Book Club: It’s Always The Husband

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Author: Michele Campbell
ISBN: 9780008271862
RRP: $29.99
Publisher: HQ Fiction
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Holidays are really messing with my review time, but I’m happy to say I’m still finding time to read. The problem with that is it’s been quite a while since I finished reading It’s Always the Husband, and now I need to review so I think I will keep it short and sweet.

It’s Always the Husband is a suspenseful read that kept me guessing throughout. I thought I had it all figured out a couple of times, but never actually did. The amount of twists in this one makes it a little difficult to review without giving it all away.

The story is a contemporary suspense told with dual timelines so half the story is told in the past when our trio of best friends, who are sometimes more like frenemies, met at college. This gives the story a very YA feel with so much of the narrative taking place with college kids.

Two decades ago Kate, Jenny and Aubrey were thrown together as roommates. Three girls who were completely different but built a friendship on the strength of their proximity. Friendships built in the beginning of college burn brightly and they sometimes seem to be attachments that would never have been made under different circumstances, and that is definitely the case with these three.

Aubrey worked hard to gain a scholarship to the prestigious Carlisle College after growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, and she doesn’t really want to let her new friends know about her roots. Jenny was born and bred in the New Hampshire college town and her working class family have taught her to do what needs to be done to get where she wants to be. Kate is the old money New Yorker with oodles of charisma who is at Carlisle more for the experience, and to shop for a husband.

I enjoyed the story and the twists kept me guessing but it was not what I was expecting. The blurb led me to believe this was a story about a trio of 40 year olds, and it was but it was also the story of the trio and how their friendship developed.

We meet the college freshman and share their freshman year with them before catching up with them again as 40 year olds. We see how they have grown and what they made of their lives as we spend a lot of present day time learning about the people they became.

It’s Always The Husband explores friendship, relationships and how the passage of time changes us all. Campbell has written an engaging debut that paints her as an author with great potential whose growth will be interesting to watch.

Michele Campbell can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and the Michele Campbell website.

It’s Always The Husband is available now from  Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to HQ Fiction 20 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading It’s Always The Husband so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments. I look forward to hearing what they think.

24 thoughts on “Book Club: It’s Always The Husband

  1. Its always the husband will have you guessing and then guessing again over and over.
    Three females from totally different backgrounds are forced together when they have to share accommodation for their time at University.
    Kate who is stunningly beautiful and whose life is funded by a very wealthy father. Kate has a dislike for her step mother and has always felt that her father blames her for the death of her mother who passed away from cancer. Kate drinks way too much and uses drugs without a care.
    Aubrey who was raised by a single Mum that really had no idea how to raise a child. Money was always an issue and Aubrey always felt that at school she never really fit in.
    Jenny is the one who really wants to do the right thing but some how her attempts to do the right thing often go awry.
    The three of them form a friendship which is more about the fact that they were living together rather then their personalities meshing. They end up needing each other and making a pact that they will always be friends but as life goes on things change.
    There is a murder and that means that everyone is suddenly under a lot of strain and things change forever.

    I really enjoyed this book and found myself pondering constantly on who was responsible. You are kept guessing right up until the last page.
    Fantastic….I seriously loved this book.

  2. This is a wonderful thriller, in which you think you know who did what to who… and then you change your mind… and again… and then you find you’re still wrong. It’s genuinely intriguing, and will keep you reading with increasing interest in finding out what happened.

    Kate, Aubrey and Jenny become best friends in college. It’s something of a forced friendship; the American college system forces them to room together for a year. They wouldn’t have chosen each other as friends otherwise, and despite their “best friends forever” declarations, they don’t really have much in common.

    Twenty years after they became linked, the women’s lives have diverged. All have married, with varying degrees of happiness. They’re now all back in their college town, and the cracks in their friendship have become yawning crevasses. Their lives are complicated, and all face various sorrows and dilemmas. One of them is about to die. It’s easy to believe her husband could be responsible. Or one of the other two women, or even their husbands. All too many people have plausible motivations to do something ghastly to the victim.

    Although this is presented as a thriller – and it does an exceptional job in that genre – it’s also a novel that explores relationships. Friendships between women, and romantic relationships between men and women are under the spotlight. Campbell does a great job of exploring the strengths, misunderstandings, and weaknesses in relationships. I found this aspect of the novel as compelling as the mystery element.

    Overall, I’d strongly recommend this. The characters are very believable, and so are many of the situations they encounter. In particular, their emotions and reactions ring true. The denouement is a surprise (and yet credible). I found this compelling and enjoyable to read.

  3. I had not heard or read of anything by Michele Campbell before and it was the title and cover that drew me in and I’m glad it did!

    The story follows three different girls from three different socio economic groups as they form their friendship thrown together as roommates in collage. Fast forward 20 years and we are faced with a murder and a great who done it where in the end everyone has guilt!

    I found the characters likeable, very complex but realistic. All three girls/women are messed up in their own way and all dealing with their own demons as well as those bound by the friendship. The story kept me guessing and i found just when you think you know how its going or all there is to know about a character, Cambell throws something else in and keeps you in suspense.

    Its not what i would describe it as a fast paced thriller but is certainly a great read and will be recommending to friends!

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for the chance to read and review this book.

  4. I really enjoyed It’s Alawys The Husband, Thankyou Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for the opportunity to read this thriller.
    An ordinary start of college year three young girls with entirely different personalities and backgrounds are thrust together as roommates.. their lives revolve around partying and alcohol and occasionally drugs. One girl definetly the leader in this treo seems to always get her own way as the other two compete to be the best friend.
    Once the girls leave college and go their own way ,two marry and stay in the same town while Kate returned to the town with her husband. All couple are known to each other but have grown apart.
    When one of the women is murdered each of the other friends have reason to be incriminated. But then It’s Always the Husband or is it?
    A really enthralling read with turns and twists with each page turned right to then very end. And I really didn’t see that coming. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️From me

  5. I’m glad it wasn’t just me who was kept guessing the whole book! This ‘Who done it’ had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, I thought I had it all figured out early on but then it all changed…and changed again and I had no idea.
    I finished this read fairly quickly as I had trouble putting it down.
    We follow 3 girls from different backgrounds who end up at the same College (this was covered with the reviews above) I didn’t really think much of any of them to be honest haha
    We have 2 seperate time lines to follow which I love in a novel too.
    This was easily a 5/5 from me I loved every page.
    Thanks for the fab read x

  6. Thank you for selecting me to read Its Always The Husband written by Michele Campbell
    For a debut novel the author has written a great book
    The main characters are Jenny Kate and Aubrey three very different girls from totally different backgrounds who board together throughout their college years, sometimes the girls antics are a bit questionable but this is all part of the story
    From chapter 1 present day I was hooked after the first two pages
    The book then goes back to the girls college years and the story starts to come together
    Very easy book to follow,
    Readers will think they have guessed the ending but lots of twists and turns and this is what I loved about this book
    I thought I knew who did it ( no spoilers ) but I was so wrong, actually the ending was a total surprise to me and in my opinion that is what makes a great book

  7. Kate, Jenny, and Aubrey are three friends who met at college. Kate is rich, very attractive and self-absorbed, Aubrey is naive and poor, and Jenny is smart and driven. Things happen at college – lives spin out of control and their friendship is tested.

    There is a mystery to unravel when 20 years later something happens to one of the girls…..and little by little details of the crime are revealed.

    The book is told from different points of view and alternates between the present and the past events at college.

    I loved it! the story of Kate, Jenny and Aubrey is interesting and although the first half is heavy on detail it builds background to the main story – the death of one of the female characters. I THOUGHT I could see who the murderer was early in the story, but I was very very wrong.

    Lets just say everyone has secrets in this story – and everyone lies. No one is truly innocent!

    Overall I enjoyed Its Always the Husband – it is a great read for Summer and will keep you guessing till the end.

    Thanks for the opportunity to read this great book!

  8. This book was a slow build but it certainly came to one satisfying conclusion.

    In her debut novel, Michele Campbell has crafted three rich characters who are studying and rooming together at the prestigious Carlisle College.

    Kate is a rich girl who is adored by most people, especially her housemate, Aubrey who comes from humbler circumstances. Jenny meanwhile, is the only one who seems to have a sensible head screwed on her shoulders. Campbell follows their lives as young women and eventually what happens when someone dies in mysterious circumstances some 20 years later.

    This is a thrilling suspense book with many veiled and tight-lip secrets. You may think you have it all figured out but trust me, you will be kept on your toes right until that cataclysmic ending!

  9. Just loved this book! The suspense was very good, the story was written that kept me turning pages, just when you think you have it all worked out the plot thickens and more details were given to lead the reader into another thought of who did it.

    A story of three young girls who are all of different backgrounds come together to start college life and as the story progresses it goes int their adult lives and explores how their lives have unfolded an intertwined. I liked the story line and there was enough suspense to keep me reading wondering how things would change for each of them and how they would again be thrown together int he ultimate betrayal, revenge and the ultimate end.

    A love story, a tragic life, spitefulness of someone who appears to have it all and a murder. Is everything really enough for some people…. It will keep you guessing right to the end. Enough background information to make you wonder why people do things and what the ultimate goal of love will do … even to best friends.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will look for more books written by Michael Campbell.

  10. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for gifting me this book to read.

    It’s always the Husband is such a captivating read. Suspense at its best.

    Kate, Aubrey and Jenny are three friends who met as rooms mate in college. Friends through thick and thin.
    It’s a life altering friendship that carries itself along for years to come.

    The first chapter is just 2 pages long but it has so much in it that you will carry with you the whole time you are reading the book.

    We start from present day and then go back 21 years earlier where you begin to find out how the friendship started and a little bit of background about the three girls.
    Time takes us back and forth between the two and this gives us an look into the lives of the girls back then and to their lives today.

    Michele Campbell has done such an amazing job of keeping you wanting to know who were the characters in the first chapter almost the whole way through the book. Then when you find out who one is the rest of the book you are still trying to figure out who the other person is.

    This is a story of friendships, loves, lies, loss and a fantastic who-dunnit that will keep you hooked and guessing right up until the end.

  11. It’s always the husband was the first book in an while that had me up till all hours of the morning reading. It had me hooked from the start and i just couldn’t put it down.

    It follows three girls who are from different backgrounds, and are thrown into living together in college. It follows them through their current life situations and goes back to explaining how they came to be where they are today. The book has you constantly guessing about what happened and who dunnit? But just when you think you have it figured out it makes you second guess all the way to the end.

    Highly recommend this book to everyone that will listen.

  12. Thanks for the chance to read It’s always the Husband

    What a fantastic read although I found it very slow to start it soon emerged as a very intriguing storyline concerning the past & the present

    So this story is about Three girls meeting together in college their life after college then the dramatic twist

    Really cannot say too much as it has spoilers lets just say great read with twists & turns & an end that defied all my guesses as to “who dunnit’

    Once again thanks again & would recommend this as a great read

  13. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for the chance to read and review this book.

    I have never read anything by Michele Campbell before and I am so glad that I now have. Loved this book from the start to the end and couldn’t recommend it more!

    The story is based around 3 girls who start college together and all share a room. Three different girls with 3 completely different backgrounds and personalities who all become best friends straight away. There is many twists and turns as you follow these characters through high school and start to see their true colours come out.

    The book then catches up with the girls when they are older where even more drama unfolds! You find yourself constantly guessing and trying to figure out the story but you will never guess it until you finish the book. It is hard to go too much into the storyline without giving too much away!

    It is a great thriller and a easy read. Once you pick up this book you will struggle to put it down. If you love a thriller, trust me you will love this story!

    Thank you again for the opportunity to read and review this book, highly recommend it!

  14. I absolutely loved ‘It’s always the husband’! It was a book that I found I couldn’t put down because I couldn’t work out who did it, but there were so many clue and so many leads – it was doing my head in. The clues were all plausible and I changed my mind so many times thinking that this time I really knew who the culprit was, to only fine out in the end that I was completely wrong. The story was well written, with characters who were relatable, both as teenagers and also as adults. I only wish that there was a ‘5 years later’ or something like that to tell us where all the characters were.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace for another fantastic book to read. Highly recommended for those who like who dunnit stories >:o)

  15. Its Always The Husband was a fantastic read. This book kept me on my toes the whole time.
    The story line is about 3 girls that are thrown together as room mates at college. All very different and from very different backgrounds, they all become best friends very quickly. Aubrey is from a broken home, with a mother that does not do much to care for her. Then there is Jenny who’s parents are middle class and are very loving. And lastly there is Kate, the poor little rich girl. Each of these girls brings a different dynamic and their friendship comes under fire.
    The story is told in two different time lines, one when they are in college as room mates and the other, when they are older with families and husbands.
    I found the storyline very suspenseful and easy to read. I couldn’t put the book down, I just wanted to know who did it?
    If you want to know, you will just have to read the book.
    Thanks B&L for another great read.

  16. Wow! The beginning sucked me and and from then on I was left guessing for the entire book! Just when you think you’ve got it picked, you change your mind and so on and so on! Never did I expect that it really would come down to the last page before we would know the truth!!
    Th relationships between the characters surprised me – who liked who and who ended up with who and how each was treated by others. I often wondered how on Earth the three girls stayed friends through college let alone bothered to stay in contact afterwards. I don’t think they would have ever become friends had it not been for rooming together.
    This was a good, simple read that I looked forward to picking up each day and was sadden when it ended, although it was wonderful to finally learn the truth of who-dun-it.
    It’s Always The Husband by Michele Campbell, definitely a book I would recommend!!!

  17. What a fun romping mystery with twists and turns and omg moments. The characters draw you in quickly and I think we can all see a bit of us or a friend in one or more of the characters and the relationships, even if we do not want to admit it. Then as things turn more serious so does the book and we wonder what really is going on. You feel the background, family and context well, as the setting for the drama unfolding, and it makes the book quick to get into, imagine what is going and follow the story. I would recommend giving it a go. 4 stars.

  18. Thanks for the chance to read “It’s always the husband” by Michele Campbell.

    Overall, I enjoyed the book. To me, the measure of a good book is if I think about it when I’m not reading it. I’m currently suffering from lack of sleep due to my 8 month old having a sleep aversion and kept getting confused, thinking I was thinking of a show I was watching on Netflix! In saying that, I really could see this book as one season show. Although I know the ending now so couldn’t watch it!

    I enjoyed getting to know the characters and forming my opinions on them – I’ve not read a book where I’ve not particularly liked any of the characters before. The author did a great job of keeping me interested in people I didn’t like very much.

    I did feel the beginning of the book was long. I was constantly wondering when the events would happen but on reflection, this needed to happen to reach the conclusion.

    All in all, I think I would read a Michele Campbell book again. Bit sad this one is over now!

  19. My favourite thing about ‘It’s always the husband’ is the dynamic between the 3 main characters.

    There’s charistmatic Kate, the spoilt little rich girl who has a way of dominating those around her. Then there’s passive aggressive overachiever Jenny, always the sensible and reliable one. Aubrey is a bit of a trainwreck, a lost soul looking for acceptance.

    The story rotates between the present day and 22 years earlier when the girls were college roomates. They go through many ups & downs together: death, cheating scandals, academic struggles…but they stick together & have each other’s backs. Or do they?

    Fast forward and their lives are still intertwined, all still striving for success and acceptance in their own way. And someone is going to get hurt.

    This is an incredibly intoxicating, addictive who dunnit. I couldn’t put it down!

    I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for more if Michelle Campbell’s works. Highly recommend this riveting drama.

  20. I really enjoyed reading this book. After an initial scene where an unknown character is standing on the end of a bridge, being urged to jump to their death by another unknown character, the story rewinds to start 20 years later. It starts off as a lighthearted story about three young girls who are placed together as roommates at college. The three girls could not be any more different, and would be unlikely to be friends under other circumstances but do end up exclaiming to be best friends despite their differences…or so they say, as it never seems they ever like each other that much. The book flicks between narrative of their college days, and the present which is 20 years later and things aren’t so rosy particularly in each of their marriages.

    In college, Kate is the popular rich girl who everyone seems to be envious of as she could have anything she ever wanted yet she is never truly happy. Twenty years later, she still isn’t happy and she’s never worked a day in her life. In the beginning Aubrey is the complete opposite to Kate whom she idolises, having come from a lower class family which she tries to hide. Twenty years later, she has transformed to a confident, calm and collected yoga teacher who loves her job. The third friend, Jenny has always been a hard worker who can see through Kate’s perfect image. In college she worked hard towards what she wanted, and twenty years later she has it, although it may be more about the favours along the way rather than her determination.

    It is hard to write too much about the story without giving anything away. It was interesting to see the links that build between the past and the present as the story progresses. As we get closer to finding out what happened, every time I thought I knew, another twist was thrown in and it wasn’t until the very last page that we found out! I found the ending very thought intriguing!

  21. Who doesn’t love a good mystery? This book was a complex one, and one where I felt conflicted at times. While the characters were believable, there was an awful lot that was not likable and I found them difficult to relate to at times. The story is well crafted and has enough twists to make up for some of the shortcomings with the characters but I find it hard to keep reading books when the main characters have so many flaws. There’s plenty or drama and sage in this book, with a little bit of thrill. I couldn’t pick the ending and even when I thought I was on the right track I was wrong.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review. I would give it 3.5 stars.

  22. Great book. Very well written and keeps you wanting more. Keeps you guessing which is exactly what a good mystery should do.
    Give It a go. You won’t be disappointed.
    Thank you to HQ Fiction and Beauty and Lace for the advance copy.

  23. Absolutly loved this book. The characters were well thought out, all 3 girls have completely different personalities and traits and one would have to think that had they met anywhere else there would be a good chance they never would have been friends to begin with.

    Aubrey… nieve and very impressionable
    Kate the wild child
    And jenny who thinks shes better than everyone.

    This book had me thinking from the get go that i knew who it was, and then new clues would arise and i would change my mind and then…..wouldnt u know it…. i had it wrong all along. The ending suprised me big time and i love that. I hate knowing whats going to happen and this book certainly isnt predictable.

    Very well written, intriguing characters and twists at every turn.
    An excellent read. I will be lookimg forward to reading more of Michelled books in future. Big thanks to beauty and lace for givi g me the chan w to review .

  24. Thank you to the Beauty and Lace Book Club for allowing to read this fantastic book.
    I found it to be a real page turner with a twist at the end.
    I definitely look forward to reading more books by Michele Campbell, this is the first book of hers I have read.
    I recommend this book to anybody who loves a good thriller.

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