Set against the backdrop of an eerie island town in the dead of winter, The Wife and the Widow is a mystery/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 down when she’s forced to confront the evidence that her husband is a murderer. 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?
A tragedy and longtime secrets bring together two women from different backgrounds in this stellar family drama from Australian author White (The Nowhere Child). Wealthy stay-at-home mom Kate Keddie is the widow of the title, a designation she receives shortly after waiting in vain at the airport with her 10-year-old daughter for her husband, John, to return to Melbourne following a business trip to London. Kate soon learns that John never made the trip, and that he quit his health-care job three months earlier without telling anyone; then his body washes up on Belport Island, where the Keddies have a vacation home. Supermarket clerk and amateur taxidermist Abby Gilpin is the wife of the title, who lives with her two sulky teenagers and her husband, Ray, a caretaker for the unoccupied holiday houses on Belport Island. Superior plotting buoyed by strong characters fuel the women's separate investigations as Kate looks into John's activities and Abby wonders why Ray is distant and sad. A clever twist near the end upends the plot's trajectory. Readers will eagerly await White's next.