The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth #BookReview #Psychological Thriller

New from the author of The Good Sister, the breakout New York Times bestseller and “stunningly clever thriller” (People), comes Sally Hepworth’s latest novel of domestic suspense about the tangled vines of family secrets.

“Smart, suspenseful, brimming with secrets. This is Sally Hepworth at her unputdownable best.” — Kate Morton, New York Times Bestselling Author

A heart surgeon at the top of his field, Stephen Aston is getting married again. But first he must divorce his current wife, even though she can no longer speak for herself.

Tully and Rachel Aston look upon their father’s fiancée, Heather, as nothing but an interloper. Heather is younger than both of them. Clearly, she’s after their father’s money.

With their mother in a precarious position, Tully and Rachel are determined to get to the
truth about their family’s secrets, the new wife closing in, and who their father really is.

Heather has secrets of her own. Will getting to the truth unleash the most dangerous impulses
in all of them?


What’s it about (in a nutshell):

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth is a creepy psychological thriller about perception versus reality.

My thoughts:

This novel grabbed my attention on page 1, and it didn’t let it go. I finished it days ago, and I am still thinking about it. There are four narrators: the groom’s two adult daughters, Rachel and Tully, his young bride, Heather, and one narrator that is unnamed until the end. Each has a clear, unique voice that never once confused me as they transitioned from one to another. But, here’s the rub – everything else is up to you, the reader, to decide. Here are some aspects I’m still considering:

  • It is a story that is deceptively subtle…or is it? 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • It is a story told by four unreliable narrators…or is it? 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • It is a story about lies and deceptions…or is it? 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • It is a story that is a slow-burn thriller from start to finish…or is it? 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • It is a story where good prevailed…or is it? 🤷🏻‍♀️

What I Wish:

I wish I could find a discussion group for this book because there is a lot to talk about. Other than that, I wish that all females hadn’t been victims and all males weren’t their saviors. I would rather have seen a mixed balance of this in terms of gender roles.


Rachel is the youngest daughter of the groom, Stephen, and Stephen’s old wife, Pam. She owns a bakery and is plagued by demons that have impacted her ability to make meaningful relationships.

Tully is the oldest daughter of the groom and his old wife. She is a stay-at-home mom who has a problem. She is a kleptomaniac and has been since she was a child.

Stephen is the groom in the story. He is a successful heart surgeon in his sixties. He divorced his wife, Pamela, who has dementia, to marry a woman younger than his daughters.

Heather is the younger wife and is half Stephen’s age. She’s an interior decorator and feels like she has a problem with alcohol.

Pam is Stephen’s old wife. She has dementia and lives at a facility that can give her specialized care.

To Read or Not to Read:

If you like an original, reality-versus-perception story that will have you looking for fellow readers to discuss it, The Younger Wife is the perfect novel for you.

34 Replies to “The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth #BookReview #Psychological Thriller”

  1. Sounds like an exciting thriller. I don’t like it when the males always save the female characters. That used to be the norm in romance books back in the day, so glad it’s changing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s the total opposite of story’s like say Lessons in Chemistry. I like it better when females figure out they can rely on themselves.


    1. It is a very interesting way to go about a psychological thriller, without a doubt. Fingers-crossed it pops up on Scribd.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm. I’m on the fence about this one. I do love books that warrant discussion, but it sounds like its really open-ended. Or maybe that’s just my perception!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was waffling between 3.5 and 4 because of the ending. I think that is one that would be better if your prepared for the ambiguity.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love a book that makes me want to talk about it with others. This one sounds really good! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tessa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s very interesting and very well done though it can be frustrating if you go in unprepared for the chose your own ending.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The male savior thing definitely seems to be prominent, doesn’t it? At least it has been in the books I’ve read.

    Excellent review, Tessa. Glad you enjoyed this one. I’ve seen highly-rated reviews so far. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Super review. I think this would drive me crazy as I like to know just exactly what happens in a story. Anything left open to interpretation just confused my poor brain, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So many questions, Tessa. I have this coming up shortly and I am definitely intrigued. I am also not a fan of male saviours. I like females being self-reliant or work as partners. Wonderful review!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have read age gap stories but none actually told why they get into age gap relationships and its consequences. This sounds like highlights all that question and still make us question. Author is amazing writer and all her books gives a lot to discuss. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m waiting impatiently for the audiobook to show up at my library. If it comes soon, I’ll listen to it right away and see if I can assemble a group of friends on Goodreads for a discussion. Will let you know.

    Outstanding review, Tessa💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be very cool! I’ve been keeping an eye out with the Goodreads groups I belong to – not that I would know what to do if any did choose it. That’s the next step – learn how to participate in Goodreads discussion groups. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The only question I was really left with was “Why did Tully start stealing at age eleven?” Do you think she had some repressed memories that led her down that path?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, kleptomania is an impulse control disorder that usually (generally speaking) forms because an individual feels that they have no control over their life and that’s a way for them to gain control over something. There is a genetic component. To me, this all lends to the possibility of all the “bad” things being true. The person who is in question for the whole book could have also had an impulse control disorder, just a different form- there is one where a person acts explosively (physically) to certain triggers. 🤷🏻‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This review most definitely makes me want to read the book! Definitely one I want to buy here soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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