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"The Next Mrs. Parrish" by Liv Constantine is the next read for CBS New York's Book Club with Mary Calvi

CBS New York Book Club selects next summer read
CBS New York Book Club selects next summer read 00:37

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Readers make their choice for next read for Club Calvi! 

We asked you to choose the next book for the CBS New York Book Club. After thousands of votes, you selected "The Next Mrs. Parrish" by Liv Constantine. Mary Calvi made the announcement on the same day as the book's release. 

"The Next Mrs. Parrish" is one of the most anticipated books of the summer. It's a sequel to "The Last Mrs. Parrish" published in 2017. The new book picks up with Jackson Parrish about to be released from prison, and Amber and Daphne Parrish set to face off again as another woman enters the drama. Read an excerpt below.

Liv Constantine is the pen name of sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine.  

Get your copy of "The Next Mrs. Parrish" if you'd like to read along with us over the next four weeks. The reading period ends with our virtual book club streaming program when Lynne and Valerie Constantine talk with Mary and take reader questions. 

The CBS New York Book Club focuses on fiction with plots and/or authors connected to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut.  These books may have adult themes.  

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"The Next Mrs. Parrish" by Liv Constantine


From the publisher: Amber Patterson Parrish has come a long way. Hard work and immaculate planning turned her from invisible wallflower to prominent socialite, though there have been bumps along the way. Less than a year after her husband Jackson's tax-evasion scandal, Amber reigns supreme over the Bishops Harbor community. But with Jackson being released from prison, Amber's free time-and money-is vanishing.

Meanwhile, Daphne Parrish left Bishops Harbor after her divorce from Jackson, swearing she would never go back. But when one of her daughters runs away from home, desperate to see her father, Daphne agrees to return for the summer for their daughters' sake. Jackson swears he's a changed man, but Daphne knows all too well that he can't be trusted.

When a ghost from Amber's past emerges looking for revenge, these three figures find unlikely allies in one another. But who is playing who? When all is said and done, they'll have to fight tooth and nail for everything they have left in this zero-sum game. 

Liv Constantine is the pen name of sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine who live in Connecticut and Maryland respectively.

"The Next Mrs. Parrish" by Liv Constantine (Hardcover) $23

"The Next Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine (Kindle) $14

Excerpt: "The Next Mrs. Parrish" by Liv Constantine 

Safe is not a word I would ever associate with Jackson. I don't want him here, contaminating our lives. I can't abide the thought of him in my house, seeing where we live, knowing the intimate details of our lives.

"I'm not even sure if he's been released from prison yet. Plus, I don't know if he can leave the state."

"Why did Tallulah try to go see him if he's still in prison?"

I blow out a breath. "I never told her he was in prison."

"Well, what if you took the girls there?"

My stomach tightens. There. The place I fought so hard to escape.

"I can't go back."

"Well, if Jackson can't come here, I don't see any other options. Are you willing to risk her running off again? Or even hurting herself?"

"No, of course not. Do you think she'd actually . . ." I can't complete the sentence, I'm so horrified by the thought. "There must be another way." Alarm twists my stomach.

She cocks her head, her face full of understanding. "I don't see how if Jackson can't come here."

I sigh and think for a moment. "Maybe we could go next month when the girls are out of school. Rent something for the summer. But I need support. Can you recommend someone for us to see in Connecticut?"

"Yes, of course." She gives me a sympathetic look. "I realize this is the last thing you want to do. But legally he has no right to the children, so he has to play by your rules."

I scoff. "Jackson doesn't play by anyone else's rules." Then I shrug. "Maybe these months in prison have mellowed him." But I don't believe that for a minute.

Dr. Marshall leans back in her chair, tapping her pen on a pad. "Both girls are curious about their little brother, Jackson Junior. What are your thoughts about allowing them to meet him?"

It's a question I've wrestled with since he was born. He's innocent in all this, only two years old. I know how precious siblings are; I still miss my sister after all these years. If Tallulah and Bella have the chance to have a relationship with a brother, I don't want to stand in the way.

"The problem is Amber. She and I are not exactly on good terms. I absolutely don't want her having anything to do with my girls. She's devious and scheming, a liar who plays mind games and will stop at nothing to get her own way. I won't have them subjected to her manipulation. But she'll never let her son be a part of our lives unless we include her."

"Well, perhaps Jackson can persuade her to allow him to bring little Jackson with him."

"There's no way—"

She puts up her hand. "You know what, one step at a time. Let me find you a therapist to work with. Give him or her all the background, and you can navigate these issues then. And of course, you can talk to me any time while you're away. The main thing is to help Tallulah and Bella come to terms with living apart from their father."

I know she's right, but a sense of dread fills me, nonetheless. "Okay. I'll get in touch with him as soon as I can."

"Have you filled the prescription Dr. Parker sent to the pharmacy?"

I shake my head. "I don't need anything."

"Just fill it and take it with you. If you get too anxious, the Klonopin can help."

I nod. "All right, I will."

On the drive back home, I rehearse what I'll say to Jackson, how to appeal to his better self on behalf of Tallulah. I would go to hell and back for my children, but with Jackson involved, there may not be a way back. He's a master manipulator, capable of assuming whatever persona is most advantageous to him at the time. He swept into my life like a hero, making me believe he was the answer to everything I needed. After we were married, Jackson's behavior seemed controlling at times, but I rationalized it away, thinking I was perhaps being too sensitive. It wasn't until after Tallulah was born that he showed his true colors, knowing my love for her was my Achilles' heel. He would go from being loving and attentive to cold and critical in the blink of an eye, and I never quite knew what provoked him. I tried my best to please him and to make it work but when he threatened the safety of our child, I took her and left. He was one step ahead of me, though, and after making me appear unstable and having me committed to a sanatorium for months, there was little I could do once I returned home, without losing my child. I shiver when I think back to the first night he became physically violent with me. Tallulah had been almost two years old. We'd gone out to dinner with clients and the waiter complimented me on my choice of an appetizer, saying it was his favorite. We must have exchanged only a few words, but Jackson barely spoke to me on the way home. I kept asking what was wrong, but he claimed nothing was. In the middle of the night, I felt like I was suffocating. I began coughing and suddenly realized he was holding a pillow over my head. I struggled against him, and he finally let go. My relief was short-lived. He flicked the lamp on, and I saw that he held a knife in his hands, its blade gleaming close to my face. He pushed it against my neck.

"Were you dreaming of the waiter, slut?" "Jackson, please. Put the knife down!"

"You humiliated me. Flirting with him like I wasn't even there." He nicked my neck, and I felt the burn. He put his finger on the blood, then smeared it on my cheek. To this day, I still wake up in the middle of the night, breathless, worried that there will be a knife at my throat or a gun at my head, until I remember that I'm free of him. And now I have to go back.

Excerpted from The Next Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine. Copyright © 2024 by Liv Constantine. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  

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