The Bossy Bookworm
Review of The Wife and the Widow by Christian White
White's twisty mystery is set against the backdrop of an unforgiving winter on an Australian island, with two women attempting to piece together their husbands' secrets and lies.
She sensed a primal darkness standing over them, following her like a shadow, and when she went downstairs and saw that body, it would clap around her shoulders, drag her down and stay with her forever.
Christian White's The Wife and the Widow offers two intersecting storylines centering around female protagonists, family secrets, shame, and hidden selves.
The tone of the story is shaped by its setting: an unforgiving winter on an Australian island.
The perspectives alternate by chapter: Kate is a widow who uncovers her dead husband's secret life and must come to terms with it, while Abby is an island local whose husband has hidden something significant, and she fears it is his guilt. Only when the two women's worlds intersect can they piece together the full stories of their husbands' lives and understand the impact of their lies.
White offers cleverness with timelines that create an intriguing twist, and I didn’t predict the denouement.
I was in for the vaguely unsympathetic but interesting and evolving characters of Abby and Kate.
The amateur taxidermy was fascinating and horrifying. I just could not get past it!
I was provided with an advance copy of this book by St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Christian White is also the author of The Nowhere Child and Wild Place.