2013 was the year of the dysfunctional marriage novel (see: Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, Where’d You Go Bernadette), and it looks like 2014 is shaping up to be the year of the polygamous/polyamorous marriage plot. I just finished Jennifer Murphy’s, “I Love You More,” and am eagerly awaiting Alice LaPlante’s “Circle of Wives.”
Told for the most part from the perspective of twelve year old Picasso Lane (can we talk about how fabulous that name is for a second?), daughter of the recently deceased Oliver Lane, “I Love You More” slowly unravels the mystery of how Oliver managed to amass a trio of wives and separate families. Oh, and don’t forget of course, who is responsible for his recent murder. One of the most charming protagonists/junior detective characters I’ve run across, Picasso is wise beyond her years but in a way that is believable and charming.
While not quite a thriller, this mystery moves at a steady pace and its resolution left me feeling satisfied. The plot can feel predictable in some places, but twists and turns in ways that keep the story fresh. For a novel of many characters, I felt Murphy did a good job of giving them each their own individual traits and voices (despite an interesting narrative choice—you’ll see). The only person who I wish I had better understood was Oliver, but perhaps that’s the issue at the heart of the book anyway…
A solid 3.5 out of 5 stars. Available for pre-order from Amazon.com and on shelves June 17th, 2014.
xo The Book Bird