Book Review: The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth

About the Book:

He said she jumped. He wouldn’t lie.

Before the woman went over the cliff, Pippa and Gabe were happy. They had the kind of marriage that everyone envies, as well as two sweet young daughters, a supportive family, and a picturesque cliff-side home – which would have been idyllic had the tall beachside cliffs not become so popular among those wishing to end their lives.

Gabe has become somewhat of a local hero since they moved to the cliff house, talking seven people down from stepping off the edge. But when Gabe fails to save the eighth, a sordid web of secrets begins to unravel, pushing bonds of loyalty and love to the brink.

What wouldn’t you do for your soulmate?

Published by Pan Macmillan Australia

Released October 2022

My Thoughts:

Love is blind. I’ve never read a novel where this has been more apparent between a couple. Sally Hepworth has long been a page turner for me, but in her latest, The Soulmate, she had me fuming in my seat, reading as fast as I could, hoping against hope that Pippa’s blinders would come off before it was too late. And that, right there, is a masterful storyteller. One who can not only hold your rapture for the duration, but also reel you in until you are so invested that it’s almost feels like you’d be doing yourself some sort of injustice if you didn’t read and read as much as you could in a single sitting.

Sally’s trademark dark humour was absent from this one, probably my only criticism of it. I enjoy her humour and the absence of it within this one was noticeable to me. That aside, The Soulmate is compulsively readable. The chapters are short and reel you in with the then and now and the two different character perspectives. Structurally, this novel is a cracker.

I have to say, I really despised Gabe, mental illness aside, the guy was an A-grade arse. That Pippa couldn’t/wouldn’t see/acknowledge this made for some exasperated reading moments for me. And it’s these two I’m referring to with the abovementioned love is blind comment, or Pippa, anyway. There were some very unrealistic accommodations going on within that relationship and also one instance of Pippa acting so out of character, I just wasn’t quite able to accept it against a backdrop of her unchecked adoration for Gabe, who was entirely unworthy, by the way. I have to say, it was an immense relief to discover that Pippa’s family were not as blind as she was, not by a long shot.

I did really like Max and Amanda as a couple, although their story, once it had come full circle, made me quite sad at how we can miss out through a lack of/fear of communication with those we love. There’s a bit of wisdom right there to take home from this one.

All in all, this is a good read that you’ll be hard pressed to put down. An ideal one for book clubs, the discussion points are many!

4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth

  1. This sounds like quite a departure for Hepworth. I read and enjoyed her earlier novels, but then she seemed to be verging on formulaic to me, a bit like a Melbourne suburban version of Jodi Piccoult, and I mean that as a compliment because Piccoult is a best-selling international author who crafts thoughtful issues-based novels even if they are a bit predictable in their structures.
    I didn’t read Hepworth’s last one but I might see if the library has this.

    Liked by 1 person

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