September 11, 2001- Sophie Parry leaves London for New York. She is interviewing for her big break at an architecture firm. Unexpectedly, her plane is routed to the nearest airport in Newfoundland. Stuck in a small town and unable to reach her interview. Sophie seeks out her mother's sister that her family has long been estranged from. Sophie's Aunt Ellie welcomes her with open arms and introduces her to a family she never knew.
The English Wife is a multi-faceted historical fiction drama with dual timelines, intrigue, secrets and lies. I love a good dual-timeline and this one delivered. I loved that both Ellie and Sophie were tough, determined and willing to go against the grain. The writing was able to weave together Ellie's story in the 1940's along with her sister Dottie, her former fiance George and Thomas along with Ellie and Sophie in 2001 and 2011 in a way that I could easily follow. It was very interesting to see Ellie in the light of the 1940's and the 2000's; she was still very much herself, but different in many ways. Sophie was a surprising character, from the very beginning I knew that she had a difficult decision to make between sealing her career and destroying the family and town that she has just found. This created tension right from the beginning that carried throughout the story. As things progressed, secrets came out that changed my perspective as well as the characters. I really wish people would have stopped messing with Ellie's life; however, she seemed to come out ok in the end. In addition, I enjoyed Sam and Becca's characters as well as the town of Tippy's Tickle. I could imagine the houses, the seascapes and the songs of the whales singing.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.