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THE WIFE AND THE WIDOW by Christian White


by Christian White

Pub Date: Jan. 21st, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-250-19437-4
Publisher: Minotaur

When Melbourne resident Kate Keddie learns her missing husband has been lying to her about having gone to London for work, she looks for answers on a small Australian island, where local woman Abby Gilpin is also dealing with consequences from her husband’s secrets.

The two women are strangers, but they won’t be for long. Kate, a passive, go-along sort of spouse, is stunned to find that her husband, John, has been lying to her about work; he hasn’t been there for three months. She and her gruff father-in-law leave Melbourne for Belport Island, where Kate and John have a summer home, in search of answers. Meanwhile, Abby, a crude but tough mother, is trying to work extra shifts at the grocery store to help with finances. Her husband Ray’s job as a caretaker for unoccupied vacation houses is seasonal and uncertain, and he's been moodier than usual. The novel is told in alternating chapters from each woman’s point of view. There are so many twists and turns that to reveal more of the plot would be unfair; suffice it to say that the story doesn’t go where most readers will expect it to. The author does a vivid job of creating real characters and captures the alternately calm and claustrophobic feeling of island life.

Some readers will find the twists fair and others, infuriating, but no doubt all will hang on to discover the ending.