Tall Poppy Review: “The Man She Married” Shocks

in Fiction by

The man she marriedThere are many ways to write about being in a coma, the shock, the helpless entrapment, and the frightening numbness and silence, but then there is Cathy Lamb‘s way, with bewilderment, with laugh-out-loud humor, and with chilling fear of why things have gone wrong.

In The Man She Married,  (Kensington) a witty, suspenseful novel, Natalie considers herself a safe woman. She drives a safe blue truck as solid as a tank; she has a safe occupation as an accountant because numbers tell the truth; she has safe hobbies, reading, going fishing and making necklaces; she has safe friends with whom she bonded as a kid.

Despite being abandoned by her selfish, judgmental, critical mother when she was seven, Natalie builds a life with her roofer father and finds happiness with a man she loves, a delicious, strong man called Zack. Except his name is not really Zack.

When a van rams into her truck, Natalie’s world crashes and she is trapped in a “Coma Coffin” where she hears her loving father, critical mother, delicious husband, and kind friends, but is unable to communicate. In a vulnerable and devastating moment, she sagely distinguishes between the inconveniences of various problems. “A snake catheter, for example, is an inconvenience; listening recently to two doctors say that I should be ‘allowed to die’ is a problem.”

And yet more problems snake out to reach Natalie, even after the golden miracle, even during her rehabilitation, even after her release. Who really is her husband who stealthily sells their home and keeps secrets from her? And will she forgive and reconcile with the mother who tightly held her own secrets? Natalie will not be safe until she looks into the past that has defined the people she loves, the past that threatens to kill her again.

Expertly crafted, thrilling, humorous yet frightening, The Man She Married is a literary wonder of family, crime, and romance. It’s powerful, entertaining, it’ll make you laugh and cry. Fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train will love this book.

The Man She Married is available for purchase.

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ABOUT CATHY LAMB:

Cathy Lamb drinks too much coffee and daydreams endlessly. That’s how she writes her books. She is the author of many novels, including 2016’s The Language of Sisters. Visit her website, or connect with her on Goodreads, and Amazon.

Weina Dai Randel is the award-winning author of two historical novels, The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon, historical novel series of Empress Wu (Wu Zetian), China’s only female emperor. The Moon in the Palace won RWA RITA® Award in 2017, was nominated by Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Historical Fiction, by RT Book Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Historical, and recommended by Texas Library Association’s 2017 Lariat Reading List. The series have been translated into 7 languages and sold worldwide.

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