Sunday 28 March 2021

Housewife - Karen Crawford

Wife. Mother. Drug Lord.

Erica Forsythe is a wealthy New York City housewife who feels undervalued and unappreciated. On a rainy day, she dashes into a diner, where she meets a mysterious man. 

Plagued by boredom and loneliness, Erica decides to go home with the intoxicating stranger. She is seduced by the dangerous and lurid world of a notorious drug cartel and abandons her family.

Becoming a high-ranking member of the cartel, Erica believes she has found the excitement she has been craving, but her world shatters when she spirals into the true darkness and violence of working in the drug trade.

What did I think?

Housewife is something very different from Karen Crawford.  I absolutely love her Taryn Winter series set in Las Vegas but the streets are definitely much darker and more dangerous in New York City, where Housewife is set.

Erica may appear to have it all; a wealthy husband, three healthy children and a New York City penthouse, but as The Beatles said: 'Money can't buy me love'.  Feeling ignored by her family, Erica is finally noticed by someone when she meets an exciting and attractive man in a diner and her world changes forever, although not necessarily for the better.

It does feel as if fate had a hand in Erica meeting Alejandro that day as they seem very much in love.  Normally, I wouldn't be able to understand a mother walking away from her family but it's easy to empathise in Erica's case.  Erica is so selfish and superficial so its no wonder that her children are also self-absorbed - they are the monsters that she created.  Of course, her husband must also shoulder some of the blame but he is a typical patriarch and sees his role as the breadwinner, bringing home the money to keep his family in the lifestyle to which they are accustomed.

Entitled, rich and selfish, there's nothing much to like about Erica or her family but it was heartbreaking to read about her descent into the darkness of drug addiction and the effect of her disappearance on her family.  It's incredibly disturbing to see how quickly drugs can take hold and it was very harrowing to see the devastating effects of addiction.  As she rises to the top of the drug cartel, Erica is in contact with very few people and the warning signs of her addiction go unnoticed.  I've always said that you never notice the decline of someone you love as you see beyond the outer shell; so as mad as I was at Alejandro for not doing something to help Erica, I could also understand that he may not have seen it.

With characters you will love to hate, Housewife is like a cross between The Sopranos, Breaking Bad and Billions.  It's harrowing, disturbing and emotive but sobering in its powerful message about addiction and recovery.

Many thanks to Karen Crawford for sending me an ARC to read and review; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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