Women's relationships are complicated. The longer the friendship, the more time there has been for secrets, lies, and betrayals. It's no different for the Whipple Triplets, the three college freshmen who met in Whipple dormitory at Carlisle College in Belle River, NH.
Kate Eastman, whose family name appears on several buildings on campus, came to college to party and to fulfill her destiny as an Eastman. Jenny Vega grew up in Belle River. Her parents own the local hardware store, and Jenny knows the value of a Carlisle degree and intends to make the most of every opportunity. Aubrey Miller is on a quest. Having grown up poor in Las Vegas, she is determined to create a better life for herself with a prestigious degree and all the doors that will open to her because of that.
That first day of freshman year sealed a life-long friendship. Through family problems and boyfriends, academic struggles and thoughts of suicide, drugs and alcohol and frat parties, these three young women stick to each other's side, watching out and keeping each other safe.
Until that night on the bridge.
Local hockey star Lucas Arsenault went off the old train bridge into the frozen river. He didn't survive. The only ones who witnessed what happened were the three friends and Lucas's cousin Tim, but when Tim jumps into the water to try to save Lucas, he hits his head and the resulting concussion erases his memories. Kate's father and his attorney come in and clean up everything for the girls, which helps their futures, but it ties them together in a toxic web of deceit.
Now it's decades later. Aubrey has married a doctor, had two kids, and set up her own very successful yoga studio. Jenny is mayor, and her husband Tim runs a powerful construction company in Belle River. And for the first time since that fateful night on the bridge, Kate moves back to town with her husband, broke and broken and trying to figure out what's next. Will the move back signal a new beginning, or is it the end of all the secrets and lies that have been weighing the women down since freshman year of college?
Michele Campbell's dark and twisty It's Always the Husband is a gripping thriller that draws you in with well-drawn characters and takes you on a crazy ride to the very end. Easy to read but hard to put down, this novel is a great summer read if you like women's fiction with a little bite to it.
Galleys for It's Always the Husband were provided by the publisher through NetGalley.com.