Fiction Book Reviews

Contemporary Fiction | The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew | Milly Johnson

Jera's Jamboree receives compensation for affiliate advertising. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

I’m the first to admit I love a Milly Johnson story.  I know I’m going to get a feel-good read with relatable characters who will steal my heart.  The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew is a page turner and, in my opinion, Milly’s best yet!  I’m delighted to be on tour sharing my thoughts with you today.

Book cover The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew by Milly Johnson

Behind every successful man is a woman.
Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

Sophie Mayhew looks like she has the perfect life. Wife of rising political star John F Mayhew, a man who is one step away from the top job in the government, her glamour matches his looks, power, breeding and money. But John has made some stupid mistakes along the way, some of which are threatening to emerge. Still, all this can still be swept under the carpet as long as Sophie ‘the trophy’ plays her part in front of the cameras.

But the words that come out of Sophie’s mouth one morning on the doorstep of their country house are not the words the spin doctors put in there.  Bursting out of the restrictive mould she has been in since birth, Sophie flees to a place that was special to her as a child, a small village on the coast where she intends to be alone.

But once there, she finds she becomes part of a community that warms her soul and makes her feel as if she is breathing properly for the first time. Sophie knows she won’t be left in peace for long. Now she must decide: where does her real future lie? 

The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew by Milly Johnson is published by Simon & Schuster and is available to purchase in digital, hardcover and audiobook formats with the paperback publishing 11th July 2019.


Sometimes it’s hard to find the words to express how you feel about a story …

I enjoyed getting to know Sophie, in the present day as well as 18 years ago at her boarding school, St Bathsheba.  It becomes clear that the life she’s living is not a choice but the doctrine she’s been exposed to from her family and St Bathsheba.  I connected with her from the beginning, feeling that all important emotional tug.  I had a couple of really late nights because I couldn’t put this story down, needing to know what she would do and the choices she would make.

Her family and John F’s are infuriating (apart from Edward who is on Sophie’s wavelength).  That British stiff upper lip is very much in evidence, putting advancement ahead of real connections.  I wanted to give her a hug and stroke her hair, giving her the nurture lacking in her life.  It’s a wonder she didn’t follow in her sister’s footsteps … I was euphoric on the last Sunday in September!  Awesome scene 🙂

I didn’t know for sure if Sophie could see through John F’s guile and narcissistic personality.  At one point I was shouting at her (causing raised eyebrows from my family!).  Breaking a mould, bucking the trend (call it what you will) is not an easy thing to do.  Especially when you have no other connections other than a public circle who want to see you fail.  Another thing I didn’t know for sure was the choice she would make next.  Little Loste is the perfect place for Sophie’s retreat. Ells Bells, Luke and Tracey make this time alive and vibrant.  The sun after the rain.

Sophie’s affinity with texture and design is a fabulous theme and as I’ve come to expect from Milly Johnson, there’s a sprinkling of magic too.

There’s so much to love about The Magnificent Mrs Mayhew.  It will leave you with that feel-good fizz.  But I think just as importantly, Sophie just may provide inspiration for anyone else living with a narcissistic partner.  Often it just takes that one thing to act as a catalyst … and books have been known to change lives. ♥

Author photo Milly Johnson

Milly Johnson is a Top Five Sunday Times bestselling author of thirteen novels so far, and has plans for many more. Her novels are about the universal issues of friendship, family, love, betrayal, good food and a little bit of that magic in life that sometimes visits the unsuspecting. Milly is a columnist for her local newspaper and is also an experienced broadcaster on radio and TV. She can be booked via the Women Speakers Agency for motivational speaking events. Milly is patron of several local charities, including Yorkshire Cat Rescue and The Well at the Core, as supporting her local community and animal welfare are both things that are very close to her heart. Her publishers call her ‘The Queen of Feel-good Fiction’ and together they are aiming to spread as much joy as possible with every book published.  Find out more at or follow her on Twitter @millyjohnson.

(photo credit Chris Sedgewick)

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 9+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This