Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Review: The Magnificent Mrs. Mayhew by Milly Johnson

The Magnificent Mrs. Mayhew
by Milly Johnson
Release Date: July 29th 2019
2019 Gallery Books
Kindle Edition; 352 Pages
ISBN: 978-1471178443
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary
Source: Review copy from publisher

4 / 5 Stars

Sophie Mayhew seems to have the perfect life. The glamourous wife of a rising political star who is one step away from the highest position in the government, she matches her husband in looks, pedigree, and money. But he has made some stupid mistakes on his way to the top, and some of those mistakes are just now threatening to emerge. Still, this can all be swept under the rug so long as Sophie the Trophy plays her part in front of the cameras. But the words that tumble out of Sophie’s mouth one morning on the doorstep of their country house are not the words the spin doctors drilled into her head.

Bursting out of the restrictive mold that has been tightening around her since birth, Sophie flees to a small village on the coast, a safe haven from her childhood days, where she intends to be alone. But once there, she finds a community that warms her soul and makes her feel as if she is breathing properly for the first time in her life. Sophie knows she won’t be left in peace for long, though, so she must decide: where does her real future lie?

My Thoughts
The Magnificent Mrs. Mayhew turned out to be a really fun read, and I was really happy with the way this book ended. I wasn't too sure at the beginning, actually the first two-thirds, as there are a host of characters in this book that were just truly awful to Sophie and were so self-centered. I stuck with it and it turned out to be a sweet story at the end with characters to whom I could relate.

The way the story was set-up, you knew something big was going to happen with doorstepgate, but it took a bit of time getting here.  In hindsight, the background information leading to that disaster was important and necessary, and I really liked the flashback episodes to when Sophie was young and at boarding school with the rich and wealthy kids, and the story does come full circle which made me happy.  I really enjoyed Sophie's character and the way the author developed her personality throughout the book. I liked watching her learn to take her life back from those people who are sucking the life out of her with their needs and wants and Sophie deciding she doesn't want to deal with it anymore and wants something for herself.  Her character really grew on me after the 'episode' and she could truly be herself for the first time in a long time. The other characters Sophie meets while running away were also interesting and I liked them all.  I tend to like quirky characters so I especially liked Marshall and Roger and Sophie's interactions with them.  You could finally see her natural ability to draw people out, and if she had been given a chance, she would have been amazing in her role as a political wife instead of being thought of as a Trophy Wife.  

The plot itself was enjoyable, even if you could see what would happen almost right from the beginning.  So, yes, it was a bit predictable, but the writing was so good that it didn't really matter. And I have to say I loved doorstepgate a lot!!!  However, my favourite scene in the book actually had to do with Edward and his big bomb given during dinner as it came out of the blue.  While you could have predicted what would happen with Sophie, this was a bit of a surprise and I loved it.  Wish I could have been a fly on the wall afterwards.  There are some deeper discussions about God in this book, but I think they fit in perfectly as Sophie was trying to figure out who she was and what she wanted so the philosophical discussions worked.  Plus, the author does ask some profound questions: Would you be able to stick by someone who cheated one you and still be true to yourself? Are you happy with what you are doing? Are you content to be someone's trophy? How much should you put up with? It doesn't matter what you do, but your morals and values should never be compromised - some deep thoughts on that too. 

The Magnificent Mrs. Mayhew definitely asks some interesting questions through Sophie's flight and attempt to get control over her own life.  I thought the story was enjoyable and I definitely liked the characters from the village who helped Sophie when she escaped from her political life.  The author was definitely trying to be philosophical, asking questions about morals and values versus power and the corrupting influence of power. It definitely made you think.  And while I thought this book was fun, and I would definitely recommend it, I don't think it quite lived up to some of the author's previous books. So if you haven't read any, get out there and do so.


  1. Lovely review! I love a good read with good writing. It sounds like there is some good character building as well!