EXCERPT: For a moment Kate nearly allowed herself to slip into autopilot. The temptation to submit and roll over like a frightened puppy was strong. But that was the old Kate. That was the woman who didn’t want to hear about the monsters under the bed, the woman who let the men in her life show her what to do and when to do it.
She had tried never to think about death, but the few times she had, she’d decided that when it came it should feel like an ellipsis: a gentle trailing off of a sentence. It should be a whisper of words, a padding of gentle footsteps. This, being killed by a deranged middle-aged woman, felt too sudden, too mad. This couldn’t be how it ended.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: Set against the backdrop of an eerie island town in the dead of winter, The Wife and The Widow is an unsettling thriller told from two perspectives: Kate, a widow whose grief is compounded by what she learns about her dead husband’s secret life; and Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside when she’s forced to confront the evidence of her husband’s guilt. But nothing on this island is quite as it seems, and only when these women come together can they discover the whole story about the men in their lives. Brilliant and beguiling, The Wife and The Widow takes you to a cliff edge and asks the question: how well do we really know the people we love?
MY THOUGHTS: Very cunning Mr. White. Very cunning indeed! Now, how to write a review that is not going to give away the important stuff…
This is a stunning family drama that had me guessing (wrongly, I may add) the whole way through. The author is a master of misdirection…I was constantly re-examining what I knew and trying to figure out what I needed to know. There was one instance where I read something and I thought, ‘This is important, I need to remember this.’ I had absolutely no idea,at that point, why it was important. But I was right.
White’s characters are very real, very human, faults, foibles and all…that doesn’t mean that you are necessarily going to like them.
And the taxidermy…..a brilliant stroke. Weird, but brilliant. I would love to know where the inspiration for that came from.
One thing that I particularly admired about this novel, is the author’s acknowledgement of the stress and danger of burnout in palliative care workers. They are very special and vastly underrated for the care, both emotional and physical, that they lavish upon the dying.
This is an incredibly original work, and one that I admire greatly. I have yet to read The Nowhere Child, but I am going to make sure that I do.
I would like to share a couple of my favourite passages with you:
‘We bring babies into this world, let them rip up our bodies, let them drink from us, bleed us dry, and we love them for it. We give and we give and we give. We sacrifice. And do you know why? Because we’re mothers.’
‘She took her own advice, locked all the dark thoughts in a room in her mind and tried not to visit it. For the most part, it got easier. But in the dead of night, when Milt Street was quiet, she could hear them growling behind the door and scratching at the walls. It reminded her that the dark things were still there and they weren’t going away.’
THE AUTHOR: Christian White is an Australian author and screenwriter. His debut novel, The Nowhere Child, won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. He co-created the television series Carnivores, currently in development with Matchbox Pictures and Heyday TV, and co-wrote Relic, a psychological horror feature film to be produced by Carver Films (The Snowtown Murders, Partisan).
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to St Martin’s Press via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Wife and the Widow by Christian White for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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