The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle is a fantastic novel, and it is just what I needed to read at the moment. After feeling so indifferent toward my last read that I couldn’t even review it because I had nothing interesting or worthwhile to say about it, and after quite frankly despising my read prior to that one, I am so happy to be able to write a review now that will be nothing but glowingly positive. The Marriage Lie is an addictive novel, it is fast-paced, well-articulated and just the right length – I would highly recommend it to any and all readers!
I haven’t read a mystery novel or a thriller in a very long time, and I can’t say it is a genre I am particularly well-versed in. Sure, I’ve read all of Dan Brown’s novels and I of course encountered a classic Agatha Christie tale every now and then in my English literature classes, but other than that, I haven’t delved too deeply into this realm of literature and although I intended to read both Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train when I heard all the hype about them, I just never got around to it. Psychological thrillers are rarely at the top of my list of books to read, because they just don’t come onto my radar all that often. That is until The Marriage Lie which I couldn’t avoid spotting on Goodreads – it seems to have absolutely taken the literary world by storm, and I read nothing but rave reviews, so I immediately added it to my To Read List and picked it up as soon as I next went to the bookstore.
Boy, am I glad I read this novel because it was so utterly enjoyable and absorbing that it took my mind off absolutely everything and was the quintessential escape novel. I liked absolutely everything about this novel, from the plot structure and pacing to the main characters, including Will (who despite his imperfections and flawed morality, I happen to fancy quite a bit). The only aspect of the novel that lowered my rating is the fact that I did predict some elements and revelations – there was not one huge twist in the story, and I didn’t mind that at all, but I did suspect one of the revelations from the very start of the novel, so that was a bit anticlimactic in a sense. It didn’t deter from my enjoyment of the novel whatsoever, though, so I wouldn’t have any qualms recommending the novel to mystery lovers despite the predictability of the whole story. I should say, though, that the very ending of the novel shocked me and quite literally took my breath away – I actually found the entire final chapter to be very charged and emotional, and difficult to get through, but it was an absolutely perfect conclusion!
My favourite aspect of the novel was probably the characters, and how well they are articulated and described. I was astonished by the fact that each one of them had such a distinct personality, from Iris’ twin brother and best friend Dave to Will’s old “friend” Corban. Each one of the main and secondary characters was fleshed out and thoroughly developed, and they each added a clear drive and depth to the overall story and contributed in some way to Iris’ search for answers about her husband, Will. Iris was by far my favourite character because I found her incredibly endearing, and I think the fact that Belle made her a psychologist really worked well with the premise of the story because it meant that Iris was smart enough to piece together the mysteries and complexities of her husband’s past life, but also that she wasn’t a complete expert on every layer of the mystery. She had just enough knowledge and expertise to get her through her search and investigation, but she was also often lost and confused in much the same way I was as a reader, so it was really comfortable going on the journey with her. I also have to admit that I truly did like Will, although he doesn’t feature literally in too much of the story. The plot is very complex and there are so many moral issues presented in it, but I think that at the very root of everything is this immense love that Will has for Iris. I’ve read many reviews where readers said that the book really kicked off for them in the second chapter, and I totally agree, but I will say that the first chapter was my absolute favourite because it is so simple and subtle, and gives such insight into the relationship that Iris and Will have. This first chapter was perfectly detailed and was the ideal introduction to the story because it allows for the reader to sympathize and empathize with Iris’ emotions later in the novel, including her depression and sadness as well as her anger and frustration.
The Marriage Lie is complex and compelling, and I think it is the perfect blend of thrilling and realistic. There wasn’t anything too far-fetched about it and the characters were so utterly believable that I had no real criticisms about it whatsoever. I highly recommend it to all readers, because I think even those not accustomed to the mystery genre will thoroughly enjoy the ride!
❥❥❥❥ (out of 5)
Girl with a Green Heart