Book Review: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine (Kindle Edition)

Posted: June 20, 2019 in Books, Drama


Daphne Parrish has the life most women would envy.  She lives in Connecticut in a large mansion with her husband Jackson, a wealthy businessman and their two kids, Bella and Tallulah.  Daphne loves her life, but mourns her sister, Julie, who passed away from Cystic Fibrosis.  Daphne runs a foundation called Julie’s Smile aimed at combating Cystic Fibrosis.  One day, into this idyllic life walks Amber Patterson, a mousy Midwesterner, who suddenly enters Daphne’s life, and ingratiates herself to Daphne by telling her that she lost a sister named Charlene as well.  Daphne invites Amber to a foundation meeting. Daphne’s best friend, and foundation member, Meredith  is skeptical about Amber’s intention and warns Daphne about her in private, but Daphne plows ahead, and puts her on the foundation, gives her a makeover, and offers her a job working with Jackson, as his assistant.  What are Amber’s intentions?  Is she after Daphne’s husband or is she the innocent girl she portrays herself to be?  Is Daphne the last Mrs. Parrish?

It’s hard to get excited about a book when Ms. Constantine gives away one of the mysteries of the book almost immediately.  The reader is forced to feel sympathy for one of the characters, but the character is written so badly, it’s difficult to feel anything for this character.  Every book is supposed to have a protagonist, but who does the reader root for in this book?  The rich wife who has everything, the poor stranger who may or may not be a schemer?  The wildly successful businessman, who is also roguishly handsome, and could have any woman he wants?  The reader shouldn’t empathize with any of these characters, because the character are so one dimensional.  The author makes the mistake that most authors make, which is, the main characters are either all-good or all-bad. But in real life, people aren’t either all good or all bad, bad people are capable of doing good things, and good people sometimes slip and do bad things.  Current authors would be better served to write more complex characters with complex emotions, instead of bland black and white characters.  The Last Mrs. Parrish has a Gone Girl problem, none of the characters are likable, and that makes for a difficult read.

Liv Constantine does  keep part of the story hidden, and then there’s a reveal, but the reveal comes with a reclamation project with one of the characters, and by the time the reveal  happens it’s too late to redeem this character.  The reader gets an impression of this character for the majority of the book and the author suddenly changes the narrative in whipsaw fashion, and the reader is just supposed to accept what has been revealed.  It’s too much to swallow.

Should you read this book?  The plot is clichéd, the characters are not well-developed, so no, yu should not read this book.  It doesn’t even pass muster for summer reading.  Surely, there are better books than this tripe.

The Last Mrs. Parrish: Go to the parish and pray for better writing.

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