting and compelling. I also enjoyed that she’s strong and sticks up for herself—she definitely keeps moving forward no matter what bad news comes her way. I really liked her relationship with her daughter—a very strong point of the novel.
While she’s dealing with her husband’s betrayal, her ex-boyfriend moves back into town with his wife. And those old feelings come back quick for her.
Twists and turns
While this is not a thriller, there are some surprises and twists and turns. I don’t want to give anything away but this one has a shocking ending. I re-read the ending a couple times!
Full of scandal and lavish lifestyles, this is one, at its core, about a woman regaining control of her own life.
However, I can see some people turned off by the shallow behaviors exhibited by many characters in the novel. Also, Mar-a-Lago is name dropped ever so often—and I did not enjoy reading anything about it. I tried to not let it take away from Faith’s journey, as her story doesn’t revolve around that place. But to others, it might be too much.
If you have any questions – let me know!