**3.5 Goodreads Stars**
Sarah Pekkanen’s The Ever After merges the genres of suspense and domestic drama to tell a story of a husband’s infidelity. The lead character, Josie, discovers a salacious text from another woman on her husband, Frank’s, phone by accident. The book follows the aftermath of this discovery, peering into the mind of Josie as she struggles to understand why her husband cheated on her. Was her marriage always a sham? Were there signs she missed?
To make matters worse, Josie and Frank have two young daughters. They both do their best to hide the situation from them, but ultimately Josie realizes she needs Frank out of the house to figure out a way forward. The book follows Josie’s inner dialogue as she tries to reconcile the many sides of Frank: the loving and doting father, the once caring and adoring lover, the hard-working employee, the solid friend, son, and brother. How could someone who was all those things rip a marriage to shreds?
I struggled with the ending of this book as it felt flat and abrupt. I felt like I truly understood Josie’s train of thoughts, but Frank’s motivations for the affair still felt unclear to me. In some parts of the book I felt like I was reading a self-help non-fiction book rather than a piece of fiction. The writing is good, but I really struggled to see Frank’s point of view in all of this.
Thank you to the publisher, Atria, the author, Sarah Pekkanen, and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of The Ever After.