Rating: 4 stars
The Last Mrs Parrish, by a sister writing duo who work under the name ‘Liv Constantine’, is a sort of Rebecca-in-reverse; we begin by following the shallow and ambitious Amber as she goes about her plan to steal Daphne Parrish’s rich husband. Amber’s pretty much a caricature – proud of herself as a gold-digger, sneering at the very world she covets, and always throwing ‘cutting’ asides about her hokey small-town life. Likewise, Daphne obligingly fulfils the other half of the Madonna/Whore dichotomy – a hard-working young woman from a modest background whose life’s work has been establishing a cystic fibrosis charity in honour of her sister, who died of the disease while still young.
This book is exactly what you’d hope it would be – lists and lists of designer items, and plenty of plotting, scheming and snobbery. Some of the writing could have been finessed – there are a lot of descriptions of clothes, and at one point a character ‘blow-dries her wet hair’ which is a personal bugbear of mine (who would dry their already dry hair? why do we need to know this?) – but if you want big drama in broad strokes and a satisfying payoff, this is the book for you.
There was a little to be desired in nuance – Big Little Lies this ain’t. But if you’re hoping to read about rich people (and wannabe rich people) tearing each other to pieces, then enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
Reviewed by Louise
This review also appears on our sister site, Chapter and Verse Reviews.