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The First Wife Paperback – Large Print, 4 Jun 2012

49 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Paragon; Large type edition edition (4 Jun. 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1445859270
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445859279
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Emily Barr is the well-loved and bestselling author of BACKPACK, the original backpacking novel, and many other highly acclaimed novels. A former journalist, she has travelled around the world and written columns and travel pieces for the Observer and the Guardian. After living in France, Emily and her husband (whom she met backpacking) have settled in Cornwall with their three children. For more information on Emily Barr visit her website www.emilybarr.com.

Product Description

Book Description

Escape to Barcelona with this tense, unputdownable novel from Emily Barr with shades of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Emily Barr is the well-loved and bestselling author of Backpack, the original backpacking novel, and many other highly acclaimed novels. A former journalist, she has travelled around the world and written columns and travel pieces for the Observer and the Guardian. After living in France, Emily and her husband, whom she met backpacking, have settled in Cornwall with their three children. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Leah Graham on 5 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
The First Wife is an interesting novel. Like Barr's previous novels, there's an edge of suspense to it. An edge that it isn't all as it seems and there's a certain aura to the novel where you wonder when the bottom is going to drop out and it's all going to go bonkers, it's all going to implode. I thought the initial plot was excellent. I was entranced by Lily Button, entranced that this young girl didn't know life, that her life revolved around her grandparents until they died and she was suddenly thrust into the world. I found Lily's naivete charming, rather than annoying, and I liked seeing how Lily became somewhat smitten with Harry Summers and how their relationship evolved once his wife, Sarah, killed herself in Barcelona.

I admit, I did find the suspense lacking a bit. Don't get me wrong, it was there, and like I said, I was waiting for it all to drop, but it was miles more sedate than The Sisterhood. The synopsis makes a big mention of a `shocking discovery' about Harry's wife Sarah but the action of the novel is relegated to those final 50/75 pages. Up until then, it's a fairly pedestrian novel. Very readable, but not what I expect from an Emily Barr novel. I still enjoyed it, mind, because Lily's story and how she goes from a practical hermit to being out in the world and making her own money is indeed very interesting. I liked the house where she lodged, I thought the family was lovely, and I liked her friendship with Al, and her burgeoning relationship with the Summer's. I also liked the story about Jack, a New Zealander fed up with his life and wanting to break free and visit Europe. It was all done very well, it just didn't make my heart race as much as The Perfect Lie did.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Simpson-long TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lily Button, abandoned by her parents and brought up by her grandparents who have recently died, finds that not only does she have nobody in the world, she also has no money as the cottage where they lived is heavily mortgaged and debts have to be paid. She is friendless as she has spent the last few years being their main carer and is frightened by the world in which she now finds herself. Almost suicidal she is rescued by Al from jumping off the harbour bridge and he tells her his story and how he had grown up in foster care, ran away, lived in hostels and on the streets and was helped by an old school teacher who took him in and looked after him. He finds Lily a place to stay and she gets a cleaning job at the house of a local celebrity couple, glamorous and exciting. Harry and Sarah Summers appear to have the perfect life and yet, when on holiday in Barcelona, Sarah slips away from her sleeping husband and throws herself into the sea.

After Sarah's death Lily finds herself drawn to Harry as he turns the full force of his charm her way. For the first time in her life she is adored and loved and secure but as their wedding date draws nearer and she realises that things are not what they seem, Lily decides to take a trip to Barcelona to find out what really happened on that ill fated trip. She is in for a nasty shock.

The First Wife is a real page turner and I could not put it down and the ending gripping and full of tension. All the characters are well drawn and believable and there is a second thread running alongside the story of Lily, that of Jack Baker in New Zealand who decides to forge a new life for himself after he finds his wife is cheating on him.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Francesca Abagnale on 24 May 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I'll start off by saying that I love a couple of Emily Barr's books, namely Plan B and Cuban Heels, each of which I've read quite a few times. It started out quite well, and I like the way she writes, but I just found the main character a bit unbelievable, and some of the plot twists frankly daft - I had to go back to see if I'd missed a bit, but I hadn't, it really was contrived. So not bad at all, and I liked some of the characters, but I kind of lost interest towards the end.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cara Star on 30 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read a review about this book in the Daily Mail,and the title did not attract me at all, upon reading the review, I realised, that there were twists and turns in it, which prompted me to buy it. It is a " CANNOT PUT IT DOWN BOOK," without any doubt. I reccomend this to any one who loves a twist in the tale.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By KatieJ on 23 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Took this book on holiday and enjoyed reading it. It was slightly predicatable in some aspects (won't spoil the story) but worth a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amy on 29 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book tells the story of 20-year-old Lily Button who, after her grandparents pass away, realises she has very little in the world, so, she leaps at the chance to work for celebrity couple the Summers. However, she soon discovers that all is not what it seems between the couple when wife Sarah Summers unexpectedly throws herself into the sea.

Unfortunately there seems to have been a bit of an influx of stories centering around this type of storyline recently, which did somewhat tamper my enjoyment of this book. Don't get me wrong, the story is good and is told wonderfully - I can't fault Emily Barr's writing. Lily is written as a loveable and appealing character, despite being flawed in her naiveity. I think had I have read this book before reading Dorothy Koomson's The Woman He Loved Before and Louise Douglas's The Secrets Between Us, I would have probably have enjoyed this book even more. It's just that I felt that I had already read the story before and felt I knew where it was going.

This isn't completely the same as the other two books that I have mentioned though. There is an additional character in this in the form of Jack, who is seemingly unconnected to everything else that's going on in the story, and yet he comes into his own later on in the book and it's then that it's clear to see why he was introduced.

All in all this is a good read. It's much more than you're average chick-lit book as it focuses more on a psychological angle of storytelling, and it leaves you guessing from the very first page.
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