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This is a very easy read and for me my first book by Sheila O’Flanagan, even though she has written 23 books before The Missing Wife.

I cannot believe a book with such a straightforward, simple plot of some 460 pages kept me engrossed, without ever thinking that it was tedious and wishing the author would ‘get on with it’.

It is a lovely mix of the Irish and French with a few Americans and Australians thrown in for good measure. This is so appropriate in our time of wider travel and with the so very powerful social media.

It is subtly written and completely believable, without violence and with a slow build up toward a finale that just had to happen.

Missing 1.inddThe book did not make me laugh or cry, nor did the story grip me as much as other books I have read. However, Sheila O’Flanagan writes in such a way that you are with the main character, Imogen, all the way.

I liked the variation in the author’s writing style from chapter to chapter: sometimes in conversation, sometimes anecdotal and sometimes as a straight observer. Part of this was swapping chapters between the main characters so that we know what Vince is feeling and planning (what a control freak and schemer), at the same time as knowing the progress of Imogen’s life following her escape from the marriage and following her “plan”.

While the story kept me interested it also gave a little too much away, so that I could see what was going to happen well before it did.

I felt the climax was not brilliant but low key. Imogen, whose story it is, was a little too passive and unemotional, not only in response to finding her husband Vince in her room but to her new found friends’ support of her.

If you are a fan of relationship stories this is a great read for you.

The Missing Wife, by Sheila O’Flanagan, published by Hachette Australia is available from Dymocks.

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Lorraine Parker

Lorraine taught in the area of Technology and Applied Studies for over 40 years. Her career in education culminated in tertiary education teacher training (Textile Innovation at the Australian Catholic University and Whitehouse School of Fashion), followed by contract work to write several units of work for Southern Cross University. She recently finished part time work and simply changed direction with time to devote to her own creativity. You can find her work at Creative Textiles.

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