‘My Lover’s Lover’ by Maggie O’Farrell

Lily moves in with her new boyfriend Marcus too soon. As she attempts to make his strangely cold and seemingly heartless warehouse apartment her home, she slowly realises that she barely even knows the man she is living with. And she knows even less about his previous relationships. When she stumbles upon an abandoned dress, she becomes increasingly obsessed with Marcus’s ex-girlfriend, Sinead…

It might be because it features a female PhD student in the final stages of her study (something I can certainly relate to…), it might be because it clearly engages in intertextual play with some of my all time favourite books, or it might just be O’Farrell’s simple yet electrifying prose, but for whatever reason, I love this novel. If you’re a fan of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, or Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, then I think you too will find something to appreciate in this engrossing reappraisal of the ‘other woman’ narrative. O’Farrell is a true talent, vastly under celebrated in my opinion, and I would recommend all of her novels: her debut, After You’d Gone had me in tears throughout its final act, as did The Hand That First Held Mine, and I am still haunted by The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox. If you haven’t already, I really do implore you to give this fantastic writer a try. My Lover’s Lover is a great place to start.

Maggie O’Farrell

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