The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

3 stars

How far would someone go to inhabit someone else’s life? Apparently, if you’re Amber Patterson, you’d go pretty far to try to become the beautiful, wealthy socialite Daphne Parrish.

The Last Mrs. Parrish sitting on a round wood table in front of sunflowers in a mason jar vase.

If you are looking for a few hours of escapism and you enjoy diabolical characters, you will enjoy this one. With a simple plot and a small cast of characters, this book can easily be digested in a day or read in multiple sittings over time.

One of the review blurbs on the back cover calls this “The Talented Mr. Ripley with XX chromosomes.” Having just read The Talented Mr. Ripley, in some ways it is an appropriate comparison. Both books feature a central character accustomed to a lavish lifestyle. Amber is certainly as conniving, entitled, and manipulative as Tom Ripley. However, the person whose life is being coveted has more of a voice and backstory in The Last Mrs. Parrish. I really appreciated this difference. In fact, I found Daphne’s part of the book to be more engaging than Amber’s. After a while, Amber’s tricks and entitled inner dialogue got a little repetitive and boring. 

One unique aspect of this debut book is how it was written. Two sisters living in different states co-wrote it under a pen name that combines parts of each of their names. I thought that was an interesting fact, and it made me want to learn more about them and their writing process. I’d read another book written by the Constantine sisters.

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