Cover Image: The Wife and the Widow

The Wife and the Widow

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Special thanks to Minotaur for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.

Dang! I finally found a thriller that I couldn't put down! I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. This one is really fast-paced & I loved the dual narration.  If you're struggling to find a thriller that keeps you guessing, give this one a go!
Was this review helpful?
Wow! A well paced, thrilling book! 
A little confusing at times with the alternating perspectives, but a very enjoyable read.   The characters were all incredibly real, and there was even an element of an unreliable narrator going on with one of them, which I really enjoyed. Loved the endingGo out and get it!!
Was this review helpful?
This was an awesome thriller. I didn't see the twists coming, I loved the eerie and isolated setting, the characters were relatable and easy to care about- I really don't have a bad thing to say. White's writing really did the story justice as well: the pace was tight and the story was nuanced and thoughtful, as well as urgent and fast. I enjoyed this a lot. Can't wait to talk about it more.
Was this review helpful?
This is a book that leaves you reeling with the twists and turns.  The Wife and The Widow is  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.  From the opening page to the last word you are glued to the story.  I'm not a super big psychological Thriller reader but this one did keep me turning the pages.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
* I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.*

Ever read one of those books where you think you know how it's going to end, but then the script is flipped and it turns out to be something entirely different? That's how The Wife and the Widow  was for me. When it started, I was hooked, and needed to know how these people fit together, because I knew that somehow they did; however; I was NOT expecting it to go down the way it did. 

Our story is told in alternating perspectives, between Kate, who's husband has recently passed away, and Abby, who's husband is not all that he seems. There seems to be a story inside of a story, which I really enjoyed. I found myself sympathizing with Abby throughout the story, even at the end when her character seems almost nonredeemable-- a parent's love can make them do some crazy things. Even Kate stuck with me, a grieving wife who just wanted to understand her husband in a way she couldn't during the course of his life. Lately I've been fond of the alternating perspectives in books, and this one was no exception. I think it added more to the story than if we just got Abby's or just got Kate's side of the story. The two are too tied together to NOT tell both. 

This wasn't a difficult read, but it did take me a while to get through, just because I was doing a million other things and didn't have the time to devote to it that I wanted. I did stay up late finishing it though, and most days I'll choose sleep over a book, so that's saying something. The Wife and the Widow  was published in January of this year, and should be available at bookstores and your local libraries. I would highly suggest it for suspense lovers!
Was this review helpful?
Guys, I found it... finally the page-turning thriller that I couldn't put down!  So many of the hyped thrillers have let me down this year but this one did not.  It kept me guessing even when I thought I knew what was going on.  I liked the characters, their secrets were real and relatable.  This was a thriller where the puzzle pieces were fun to put together and the finished puzzle made sense.  That has been lacking for me in some of the more recent buzzy thrillers like The Turn of the Key or The Wives.  It's hard to describe what I enjoyed about it without giving away any spoilers.  Suffice it to say, it's a quick read that you won't want to put down and there will be plenty of twists you don't see coming!

Thanks to Minotaur Books for approving me on Netgalley and sending me a finished copy of The Wife and Widow in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed many aspects of this book, but it just didn't hit the overall mark for me.  I needed more about the characters.  It wasn't enough.  I needed a reason to feel the connections.  There was such a great build up and turn, but I wanted more to care about in the beginning and the reasons at the end just felt icky and off.  My final rating for this book was 2.5 stars unfortunately, but I would read this author again. 

 * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *
Was this review helpful?
This book sucked me right in. I read this book in a day, the secrets, the twists, the characters were amazing. The whole damn book was fantastic. Lol

If you haven’t read this one yet, add it to your tbr list.
Was this review helpful?
This was a very entertaining and enjoyable suspenseful mystery. With several twists and unexpected turns, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Secrets have a way of driving people to a breaking point. This story illustrates that fact in a big way!
Was this review helpful?
Atmospheric and descriptive.... I love books with a good twist, and this did not disappoint.  I started reading this one, then put it down for some reason, and couldn't imagine what made me walk away from it originally,  once I picked it back up to finish it. I've never read a book by this author,  but I will look for books in the future. Definitely will be recommending this one.
Was this review helpful?
“The Wife and the Widow” by Christian White was my first novel by this author and it did not disappoint!

This story takes place in a small island town in the dead of winter when the tourists are gone and just the locals remain. Told from two perspectives: Kate, a widow whose grief is overwhelmed when she learns about her husband’s secret life and Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside when she confronts her husband about something he did. Only when these women come together can they discover the whole story about the men in their lives.

First off - my favorite thing about a great thriller is when you really can’t talk about it, because it’ll give a major spoiler away!! This story was one of those that had a major plot twist and I was shaken to the core!

Second - I love when chapters are short! It makes me want to keep going and suddenly I’m almost finished the book!! This story is told from two perspectives, Kate and Abby. Both characters are well liked and you feel sorry for them that the men they love are hiding something that they are determined to find out. At first you are not quite sure how they are linked and when you think you figure it out, poof, you don’t!

I also highly recommend reading the author’s note in the back. I love when authors share a little about their writing and how the story came to be!

Overall, excellent book and I would absolutely recommend if you are looking for that family drama book with a major thriller twist in the end! I will be buying this author’s first book indeed!
Was this review helpful?
Kate Keddie’s husband, John, is a physician working at a palliative care hospice center.  John was supposed to have been at a symposium for two weeks in Melbourne, but when he does not return as promised, Kate begins to investigate.  She discovers that John has not been employed by the hospice for the last three months.  Now, she has learned that he has been found dead on the island where they owned a vacation home.  Along with her father-in-law, Fisher, they try to find some answers on the island.

Abby Gilpin is marred to Ray and has two children.  They have lived for years on the island and Ray has been a maintenance man while Abby works at the local grocery store.

From this point, we watch this story build where all these people’s lives come together that tells a story of secrets,  parental love, and murder.  It is a compelling story that keeps the reader glued to the book turning pages.  I found it sad in many ways, but also understood how a parent will do anything to protect their child.  Hope I’ve not given out too many spoilers but Instead grabbed your interest to read this book.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley, Christian White and St. Martin’s Pres s for the free e-book in exchange for an honest review.

This is another new author for me and I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into with this novel. But I loved it! I was immediately interested in this novel and it’s characters. I was totally shocked by all the twists in this novel and how different it is from other mysteries or thrillers I have read. It was extremely fast paced and I flew through it! I would definitely recommend and I can’t wait to read White’s first novel.
Was this review helpful?
A version of this review previously appeared in Shelf Awareness and is reprinted here with permission.

In this gripping thriller, John Keddie's wife and daughter are left waiting and confused after his flight home to Melbourne has disembarked and there's no sign of him. Calls to John's office reveal he didn't attend a palliative care conference in London. In fact, John also concealed from Kate that he left Trinity Health's employ three months previously, after the death of an elderly patient hit him particularly hard.

Hours away, on Belport Island, Abby Gilpin, her property caretaker husband, Ray, and their two teens are struggling through the tourist off-season. Abby doesn't think much of it when she finds Ray's work boots and clothes in the trash and she simply moves them to the salvation bin. But Ray's whereabouts have been a bit mysterious lately, and Abby recently heard him crying in the bathroom.

Kate and Abby's individual points of view begin to merge after Kate receives a call that an alarm has been triggered at the Keddie holiday home on Belport and a body is found at the island's ferry terminal. Kate and her father-in-law head to investigate, putting all the story's principals on the island, but Australian author Christian White has plenty of clues to toss into the mix before the true connections between The Wife and the Widow are revealed.

White, Victorian Premier's Literary Award winner for The Nowhere Child, maintains a steady flow even as he nimbly uses history and secondary characters to create multiple potential scenarios. Misdirects and a terrific reveal midway through the novel add to the pleasure of White's second standalone thriller.
Was this review helpful?
I could not put this book down ! 5 stars for the author. This is a atmospheric mystery that is written to perfection with a island setting, two mysterious set of circumstances affecting two marriages and two women characters drawn together to find answers amid shocking revelations.. I literally read this from cover to cover. The writing is well crafted, the characters well drawn and the suspense builds to a exciting conclusion. This is a very enjoyable read. I highly recommend this book and look forward to further work by the author. 
Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher.
Was this review helpful?
Elegantly and intelligently written, this is a mesmerizing read, examining the lives of two women, a missing husband and how their lives entwine. Recommended.
Was this review helpful?
The best part of this book is that you never really have it figured out. Each time you think you do, the plot quickly shifts and something new is revealed. I love that the setting of this book felt like a strong presence, and I enjoyed that it took place in Australia.  The dual perspectives was also really enjoyable for me!
Was this review helpful?
Wow!  This was such a good book!  An original and very well composed story.  I read and reread a couple of parts, just to make sure I understood what was actually happening.   I loved the characters and the description of the area where the story takes place.  I don't want to give anything away on this one, but this is an outstanding read and I am going to get myself Mr. White's first book "The Nowhere Child", which also sounds like a terrific read.  

Thank you very much to Netgalley, the author Christian White, and the publisher St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read this excellent book and in the bargain add another favorite author to my list.  This is my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
First published in Australia in 2019; published by St. Martin’s Publishing/Minotaur Books on January 21, 2020

The wife in the novel’s title is Abby Gilpin; her husband is Ray. The widow is Kate Keddie, who was married to John before he disappeared. Their stories are told in alternating chapters. Christian White invites the reader to fit the two stories together in an effort to understand how they relate to each other, both temporally and in the overlap of their characters.

John Keddie was a doctor. He disagreed with Kate about the need to activate parental controls on the internet. In John’s view, if parents don’t talk about the monsters in the world, their children won’t be ready to handle them when they appear.

John has monsters of his own, as Kate eventually discovers. Her mission of discovery begins when John doesn’t come home from a two-week research colloquium. She learns that he didn’t show up at the colloquium. She is even more perplexed when she learns that John stopped working at the Center for Palliative Care three months earlier, after the death of an elderly patient to whom he seemed drawn.

Kate believes John appreciates the fact that she is “passive to the point of invisible,” but passivity won’t serve her well if she is to learn what happened to John. She gets her first clue when an alarm is triggered at their holiday house on Belport Island, a place Kate would never expect John to go. According to John’s father, John spent his teen years on the island in a state of spiritual distress. Kate and her father-in-law travel to the island to look for John. His fate is telegraphed in the novel’s title.

Belport Island is the home of Abby, Ray, and their son Ed. Abby is troubled because Ray has been acting strangely. He seems to have lied to Abby about the places where he claims to have been when he was supposedly working. The pile of gay porn magazines hidden in the basement fuels her suspicion that Ray is concealing more than the magazines.

The reader is asked to consider how John’s disappearance relates to the Gilpin family. Like Kate, the reader will ask why John kept an obituary of a murdered man named David Stemple in the holiday home’s attic. Who killed Stemple and why? As in any good mystery, the obvious answers to the questions that the novel poses turn out to be false.

Kate is a sympathetic character. She must overcome her passivity to survive the story. a transition that enhances her likability. Abby is less sympathetic, although her desire to protect her family might cause some readers to empathize with her. John and Ray are developed in enough detail to explain their actions, but the novel’s focus is on Kate and Abby. Neither husband is likely to earn the reader’s sympathy or empathy.

White tells a plausible, well-paced story. Its clever structure helps conceal the relationship between the wife’s story and the widow’s until the reader has an “ah-ha” epiphany. The ending brings the titular characters together for a satisfying conclusion, making The Wife and the Widow a good bet for mystery fans.

Was this review helpful?
What a shocking end, didn't expect that at all! This was a page-turner for me.

I'm always on the look-out for clean secular fiction, and this one almost made the mark.

Thank you Netgalley and St Martin's Press for the ARC. This is my honest review.
Was this review helpful?