Friday, 23 August 2019

Book Review - The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew by Milly Johnson

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Title: The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew
Author: Milly Johnson
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: EDPR
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 11th July 2019
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Sophie Mayhew looks like she has the perfect life. Wife of rising political star John F Mayhew, a man who is one step away from the top job in the government, her glamour matches his looks, power, breeding and money. But John has made some stupid mistakes along the way, some of which are threatening to emerge. Still, all this can still be swept under the carpet as long as Sophie 'the trophy' plays her part in front of the cameras.

But the words that come out of Sophie’s mouth one morning on the doorstep of their country house are not the words the spin doctors put in there.  Bursting out of the restrictive mould she has been in since birth, Sophie flees to a place that was special to her as a child, a small village on the coast where she intends to be alone.

But once there, she finds she becomes part of a community that warms her soul and makes her feel as if she is breathing properly for the first time. Sophie knows she won't be left in peace for long. Now she must decide: where does her real future lie?

Well this was a book that took a while to grow on me, for the entirety of the first part I really struggled as all the characters just seemed unlikable, bordering on vile and there were just loads of them.  Well there were all the members of both John and Sophie's families, as well as the whole of John's political team, and spin doctor etc... 

You could tell that between the flash backs to Sophie's schooling (which I did quite enjoy, despite again being at school full of horrific people), and the most recent events building up to doorstepgate that something big was brewing, and I made sure to stick with the book as was sure that once we got the vital background, that the book would become far more interesting. 

And I was correct, the second we are away from the inner workings of someone wanting to be the conservative leader and everything that he and his family must do to keep up public appearances even in the face of blatant scandal,  Sophie really grew on me and the book took on a much more enjoyable tone. 

Unfortunately I'm not hugely keen on politics, and the fact that Sophie ended up in a small village, in the Almshouse but having deep conversations with the local vicar (who is utterly gorgeous), meant I was seeing a bit more religion, or at least faith in god type discussions than I particularly want to see in a book and did have to double check the front cover to make sure it really was a Milly Johnson story I was reading as it seemed rather unlike her. 

From the moment that we move into part two though I was invested in the story, I enjoyed seeing how Sophie;s character developed and some of her through processes.  She goes from being a doormat of a trophy wife, to a woman who is able to show her real personality traits and that was rather wonderful to see. 

All the people she meets by contrast up in her hideaway are down to earth, characters that are relatable to, and some of which I really loved hearing about.  

This is the sort of book that makes you wonder, would you be able to stand by your man, if proved to be cheating, in public. just to toe the party line and not ruffle any feathers. 

Of the two families there is besides Sophie, only one character who really grew on m which which was Johnathan's brother Edward who seemed like the only one with any human feelings at all, and there was a fabulous showdown scene involving him that had me really cheering. 

There is plenty to enjoy in this book, but at the end of the day I've enjoyed all of Milly Johnson's other wonderful books a great deal more than this one, and I'm looking forward to see what she writes next. 

Thank you to EDPR for my copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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