Title: Got You Back
Author: Jane Fallon
Publication date: August 15, 2008
Publisher: Penguin Books
Length: 406 pages
Genre: Women’s fiction
Age group: Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository
The husband: James never intended to lead a double life – with a wife in London and a mistress in the country, it’s exhausting. But that’s all about to change…
The wife: Stephanie isn’t really snooping when she finds a text message from a strange woman on her husband’s mobile. But now she’s found it, how can she ignore it? It’s time to track the woman down and find out what’s going on…
The mistress: Katie has no reason to believe her boyfriend, James, is cheating until someone claiming to be his wife gets in touch. Now she’s been cast in the role of mistress. Not one she’s happy with…
Once Stephanie and Katie know about each other, they must decide what to do. They could both just throw him out or they could join forces to make his life hell first… But revenge isn’t always sweet. And what happens when one woman thinks enough is enough but the other doesn’t know when to stop?
My love for Jane Fallon’s work started years before I even started blogging. I remember randomly picking up Getting Rid of Matthew in our local bookshop when I was 17 and instantly falling love with Fallon’s writing. I know I loved her style even then but I wasn’t really keen on how the story ended and felt that it fell a bit flat. Since I found the author’s style so absorbing and so well-written, I knew Got You Back would be another brilliant read but I was hoping the ending wouldn’t disappoint. Well, it didn’t. Got You Back turned out to be even more captivating than I thought it would be and it has quickly become one of my favourite books of the year from this genre. It’s very cleverly written, its characters are relatable and realistic and the story is definitely a unique one.
Both the story and the writing reminded me of Tamar Cohen’s A Mistress’s Revenge, a book which I reviewed only a few months ago. Both books deal with love affairs gone wrong in quite a different way but in a similarly entertaining and gripping fashion. Got You Back centres around Stephanie, a stylist working in London and James, a vet who divides his time between his rural practice in Lower Shippingham and his work in north London. While he loves his wife and his son, he feels that his life got a bit dull over the years. So when he meets Katie in Lower Shippingham and suddenly feels more alive, his fate is sealed. They move in together in Katie’s cottage, spending three nights a week together while Stephanie and their son Finn are both in London. But when James forgets to delete one of Katie’s texts and Stephanie finds it by accident, a whole new chapter begins.
Instead of the usual cheating husband scenario, Stephanie gets in touch with Katie and they come up with a plan: they join forces in order to take revenge and make James’s life as miserable as he made them feel. Fallon kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through the end and I had no clue what was going to happen. The fact that James has no clue what’s going on behind his back or even the fact that his wife and his girlfriend know each other makes the story utterly hilarious and impossible to put down.
In addition to a well-thought-out plot what I really enjoyed about this book is how diverse the characters were. I loved Stephanie’s character and how she handled all this – and when I started reading the book I didn’t thought I would end up saying this but I was actually beginning to like James and feel sorry for him by the end. Katie was starting to get on my nerves but her unpredictable behaviour definitely adds to the tension and makes you want to read on. After such a long and tense build-up, the ending seemed a bit anti-climatic at first and it was not what I initially expected but all in all, I like the way things worked out for all of them.
Overall Got You Back was an entertaining, witty and memorable novel which I didn’t want to end. The writing’s brilliant, the characters are not over-the-top or unrealistic and the plot is guaranteed to keep you up late at night. Another fantastic read by Jane Fallon for fans of women’s fiction. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!
“Stephanie closed her eyes and held out her hands, her son’s almost uncontrollable excitement rubbing off on her and making her feel like a child again herself. It was hard to believe it had been nine years. Nine years ago today she had been shivering because of the cold, and crying because it was raining and her hair was going to get ruined, and James had burst into the hotel room where she had been getting ready, ignoring all the voices telling him it was bad luck for him to see his bride before the ceremony, because he had known she would be nervous and that she would care about seeing him more than she would worry about breaking with tradition.”