Rating: 4 stars
The Last Mrs Parrish, by a sister writing duo who work under the name ‘Liv Constantine’, is a sort of Rebecca-in-reverse; we begin by following the shallow and ambitious Amber as she goes about her plan to steal Daphne Parrish’s rich husband. Amber’s pretty much a caricature – proud of herself as a gold-digger, sneering at the very world she covets, and always throwing ‘cutting’ asides about her hokey small-town life. Likewise, Daphne obligingly fulfils the other half of the Madonna/Whore dichotomy – a hard-working young woman from a modest background whose life’s work has been establishing a cystic fibrosis charity in honour of her sister, who died of the disease while still young.
This book is exactly what you’d hope it would be – lists and lists of designer items, and plenty of plotting, scheming and snobbery. Some of the writing could have been finessed – there are a lot of descriptions of clothes, and at one point a character ‘blow-dries her wet hair’ which is a personal bugbear of mine (who would dry their already dry hair? why do we need to know this?) – but if you want big drama in broad strokes and a satisfying payoff, this is the book for you.
There was a little to be desired in nuance – Big Little Lies this ain’t. But if you’re hoping to read about rich people (and wannabe rich people) tearing each other to pieces, then enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
Reviewed by Louise