The Woman on the Bench
The Woman on the Bench
The Woman on the Bench is the debut novel from author Eliot Stevens that I just finished reading. If you know me and follow my reviews, you know how much I love a good quality debut novel. There is always something so special about it, in my opinion.
So needless to say, I was pretty excited to read this one! The description had me hooked as well. My to be read list shifts here and there to make room for other books as I discover them, and as soon as I read the description for The Woman on the Bench, it was quickly moved to the top of my list.
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Have you read The Woman on the Bench yet? Come on in and let me tell you about it!
About The Woman on the Bench
At last, Mark has found the perfect woman. There’s just one small problem – his wife.
Married couple Mark and Cecilia seem to have it all – looks, wealth, love. But behind closed doors, things are very different – they live in silent resentment, their marriage broken by the shattering loss of the child they so desperately wanted.
Enter Alice – Mark’s idea of the perfect woman. She appears from nowhere and offers Mark the chance of a new life filled with love, passion, and – finally – the joys of parenthood. Everything he’s ever dreamed of.
But there’s a catch.
Mark can’t leave Cecilia because she knows a dark secret from his past that would ruin him if it was revealed. And he’s sure she’d be more than happy to use it against him if he betrayed her.
Mark’s future with Alice seems doomed. Until one night, in a secluded cottage on the Dorset coast, they hatch an unspeakable plan that might bring devastating ruin, or life-long happiness…
But who is Alice, really? And can love ever begin with murder?
Thoughts on The Woman on the Bench
“She’s the woman I married, the one I love. At times, she’s someone I barely recognize.”Eliot Stevens, The Woman on the Bench
The Woman on the Bench is a well-written novel, but I wouldn’t call it a thriller or suspenseful. The first chapter had me hooked, when he met Alice and the mystery centered around their brief but memorable encounter.
The problem for me was that this was a very slow book in terms of how things went. Now, some people enjoy that. That’s great, and if that’s you, I highly encourage you to read The Woman on the Bench. But it isn’t my favorite thing, simply because I’m often easily distracted. I want a book that sucks me in and keeps me there throughout the entire thing. The Woman on the Bench fell a bit flat in that regard for me personally.
Once the first chapter ended, so did the excitement for this book, and it took a tedious turn for me. I wanted to be just as excited to read it as I was in the first chapter, and was seriously disappointed when that didn’t happen.
I found myself disliking Mark, one of the main characters. He loves to claim that he’s a “good man” but nothing could be farther from the truth. None of the other characters held any real interest or endearing personality traits either, unfortunately.
Eliot Stevens has a talent for writing. There were no egregious mistakes or anything that turned this book into something terrible. None of that, and I’m glad. With time and practice, I think Eliot Stevens will become an excellent writer. There is definitely potential there, so don’t discount this book simply because it wasn’t the novel for me.
Final Thoughts on The Woman on the Bench
This is Eliot Stevens’ debut novel. It obviously wasn’t my favorite book I’ve ever read, but I can see potential in his writing. It definitely wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read either, I can assure you of that! With some practice and a couple more novels, I think he’ll become an excellent writer. I’m certainly looking forward to him publishing more novels and growing as a writer.
I am always disappointed when I don’t completely love a novel that I was expecting to love. Have you ever had that happen, or is it just me?
As with every book I review, I encourage you to read it and form your own opinions. My opinion is just one, and what I like and dislike doesn’t always suit everyone else. My job here is to bring attention to a book, and let you form your own opinions.
Have you read The Woman on the Bench from author Eliot Stevens yet? Are you a fan? Do you enjoy debut novels as much as I do? Have you ever been really excited about a book and it fell completely flat and short of your expectations? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
About the Author
Given this is Eliot Stevens’ debut novel, I couldn’t find any information about him, but I’m hoping to change that and be able to tell you more about him very soon!
Purchasing The Woman on the Bench
If you are interested in buying the Kindle version of The Woman on the Bench, click here.
Click here for my favorite Kindle I currently own.
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thanks for your review. i “read” this book as an audiobook in the car for a couple of days on my way to work. I can’t say i was disappointed at the pace but by the halfway point I kinda knew where it was going. there was no way this drop dead beautiful woman would fall for this married guy, it just didnt ring true to me. and not showing up for important company meetings was a bit of a stretch. and the shop owner who never recognized him even after numerous visits to the store. cecelia as a character was a bit hard for me to swallow, that a person could be so cold and apathetic in spite of losing her child. my favorite character was the chubby friend clyde, he seemed to be the most true to life character. I also didnt quite understand this issue with the “horrible truth from the past” that mark had accidentally hit a guy with his car, a rapist no less. im sure if he had fessed up to the police about it it would have been a no harm no foul kind of scenario. i found myself liking mark and in a perhaps perverse way rooting for him to find what he thought was true once in a lifetime love, even at the expense of cecelia’s life…knowing full well it was just a story!
The Reading Wife
It’s always funny how the side characters seem to be the most memorable and relatable, Sam!