The basic premise of this new telling of an old story reimagines Henry VIII morphed into a Rupert Murdoch type figure, without having learned a thing in the past 472 years.
Harry Rose is a British business tycoon whose media empire puts him near the top of every list of billionaires worldwide. This fast-paced, fun, yet engrossing read follows Harry’s marital trail of tears. Being married to one woman doesn’t work for Harry; he has one affair after another, and some of the mistresses even become wives. As a young man, he marries Katie, a devout Catholic with infertility issues. Eventually, she bears him a daughter, and not long afterward, Harry falls madly in love with wife number two, Ana, the “ice queen.” Harry’s blindly devoted secretary becomes his third wife, followed by a couple more, and he has children with several of them. But it is the burgeoning #metoo movement that creates a comeuppance for Harry, retribution for at least some of his wives, opportunities for his daughters, and a fitting end to this ultimately feminist tale.
Verdict: This story will resonate with readers, even ones those not familiar with British royal history. For readers who enjoyed the updated Jane Austen books like Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal and Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, and are ready to branch out.
©Library Journal, 2020
1/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
WIFE AFTER WIFE by Olivia Hayfield. Berkley (January 21, 2020). ISBN 978-0593101834. 464p.
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