by: Jo Jakeman
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Publisher: Berkley Books
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A wickedly dark debut thriller about three women who've all been involved with the same man and realize the one thing they have in common is that they all want revenge against him...
Divorces are often messy, and Imogen's is no exception. Phillip Rochester is controlling, abusive, and determined to make things as difficult as possible. When he shows up without warning demanding that Imogen move out of their house by the end of the month or he'll sue for sole custody of their young son, Imogen is ready to snap.
In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable--something that puts her in control for the first time in years. She's desperate to protect her son and to claim authority over her own life.
But she wasn't expecting both Phillip's ex-wife and new girlfriend to get tangled up in her plans. These three very different women--and unlikely allies--reluctantly team up to take revenge against a man who has wronged them all.
Originally titled Sticks and Stones
Hi Jo. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
I’m really well thank you. I’ve just come back from holiday in Cornwall where I tried surfing – I wasn’t very good!
Surfing can definitely be difficult. Tell me about The Exes’ Revenge. It sounds like a mix between 9 to 5 and Misery.
Oh, I love that! Both are great films. The Exes’ Revenge is a story about three women who lock their abusive ex in a cellar. Of course, it’s about a lot more than that. It’s about domestic abuse, female friendships, and how far you’d go to protect the ones you love.
What was your inspiration behind the book?
I had the idea for a funeral where some women in the congregation were happy that this man was dead. I’d been to too many funerals that year and they were often on my mind. I was also reading Jane Eyre at the time and wondering how Jane could love a man like Rochester. I started playing with the idea of turning Jane Eyre on its head, and instead of Rochester locking his first wife in the attic, having the wife locking Rochester in the cellar.
Tell me about the characters of Imogen, Naomi, Ruby, and Philip.
The women are very different characters. Ruby is forgiving, a little naïve at times. Naomi is quick to anger, defensive and scared of being hurt. Imogen is downtrodden, rarely sticks up for herself, but will do anything to protect her son. They bond over the fact that Phillip has mistreated them all, and continues to manipulate them. Phillip is a deeply flawed and cruel man. He is desperate for control and power. When the women stand up to him, and challenge his authority, he puts their lives in danger.
What surprised you about this story?
I’ve been surprised by the reaction to the book. I’ve had messages from women who have been in abusive relationships. They’ve told me about their experience, and how they are stronger for it. I am always humbled when I get positive feedback from a reader.
When a reader reads the last page of this book, what do you want their first thought to be?
Eva Dolan, author, said The Exes’ Revenge was ‘a revenge thriller to make you punch the air with solidarity’. That quote made me so happy because that was exactly the reaction I was hoping for.
Jo, thank you so much for your time.
My pleasure. Thank you for your questions.
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