The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth – Book Review

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“We trust people based on the strangest, most arbitrary things, none of which have any bearing on whether or not you are inherently good.”

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On a steep cliff, stands a cottage. Gabe and Pippa’s dream home, located in a sleepy coastal town. Their house may be idyllic but hides a sinister secret. The steep cliffs are a popular spot for people to end their lives.

Night after night, Gabe talks one after another off of the edge. Until one day, he doesn’t.

Pippa soon learns Gabe knew the victim. Did the victim willingly end their own life or did Gabe do the pushing?

And would Gabe, Pippa’s soulmate and love of her life, lie to her? As the perfectly neat and tidy facade of their marriage begins to crack, the deepest and darkest of secrets rise to the surface.

Thoughts on the Plot

This book managed to move quickly and slowly all at the same time. I think this might have been thanks to the dual POV timeline in this book.

Told between the victim, in the past leading up to the present. And Pippa, in the present unraveling her own events of the past.

There are also a lot of tropes within this book and they felt overused. One of the main characters seems to suffer from being stuffed with too many cliches.

By the end of the book, however, it felt more like I had just read a family drama, more so than a domestic thriller.

I found very little about this book thrilling.

The plot itself is also not entirely engaging, I think it is fair to say this book is definitely character-driven.

Thoughts on the Characters

Speaking of the characters, all of these characters were so unlikeable.

If there was anyone to sympathize with, it would be the victim.

Gabe needs to be admitted to a mental institution.

Pippa needs a serious freaking reality check and daily therapy sessions.

The side characters really needed to step in far more than they did.

I only really liked Gabe and Pippa’s daughters. They provided a lighter layer to a dark and complicated story.

There wasn’t really anyone to root for and it was a little hard to clearly sort out who was the hero/villain. But maybe that is the point.

I also felt a little bit like by the time Sally Hepworth finished writing this novel, she had become so attached to the characters that she couldn’t let anything bad happen to any of them. Even some who deserved a bit of good old karma.

Overall Thoughts

This was my first Sally Hepworth book and it felt super lackluster. It felt like a bad introduction to her writing.

I do own copies of her other books, The Good Sister and The Mother-In-Law, so I hope that once I get around to reading those, I enjoy them more than this one.

While I personally felt this book fell flat, I felt a little connected to the victim of the story.

Gabe and Pippa were just such a toxic mess, I had a hard time connecting with them, let alone sympathizing with them.

They had problems because Gabe is insane and Pippa doesn’t have a backbone, but they have great sex so match made in heaven, am I right?

Their two young daughters were like a small breeze coming through an open window on a warm spring morning. I found myself really enjoying their small parts within the book.

I also enjoyed the setting of this book, turns out I like reading about small coastal towns and the wonky people that live in them.

Otherwise, I really did not enjoy this book all that much. There was absolutely nothing thrilling about this story, way too many overused cliches and tropes and I just disliked how manic Gabe was.

This book gets 3 out of 5 stars from me.

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