The Wife and the Widow is intriguing from the start. With a haunting setting and fascinating but relatable characters, the story follows two very different women whose lives are intrinsically linked.
The story is set in the seaside town of Belport, a tourist destination in the summer and a ghost town in the winter. I love stories set in my hometown of Melbourne, Victoria, and I was reminded of places like Philip Island and Queenscliff. The setting was so evocative, I was surprised when I looked it up on google and found that Belport was a fictitious place.
Down to earth Abby reminds me of the tough, friendly locals I have met on summer holidays to coastal towns. Dutiful doctor’s wife Kate is poignant as a woman who despite her wealth and status, seems to be held in contempt by most people she meets. “Passive to the point of invisible” she fights to find her truth and her voice.
The Wife and the Widow takes us to the limits of what we are prepared to do for those we love. It explores how seemingly everyday people can hold very deep reserves of both strength and darkness.
The story becomes ever more engrossing as all the disparate pieces come together in the most shocking and unexpected climax.
The Wife and the Widow is a cautionary tale about the damage that secrets can do and how we are never truly free of the past.