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Synopsis by goodreads
The perfect wife. A fairytale family. Don’t believe your eyes…
Jeanie and Matthew are a happily married couple who both have teenage children from previous relationships.
No one said it would be easy to raise a blended family under one roof but Jeanie and Matthew are strong. They will make it work.
And whilst Jeanie’s step-daughter Scarlett rejects her, Jeanie will just have to try harder to win her over.
But Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret she thought she’d buried a long time ago. And now, it’s coming to the surface, threatening to destroy her new marriage.
Someone is playing a terrifying game on Jeanie and she must put a stop to it once and for all.
After all, a fairytale needs a happy ending … doesn’t it?
I received this book from NetGalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest opinion. Thank you ❤
The stepmother is narrated from two main perspectives. The main narrator is the protagonist, Jeanie. The story starts with Jeanie’s hurried marriage and the woes of the blended family immediately become apparent. The second perspective is narrated by Jeanie’s sister, Marlena. It was not immediately clear who Marlena was and her role in the narration but as the story progresses, this definitely became clearer
The book is well paced and has an easy flow to it. The events take place sequentially and each chapter has a date hence helping readers keep track on the happenings. There is also a great deal of suspense that was maintained from the first page. It was clear that there were secrets being hidden hence adding to the mystery of the story.
What I didn’t like
Okay, I will keep this section brief so as not to focus too much on the negative…
I have seen numerous positive reviews of this book but I really don’t think that this one was for me. I didn’t quite connect with the characters and sometimes their actions seemed quite irrational to me. I also felt that too much was going on. The twists were too many and towards the end, they sort of just spiraled out of control. In addition, I didn’t quite see all the connections at the end which left me with unanswered questions. I can’t share specifics without posting spoilers but I will mention that my questions have to do with certain things about Mathew, Simon and the diary. There were also quite a number of red herrings that threw me off.
What I liked
Although the book wasn’t for me, I get why it is quite popular. The Step Mother by Claire Seeber highlights some of the issues that come with blended families. It also has some good cliffhangers will definitely keep readers turning the pages.
I think that it portrayed the fears and anxieties of being a stepmother quite well. It was easy to sympathize with Jeanie’s trepidation about her stepchildren especially at the beginning. I also liked the fact that it kept me guessing. I had so many suspects throughout the book as I kept trying to guess who the villain was and I was pleasantly surprised by how wrong my predictions were.
I liked the setting of the book. The fairy tale background was perfectly complimented by the big, old mansion. The whispering walls, mirrors and ‘ghosts’ all added a great atmosphere of mystery to the tale.
Oh and of course, the cover! I don’t usually focus a lot on book covers but I have to mention, the cover for this book is absolutely beautiful. I recommend this book to all fans of psychological thrillers. It is being published today, so go on and get it.
About the book
Have you read this book, what did you think about it? Let me know. PS: If have written a review of it, you can share your link in the comments section and I will visit your post.