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The Last Mrs. Parrish: A Novel Hardcover – October 17, 2017
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“[A] wicked debut thriller… you’ll relish every diabolical turn.” (People)
“‘The Last Mrs. Parrish’ by Liv Constantine will keep you up. In a ‘can’t put it down’ way. It’s ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ with XX chromosomes.” (The Skimm)
“[A] haunting psychological thriller. . . . Engrossing.” (Real Simple)
“Utterly irresistible. . . . The Last Mrs. Parrish pivots on an enormous and satisfying twist. . . . the pages keep flying, flying, flying by.” (USA Today)
“If you like your thrillers with an unexpected twist, this one’s for you.” (New York Post)
“‘The Last Mrs. Parrish’ Should Be the Very Next Book You Read.” (Huffington Post)
“Fabulous. . . . I read this book in a flash, devouring every twisty delicious detail.” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
“This deliciously naughty novel of psychological suspense is perfect for fans of Daphne du Maurier, L.S. Hinton and Jessica Knoll.” (LitHub, “5 Crime Must-Reads Coming in October”)
“One compulsive read. . . . It’s a terrific debut, and I look forward to seeing what the Constantine sisters do next!” (Book Reporter)
“Think: a female Tom Ripley. . . . sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine, writing as Liv Constantine, build momentum with short, cliffhanger chapters racing toward a satisfying denouement.” (Shelf Awareness)
About the Author
Liv Constantine is the pen name of sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine. Separated by three states, they spend hours plotting via FaceTime and burning up each other's emails. They attribute their ability to concoct dark story lines to the hours they spent listening to tales handed down by their Greek grandmother. THE LAST MRS. PARRISH is their debut thriller.
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"The Last Mrs. Parrish", is what I like to call "Wealth Porn". Part of its appeal derives from the meticulously detailed descriptions of the lives and luxuries of the Very Very Wealthy: private jets, opulent homes, designer clothes/shoes/handbags/lingerie, jewelry, et. Now, this might not appeal to every reader, but I'm happy with my Never-in-Business-Class lot in life, so I'm not crushed with envy, instead it's fun to imagine how the other 1% lives while eating my home-made lunch at my desk. Throw in a suspenseful and just-complicated-enough plot, plus a dash of twists, and I'm having a grand ole time.
Amber Patterson is a completely amoral young woman who has designed a detailed and diabolical plan to acquire wealthy entrepreneur, Jackson Parrish, via a fake-friendship with his wife, Daphne. You don't really need to know more than that! Who need Major Themes, Symbolism, and Life Lessons? Is the villain TOO villainous? Yep. Will you anticipate some of the twists? Sure! So what?! Just jump in and enjoy!
The story, initially told from Amber's point of view, opens with Amber orchestrating an "accidental" meeting at the gym between herself and Daphne Parish. Daphne is the wife of Jackson Parrish, one of the most wealthy, influential (not to mention good-looking) men in a Connecticut town full of wealthy, influential people.
Daphne seems to have to perfect life; a handsome, very rich husband, two adorable girls and one of the most beautiful homes in town full of beautiful homes. The only downside seems to be that she desperately misses her sister who died from CF (Cystic Fibrosis) almost twenty years earlier. Aside from her husband and children, Daphne's passion is the not-for-profit, Julie's Smile, she started in her sisters honor.
Because she is a girl who does her homework, Amber knows to use a feigned CF connection to insinuate herself into Daphne's life. It works like a charm. Soon the two women become fast friends, bonding over the loss of their beloved sisters - pretend loss on Ambers part.
It becomes clear early on that Amber's end goal is to steal Jackson from Daphne, becoming the next Mrs. Parrish. It seems she will go to any lengths to get what she wants.
Part two is told from Daphne's point of view, and that's where the book gets interesting. Is there more to the story than there appears to be? Is Daphne more than an over privileged housewife with a staff of household help and a charmed life? Author, Liv Constantine (actually co-authoring sisters, Valerie and Lynne Constantine), slowly reveals the story behind the story and it's quite a tale!!!
WHAT I LOVED
Initially, I thought I was reading kind of a flat 'been there, done that' recycled plot. Not a bad one, but not very unique. I kept going because this book received positive reviews from some of my GR friends so I knew it had to be good. Glad I did!! Although there were a few clues dropped during Amber's narrative, letting the reader know there would be more to the story, the plot really picked up once Daphne's account began. I love that the story is told by two different characters. It was so much fun to hear what each was thinking about various events.
The main twist, which was revealed about halfway through the book, was AWESOME! I LOVED it so much!!! It was one of those five star moments.
I loved the parts of the book including Daphne and Jackson's girls, Bella and Tallulah. Bella brought some honest kid moments, expressing her opinion without a filter. It was amusing.
At first I didn't like Daphne as a character, but she grew on me and by the end I loved her!!
There was a lot more to love, but those are the highlights.
WHAT I DIDN'T LOVE
Some parts were a bit predictable. I wasn't super impressed with some of the things Jackson did and said, he seemed like many male characters in books I've read before.
Most of the characters were pretty black and white. The 'good' characters were very good, probably wearing halo's but the bad characters were pretty irredeemable. I've prefer characters with a little more grey.
The end tied things up a little to nearly. I do like a clear, defined ending, but this was just a little too perfect and convenient. Don't get me wrong, I was happy it ended that way but it was just too neat of a bow on the package.
Addictively readable thriller which was more than I expected.
We first encounter Amber, an extremely avaricious young woman (who is also a consummate con artist). She is determined to “steal” and marry Daphne’s handsome and obscenely rich husband, Jackson Parrish. Having been born poor, and failed in her first vicious attempt to snag a rich husband, Amber has fled town, reinvented herself, and wormed her way into the Parrish’s lives by pretending to relate to Daphne. whose sister Julia died of CF. Amber pretends that she, too, has lost a sister to this disease, and volunteers at the charitable foundation “Julie’s Smile” organized by Daphne.
At first, Daphne accepts Amber at face value and considers her a cherished friend, actually persuading Jackson to hire her as his administrative assistant. As the plot thickens, though, it becomes obvious that the real situation is very different from the “ideal marriage” Amber is seeking to destroy; the second half of the narrative, voiced by Daphne, lets us see the reality of the “perfect life” which Amber has fantasized and plans to pirate from the woman she so envies. The culmination of the plot is extremely satisfying “poetic justice”, and just what one would hope for. I found this book a very good story, as well as an effective morality play.
Most recent customer reviews
This book reminded be on Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, for the marriage between Daphne and Jackson.Read more