Published 15 January 2021
EXCERPT: Rockland, Maine, 1st November 2017
Does your wife know who you really are, Connor Fitzgerald? I don’t want you to even forget not one day goes by when I don’t want to get you back for what you did. You’re not welcome in Mullaghmore ever again. So, don’t ever think you can come home with your new wife. Because if you do, I swear I’ll kill you.
ABOUT ‘THE BOATMAN’S WIFE’: There was some dark secret in this western edge of Ireland that her husband never wanted her to find out. She might never be able to lay his body to rest, but she could gain some kind of closure by finding out who the man she married was.
When Lily married her soulmate Connor, buffeted by the sea spray and wild winds of her coastal homeland in Maine, she never imagined she’d be planning his memorial just three years later. Connor has been lost at sea in the bleak stormy Atlantic, leaving Lily heartbroken.
But as she prepares to say goodbye to Connor for the last time, she is shocked to discover a message to him that he never told her about:
Does your wife know who you really are, Connor Fitzgerald? Don’t ever think you can come home. Because if you do, I swear I’ll kill you.
Unable to bear living in the home she and Connor shared, Lily decides to find out her husband’s secret. She flies to Connor’s home town of Mullaghmore on the west coast of Ireland, a harbour town hugged by golden beaches and emerald-green fields. But when doors are slammed in her face, she begins to realise that she knows nothing about her husband’s past.
Connor’s grandmother, a hermit living on the cliffs of the wild Atlantic, must know the truth about her grandson. But when Lily tries to find her, threatening notes are pushed through her door warning her not to stay. Will Lily leave the darkness of the past where it belongs? Or will she risk everything to find out the truth about the man she married…
MY THOUGHTS: The Boatman’s Wife by Noelle Harrison is an interesting story spread across two timelines, 1992 in Mullaghmore, Ireland, and 2017 in Rockland, Maine. It took me most of the book to figure out the connection and solve the mystery, although I did have glimmers of suspicion from time to time. I particularly liked the sections set in Ireland, somehow relating more to Niamh, whose character seemed far more realistic, than Lily, although once Lily gets to Ireland her story and character became more interesting to me.
The Boatman’s Wife has an interesting and complicated plot involving family relationships, love, loss, grief, and the Irish ‘troubles’.
This is a beautifully written and emotional story, was a full 4 star read for me until almost the very end, which disappointed me. Everything was wrapped up nicely and quickly in pretty paper with a large bow on top. It was just a little too perfect.
So, if you like a dish of warm fuzzies with a side of intrigue and mystery, The Boatman’s Wife is ideal. And just for the record, the title has two completely different meanings, both relevant to the story.
THE AUTHOR: pseudonym: Evie Blake
Born in London, I moved to Ireland in 1991, shortly afterwards setting up the theatre company Aurora. I have written four stage plays, Northern Landscapes, Black Virgin, Runaway Wife and The Good Sister, and one short film, Blue Void. I have also written extensively on visual art in Ireland, contributing to various journals and artists’ catalogues over the years. I currently live in Bergen in Norway.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Boatman’s Wife by Noelle Harrison for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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