The Wife and the Widow, a Review by Allison

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The Wife and the Widow
By Christian White

Minotaur Books (January 21, 2020)
337 pages

I‘m going to start by simply saying this book was incredible.

If you want to take a break, go buy the book, and come back to finish reading this review, fine.

I’ll wait.

This book is THAT good.

I recently saw someone’s post and they were raving SO HARD about this book, that I knew I needed to read it. In fact, I book cheated on “The Clover Girls” (sorry, Viola Shipman), and finished this gem in about 2 days.

What I liked about the book:

  • Two women, two stories, told in a dual- yet NOT so dual- timeline.
  • Twists and turns. Not many. Which is a GOOD thing. So many authors try to put so MUCH into a book, that it can be TOO much. Sometimes, using the least amount of words is best.  And this book was by no means short- it was a solid 337 pages.  But this could’ve easily been 400+ if the author was wordier.
  • The characters. They were realistic and likable and flawed. One is a taxidermist in her spare time. Like, stuffing dead animals.  Sigh. I love people with hobbies.
  • The ending. Not every book ends up “happily ever after”. I will admit I like it when loose ends are tied, but ONLY if it makes sense. Life is messy.  And for John and Ray and David, that’s an understatement.

What I didn’t like:

  • There was nothing I did not like about this book. It held my attention through every single page, like a movie that is so good you don’t look at your watch once.

As my reviews do not contain spoilers, what I can disclose is this: Abby is a wife and a mother who, while trying to make ends meet in her small island town, starts to suspect her husband has some secrets.  Kate, also a wife and mother, finds her comfortable life upended when her husband fails to return from a business trip.  While the stories are told in alternating chapters, each snippet moves these two women’s stories closer and closer until they intersect. The supporting characters are used just right; they do not play a huge role but are definitely involved in the story.

And there is a twist!  And it is a good one, and NOT typically what you see in thrillers. I loved the author’s use of this technique. Brilliant!

Seriously. Read the book. You’ll see.

This is one of those stories that I would love to go back and re- read.  And I don’t say that very often, if ever. (*cough* Outlander).  But having finished the book, I would like to start over and find all of the hints that are surely within the first couple of hundred pages.

I am so glad I found that review and took a chance, sight unseen.  This is the first book I’ve read by Australian- born author Christian White.  I’ve researched him a bit and see this is his second novel, his first being 2019’s “The Nowhere Child”. I will definitely pick this one up next!   (Of course, AFTER I finish “the Clover Girls”.  Again, sorry Viola).








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