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Dorothy Koomson - “The woman he loved before” book review

The first novel I read written by this author was “The Ice Cream Girls” a couple of years back. It was a very good read. I enjoyed it so I went back to the book that made Dorothy famous “My best friend’s girl” and that was the book that made me fall in love with her work. I find Dorothy Koomson as a very talented author at getting the heart of the novel and writing stories no one can copy. As I was thrilled by her work I reached for a book “The woman he loved before”. The book was released in 2011 and got a lot of positive reviews. I cannot argue with this as I have also enjoyed reading it. After all love stories are one of my favourites. Libby’s life seems perfect. She has a handsome husband, lives in a beautiful house and as it seems she has everything that is needed to be happy. Then she starts to think if she is truly loved by her husband. She suspects that Jack has not forgot his first, perfect wife Eve that suddenly died. I find it very hard to review this novel without spoiling it. The book starts with the prologue of Jack and Eve’s marriage. It is about their love and Eve’s life choices that I personally don’t agree with. Although it was needed so readers can understand Jack’s position and his relationship with his deceased first wife. As we read more we get to know more about Eve, Jack and finally about Libby’s marriage and her struggles. We get to see all of their life together and separately which gives us a perfect base to understand them. At first I thought Jack is being a bad character for not loving Libby the way he loved Eve, but after reading this novel I came understand that it is not Jack’s fault that he loved his first wife the way he did. And somehow in his own way I think he was in love with Libby too. Novel was written from all three characters’ perspective. Libby’s part was the longest, however Eve’s part of the book was truly amazing and gave a book its bone back. It felt like it all began and ended with Eve. Although her choices made me feel strange. I couldn’t associate with them and found it hard to understand even though I knew what she has been through. As all of us readers I felt sorry for Libby being a second best, someone who would never be where she is now if Eve was still alive. I was sad that she could never get Jack’s heart even though she loved him truly. And I don’t blame her for being so pushy and trying to know everything there was to know about her husband’s first wife. Who wouldn’t want to know? Once you live in someone else’s shadow you would want to know the reason even if it hurts and breaks your heart. Jack’s part of the book was short however it showed that he was not as bad a person as I thought he was when I heard of the book and went through some reviews. I found all the characters fascinating and the novel’s plot was a masterpiece. “The Woman He loved before” was an excellent book and I enjoyed every moment reading it. And what I was very surprised about was the ending. It was much unexpected which made this book even better. I was trying to find a things I didn’t like about this book and I couldn’t see a single reason not to like it. Dorothy is a master story teller and her books, all of them are definitely must-read!