Review: The Other Mrs. Miller

The Other Mrs. Miller

The Other Mrs. Miller
By Allison Dickson
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780525539247,  July 2019, 352pp.

The Short of It:

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this one but what I got was an enjoyable, twisty read.

The Rest of It:

Phoebe and her husband live in a fairly well-to-do neighborhood. Mostly due to the fact that she came from money but not money that she likes to flaunt given that her father’s wandering eyes got him into a whole lot of trouble with young women all over. Although comfortable financially, her marriage is falling apart, she’s let herself go, and she wakes each day unhappy and anxious.

One morning, she notices a car parked across the street and the same car arrives daily. Could this be something related to her father’s dealings? As she becomes increasingly paranoid over this intrusion of privacy, a new family moves in across the street.

To Phoebe, this family provides a much-needed distraction until things get out of hand. Vicki and Phoebe get too close, too fast. Jake, Vicki’s eighteen-year-old son provides the type of distraction that an unsatisfied wife may seek but certainly does not need. All in all, both these families become entwined in a way that no one expects. I was honestly surprised at the direction the story took. It’s good, and twisty and fun. I am loving these types of books lately.

If you like a story that keeps you guessing, then pick up The Other Mrs. Miller soon.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Need

The Need

The Need
By Helen Phillips
Simon & Schuster, 9781982113162, July 2019, 272pp.

The Short of It:

I’d be lying if I said I fully understood everything that went on in this novel.

The Rest of It:

Molly is a scientist. I believe a paleobotonist if I’m remembering correctly. She spends her day analyzing fossils and giving tours to people curious about her team’s findings. Of late, some strange things have shown up in the pit, including an alternative Bible where God is a “she”, a shiny penny, and some pottery pieces. These items are odd enough to draw an interesting crowd. Religious fanatics begin to show up along with dozens of pieces of hate mail.

When not at work, Molly is completely overwhelmed by motherhood. One morning, while her husband is away on business, she finds herself scrambling for safety within her own home when an intruder shows up and threatens the well-being of herself and her two young children.  An intruder, wearing a deer’s head mask.

This is a bizarre read. It’s labeled as speculative fiction and I would agree with that. I honestly did not know what the heck was going on. Is Molly out of her mind? Is she dead? Dreaming?  On drugs? What? In a short amount of time, the identity of the intruder is revealed and then it gets REALLY weird.

Without giving anything away, I will say that if the point of the novel is to emphasize how motherhood can completely overtake you and change you both physically and mentally, then Helen Phillips accomplished that. Molly’s adventures in motherhood completely drain her. She is literally sucked dry by her breastfeeding son, and her daughter’s astute observations of what is going on serve to remind Molly just how much her brain has turned to mush since becoming a mother. This part, is very accurate.

But the rest of the story is very Twilight Zone-ish and odd. Some of it was disturbing to read only because it made me uncomfortable. Much of it is raw and blunt. The scientific element was interesting but not fully explored. I hesitate to say that this would be a good book for a club to discuss because I can see many hating it. Especially those who have never been a mom. But, it’s odd enough and pieced together in such a way that it warrants a discussion. In that sense, it would be great book to discuss.

Have any of you read it? From the cover, I thought the story would be about alien plants. Seriously.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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