Review: Wife After Wife by Olivia Hayfield

Th Novel of Scandal, Lies, Money, Power, Fedelity and Royalty..

Wife After Wife was written by Olivia Hayfield. However, you may know her as pseudonym Sue Copsey who is author of the children’s literature Spine-Tinglers series. Her new novel under her pen name Hayfield was released in January (US) and June (UK), published by Berkley – can’t you tell by their cool cover! It is based on an English media giant, Harry Rose, who inherited Rose Corporation in his early twenties when his father died. He had met the love of his life Katie who was having troubles conceiving. As Harry is ranked number eighteen on the Forbes list and has charm that no woman can avoid, he finds a way to lure any woman he sees into bed. Following the tale on Henry VIII and the six wives, we discover what twists makes Harry wed again and again. This tale is so sexy, mysterious and dramatic that any tabloid finds it hard to ignore the scandalous heartbreaks of Harry Rose. In this article, we will be referencing to Hayfield rather than Copsey. On our At the Bar interview, it will be Copsey not Hayfield.

Book Pub Review applauds the level of planning, description and historical information Olivia Hayfielf has to offer in this book. It does indeed follow the historical tale of Henry VIII and his six wives. It was so on point in the narration that we were practically ticking off the women that came into Harry’s life. There is an old riddle that you might remember from school (“Divorce, Beheaded, Died, Divorce, Beheaded, Survived”) which is on point throughout. When chatting to Hayfield about the way she planned it, she had mentioned the full six wives were not included in the book. However, we beg to disagree with her! So when we got to the third wife Anna, it was hard to vision where she would take the book at this point. It was a dark time for Harry where he really hit rock-bottom. When we finally saw him re-marry again, he was struck with bad luck yet again which is where he met his in-between girlfriend before the one who survives. This kind of counts as the full circle, in our opinion. It some how worked. If you agree with this point, comment below..

As Hayfield so perfectly enhanced the persona of Harry bringing him into the 21st Century. She achieved this by bringing Harry into a level of power, like Rose Corp, which wouldn’t have worked if he was the actual king in the country. In this day and age, Harry acting in the way he did in the book wouldn’t have worked within a public eye on royalty levels if she went down this route. In a way it is a tongue in cheek sort of plot because of the connotations it has on a living public figure but that would destroy the way we see that person because as a reader of this novel: Everyone loves Harry! However, Hayfield took her own experience of Journalism and PR bringing this to the novel. It was heavily introduced to Harry’s world and reminded you of the general work stresses that come with the style of job, therefore giving Harry a reason to be so stressed excusing the fidelity as a wind down (in his eyes). The early days of his life really branded him as a selfish scoundrel who is married for the wrong reasons. The television hit Mad Men came into mind when we were introduced to Charles. Charles and Harry are known as the two best friends who act as each other’s wing man. It’s funny to see how they bounce off of each other at times but also shows how easily people can be lead a stray by other influences. You could say that there is a particular moment in Mad Men that resembles a particular time in Harry’s life. Does this reflect the type of time that Harry continues to live in?

Back on to Rose Corp … The Rack, name of the new magazine he created, was quite humorous once got the joke (womaniser) so was typical to be named that by Harry. Again, as Harry is a rich and powerful man, there was quite a few name dropping among the magazine talk. Alan Titchmarsh would have appealed to the older market of Hayfield’s readership but it defines the amount of connections Harry has. This has connotation of the level of power British magazines or tabloids have in the media world and how well connected in that circle is. This is told through the tales of each wife among the novel, especially when Harry and Janette gets together. Oh so very spicy! We hate to admit, she was one of the most favoured characters to go. Sorry, she just wasn’t a favourite of ours! #TeamAna and #TeamClare. It shows how powerful figures within the print industry have abused power with staff in order to gain from it. This was also critiqued to Ana when she landed in the business as a wife of a powerful man. These days it’s quite an important message to bring out in a novel, especially among the ‘Me Too’ movement. We learn at the end that even the Lawyer had something to hide. Hayfield has prompted us that this is the sequel to Wife After Wife where she will explore the movement set with Eliza, Harry’s Daughter, as the main character. It was referenced by several female characters in the book like Terri and Janette. Janette gave us so much empathy for this topic. Although we didn’t agree with the way she became a lover, she did not go through the best of times with him. It addressed the way it is handled within a work place and how it is hard to over come an issue like this. It will be interesting to see how Hayfield tackles this in the next book.

There are a few questions that come to mind that we did not see in the novel. Firstly, we never did see how the first born son carried on with his life. Will he come back in the next book. Will he find Harry? Also, Why did Harry not go and visit Katie towards the end of the book?

Overall, the book was a major success! The character that stood out most for us was Terri. She was northern, with a dark sense of humour and secrets of her own. She was almost repelled by Harry’s charm, with obvious reasons later. She carried on supporting each of the women who came into his world, despite their roles (good or bad). She was like the under dog of Harry’s personality who he admired without ever admitting. However, for some reason Ana was the character that really stayed with you. She was everything you think to be like your inner stronger feminine, dominant goddess when she met Harry. The book did not end the way we were expecting it to. There were a few twists that made us wonder if the characters would pop up again, then they did. It’s hard to admit but despite everything Harry put us through, there was a part of you that stayed on side with Harry which is exactly what Hayfield was trying to do.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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