‘An Inconvenient Woman’ is the latest book by Stéphanie Buelens.
When Claire Fontaine learns that her ex-husband Simon is marrying again, to a woman with a teenage daughter, her blood runs cold. She is sure that years ago Simon molested her own daughter and was responsible for her mysterious death. She can’t let him get away with it a second time. Vandalism, harassment; whatever it takes, Claire will expose him. Simon doesn’t know where Claire got this delusion from; her daughter’s death was ruled a suicide, but she has always blamed herself – is she just lashing out? Wanting to protect his new fiancee, he hires Sloane Wilson, an ex-cop turned ‘sin-eater’, whose job it is to handle delicate cases without getting the police involved, to get Claire off his back.Sloane must navigate the wreckage of Claire and Simon’s marriage to discover the truth. Two people with conflicting stories and a whole lot of reasons to want to hurt each other. Is she crazy or is he manipulative? And can Sloane stay clear-headed enough to figure it out?
Claire Fontaine has never gotten over the death of her teenage daughter and blames her ex husband Simon for her death. Now that Simon has moved on and is getting married again, Claire is determined not to let history repeat itself. As Claire is making Simon’s life miserable, he hires Sloan Wilson, who is a sin eater to stop Claire from ruining his life.
This book is a really interesting concept and I found Sloan Wilson’s job to be quite fascinating. A sin eater, is someone you call to take care of problems and make them go away. A famous sin eater is Mr White from ‘Reservoir Dogs’. But as Sloan delves into Claire’s life and befriends her, she realises that the women have more in common than she would have ever expected with both of them having dominant fathers in their lives.
The characters in this story are fascinating, Claire is a French tutor and through her jobs meets loads of different people of all ages, all wanting to learn French for different reasons. Sloan is also interesting with her career choice, initially a policewoman, she followed in her fathers shoes but she changed her career when the force became corrupt. She’s honest and wants to help Claire, but the more she delves into Claire’s life that she begins to sympathise with her.
The story is quite cultured in parts with the French language as well as Claire love and knowledge with art especially when she starts tutoring an art dealer called Ray. When Claire is with Ray, we see a happier version of a normally stressed and unhappy woman.
This book evoked a lot of emotions in me, there was sadness for a Claire who was grieving for her daughter and is everyday reminded of her loss. But primarily I was angry for the majority of time with the way that women were treated in this book. When Claire fails to reciprocate her feelings for one of her students, he then harasses her, forcing himself upon and turning up at her house, his behaviour towards me riled me, even more so than Simon. Simon is a smarmy character, who has gaslighting down to a tee, one minute charming and immediately using his authority as a lawyer to undermine Claire.
With an unique plot, a gripping hook with flawed characters that kept me engaged throughout. ‘An Inconvenient Woman’ is a cleverly crafted story with strong female characters and suspense that keeps the reader guessing throughout.
You can buy ‘An Inconvenient Woman’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.