The Wife and the Widow
By Christian White
Minotaur Books (January 21, 2020)
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.
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).