• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh

In The Love of My Life, Rosie Walsh offers a twisty contemporary fiction novel and psychological thriller centered around a fascinating cast of characters, heartbreak, and hope.

In Rosie Walsh's The Love of My Life, Emma is a marine biologist who's devoted to her husband Leo and their young daughter Ruby. Emma finds herself fighting aggressive lymphoma, and Leo, an obituary writer, privately copes with his pain by writing about Emma.

Emma is recovering. But as Leo continues to dig into his wife's past to confirm details, he finds that the facts his beloved wife has told him don't add up. He doesn't want to upset Emma, so he does something he's never done: he goes behind her back, speaking to people from her past who can fill in the gaps. And he finds that almost everything Emma has ever told him about herself has been a lie.

Walsh tells the story in two parts, alternating between chapters exploring Emma's young life (the true story) and chapters from the present (the unraveling of falsehoods). Through both timelines, Walsh slowly builds the true narrative while uncovering Emma's motivations, traumas, emotional state, and the outside forces at work, while also exploring weighty topics including mental illness and loss.

The tone of this is more toward contemporary fiction, and the book offers satisfying character development, but The Love of My Life is also a psychological thriller with twists and turns. Without melodrama or a manipulative-feeling big reveal, Walsh surprised me with the real story and the reasons Emma kept her secrets. This wonderfully wrought page-turner is heartbreaking, hopeful, and masterfully crafted.

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Rosie Walsh is also the author of Ghosted.

For more mysteries and thrillers I've reviewed that you might like, click here.