It's Always the Husband by Michele Campbell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I am struggling a bit with rating this one. It may be closer to a 3 ½ than a 3. But, it definitely wasn’t quite a 4 for me. I think part of it is that I expected one thing based on the description and title but found something rather different upon reading it. This is the story of 3 college friends and their friendship over 20 years. It’s about social status, secrets, betrayal, corruption, and the ways we hurt the people we care about. There is suspense as well as a murder mystery at the heart of the novel but it felt, in many ways, like more of a study of friendship to me than a suspense novel. And it did have an effective ending – I thought I had it all figured out but ended up being wrong which was a nice surprise for me.
I did find it difficult to like most of the characters in this book but that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story itself. I saw it more as a character study of three very different but very flawed people and how they have affected each other over time. Sure, they ended up being far from likeable but I didn’t mind that. Although I found most of their behavior towards each other to be despicable, I still enjoyed the ride. More than anything, I was taken by the narrative and what it said about friendship and how it can change into something very ugly. The effect these people had on each other made me a little sick to my stomach. How being close to someone can twist and change over time into something disturbing was an interesting thing to ponder coming out of this book. All in all, I’m glad that I read it but it’s not going to end up on my favorites list. But, if the exploration of friendship sounds interesting to you, I think you may like where this one takes you.
NOTE: Received an advanced reader's copy form the publisher for an honest review.