Book Review

Book Review : The Woman He Loved Before by Dorothy Koomson.

Libby has a nice life with a gorgeous husband and a big home by the sea. But over time she is becoming more unsure if Jack has ever loved her – and if he is over the death of Eve, his first wife.

When fate intervenes in their relationship, Libby decides to find out all she can about the man she hastily married and the seemingly perfect Eve.

Eventually Libby stumbles across some startling truths about Eve, and is soon unearthing more and more devastating family secrets. Frightened by what she finds and the damage it could cause, Libby starts to worry that she too will end up like the first woman Jack loved…

Tense and moving, The Woman He Loved Before explores if the love you want is always the love you need – or deserve.

From the time I had finished reading the prologue to this book I was hooked. I loved the plot, after a major accident Libby starts to question her relationship with Jack, and as she begins to investigate her questions only get bigger. She begins to find out more and more about Eve, his first wife who died in suspicious circumstances, and gets hooked on trying to find all the answers to her questions. When Libby finds Eve’s diaries and begins to learn about her past and her relationship with Jack she finds herself questioning her own relationship with Jack, and begins to wonder if her life is also at risk. There are twists and turns galore, the final twist particularly made my jaw drop a little – I just hadn’t seen it coming but when it was revealed it made so much sense I was kicking myself for not thinking about it.

I found the main characters very engaging, and I wanted to carry on reading to find out more about them. Whilst Jack’s sections in the book are the smallest, he features strongly in both women’s stories. I loved Libby, I found I could really identify with her. I also found Eve’s story gripping, watching her life spiral downwards was a little heartbreaking at times. My only slight sadness was that we only saw a child briefly in the story, when Libby’s nephew Benji appears. I love the way Koomson writes children but there was no place in this plot for a child, so Benji’s brief appearance had to be sufficient.

The book is structured so that the chapters are divided into sections, each following the point of view of one of the three characters. Eve’s sections are her diary extracts that Libby is reading, this works well as we really get to know the character through her diaries. I found that the flow of the book worked well, and the transitions between Libby’s narrations and Eve’s diary sections were seamless.

I absolutely loved this book and was thrilled to see that Dorothy Koomson had written another fantastic book. I have enjoyed every book she’s written – I can’t wait to see what the next book brings!

The Woman He Loved Before is published in hardback by Sphere in the UK from 3rd February 2011 priced £14.99. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book all of the opinions expressed are my own.

5 thoughts on “Book Review : The Woman He Loved Before by Dorothy Koomson.

  1. This sounds brilliant. I think I’ll suggest it for our staff book group when it comes out in paperback. I’m gripped. I want to know if the husband murdered his first wife. Engaging review!

  2. I adore Dorothy Koomson! I still haven’t read her Ice Cream Girls (despite buying it in HB!) but when I saw this (again, in HB!) I couldn’t help myself and bought it as well. I just love the stories that Dorothy writes. Will always look forward to her books..

    1. I’ve loved everything of hers that I’ve read – twice I read her books when I was on holiday and drove my friend (same one on both trips) mad by reading out the bits I was loving.

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