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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 39 star ratings
4 reviews

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4.5 out of 5
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    New historical novel by Rosie Clarke

    The Runaway Wife by Rosie Clarke takes readers back in time to just before Christmas in 1929. Annabel Tarleton’s family lost most of their money in the recent stock market crash thanks to investments made by her deceased father. Annabel is expected by her mother to marry a well-to-do gentleman and take her place in society like her mother and generations of women before her. At a dance, Annabel encounters Richard Hansen. Richard is handsome, mysterious and has a bad boy reputation which attracts Annabel. Richard, though, states he is not the marrying type. Annabel gets an invitation to spend time at Kendlebury Hall with her friend, Georgie Barrington. While there Annabel meets Paul Keifer (a printer) and they spend time together. Paul soon proposes to Annabel, but she knows her domineering and critical mother will not approve of the match. She turns him down and returns home. Annabel encounters Richard again at a dance where Annabel has indulged in too much champagne and she finds herself in a compromising position. After a quick engagement, Annabel finds herself married to Richard. She soon discovers why people warned her away from him. One night after Richard is particularly cruel, Annabel escapes and hopes that he will not find her (and follow through on his threats). Will Annabel ever be free of Richard? The Runaway Wife took me back in time to the late 1920s in England. I found The Runaway Wife to contains good writing and nicely developed characters. I like that were a variety of characters from the different classes (not everyone was Annabel’s social class). Annabel is a woman who has been controlled by her mother her whole life. She would like to pursue job opportunities, but her mother is pressuring her to marry (and take her place in society). We get to follow Annabel as she gets married and finds that she has traded her controlling mother for a domineering, abuse husband. It did take me a couple of chapters to get into the story, but then I was hooked. I wanted to find out what would happen to Annabel. There are a couple of slow spots (every book has them), but overall the pace is steady (picks up pace later in the book). I found the story to be realistic (gritty). The violence that Annabel suffers is described as well as other cruel acts performed by Richard. Rosie Clarke captured the era with her descriptions of the locale, the language used by the characters, hairstyles (women cutting off their long hair) and the clothing (hemlines were on the rise). She portrays the changing roles of women, the nightlife (drinking and dancing at nightclubs), the rich finding themselves without money (thanks to the stock market crash), life as a politician’s wife and the big estates in trouble. One of the lessons in The Runaway Wife is about choices. Every choice we make takes us down a path. It is important that we learn from our mistakes, so we can make better decisions in the future. I found the ending to be satisfying. I like it when I find myself smiling when I finish a story. Find yourself back in time and experiencing a wide range of emotions in Rosie Clarke’s The Runaway Wife.
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    Emotionally Challenging!

    Emotionally challenging historical read. Can't help reacting to Annabel's situations. Her family had money as she grew up, then lost it. Naive to men and with pressure from her mom and her own misgivings, she quickly married wealthy Richard. In social settings, Richard treats Annabel as a trophy wife, kind and caring. Behind closed doors he transforms into an angry abuser... Liked the realistic depiction of women's treatment in this period; shows how much progress has been made. 3 1/2 stars. Voluntarily read ARC, thru Netgalley and publisher, for honest review.
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    Suspenseful Love Story

    Good suspenseful read with love story that had many obstacles & crises. Enjoyed quite a suspenseful read.
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    The runaway wife

    I fully enjoyed reading this book, with all its twists and turns. And how Annabel got out of the disastrous marriage that was forced upon her. And the evil husband Richard who hurt her in many ways

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