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Husbands and Lovers

By Beatriz Williams

A Compelling Story of Family Secrets



Cairo 1951 - Hannah Ainsworth has seen the worst of mankind in the war. After her husband was killed, she had to reinvent herself. She married an aging British diplomat stationed in Cairo. There, she also meets a handsome hotel manager who sparks her interest. As revolution threatens the city, Hannah becomes pregnant and caught between two politically opposed and opinionated men.

New England 2022 - Mallory Dunne’s 10-year-old son, Sam, needs a liver transplant.  Three years ago, he had eaten a poisonous mushroom while at a summer camp, and his kidney never recovered. The search for a transplant match is underway with no success.  Sam’s father, Monk Adams, is now a famous rock star and unaware of his son’s existence.  To find out if he is a match, Mallory is forced to confront her past intense romance with Monk.  In their search for a donor, Mallory and her sister also discover another family secret. Their own birth mother had been adopted from an infamous Irish orphanage in 1952.


This adroit book packs a lot of substance. It features two compelling stories of family secrets over sixty years apart. The atmospheric writing cleverly captured the essence of Cairo in 1951 and New England in 2022.

I loved how the chapters were smartly structured and clearly labeled, making the story easy to follow.  While both stories were intriguing, I really appreciated Mallory Dunne's story the most. The two stories are linked by a beautiful serpent bracelet and brought together at the end.  I felt the ending was somewhat rushed and it left me wanting more.  Perhaps the rest of the story will be in another book by the beloved author Beatriz Williams.

Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher    Random House Publishing Ballantine

Published   Jun 25, 2024

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