Imperfect Women – Araminta Hall (2020)
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: Mystery/Domestic Fiction
Page Count: 304 pages
Araminta Hall, a writer of domestic thrillers, brings out the complexities of female friendships in this murder mystery, which you can happily skip.
The story is told from the perspective of three middle aged women – Eleanor, Nancy and Mary, who represent the various aspects of feminism. The women often contemplate the meaning of motherhood and prejudiced notions of “career driven” individuals.
Following the sudden death of Nancy, suspected to be a murder, Eleanor and Mary deeply think about what they want and their relationship with Nancy.
There seems to be a little confusion as to the nature of the book. Sometimes, its a murder mystery, a thriller, a whodunnit and sometimes its a look into feminism. The book attempts to be serious but the setting does not allow it to reach its potential.
The mystery part of the book is predictable. The long internal dialogues are repetitive as all three friends essentially think of the same things with only a few different words.
If the book had been just a thriller, maybe it would have made for a better read. The novel very irritatingly panders to the stereotype of jealousy and envy among female friends and makes the book feel like a below average version of Pretty Little Liars but with adult characters.
The book in fact, focuses on stereotypes attached to women but tries to give them a feminist twist unconvincingly. Eleanor is focused on her career and is shown to be jealous of her friends who have kids. Nancy has an affair because she’s bored and Mary is a martyr.
There are better books on female friendships with real feminist characters and are mystery/thrillers at the same time which you can check out.
You can buy the book here
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