Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I can hear the sound of her crunching up the path. Heavy footed in high heels. She's almost at the door, hesitating and smoothing her hair out of her face. Nice outfit: jacket with big buttons, decent dress underneath, and glasses perched on her head. Not a Jehovah's Witnesses or from the Labour party. Must be a reporter, but not the usual. She's my second one today--fourth this week, and it's only Wednesday. I bet she says, "I'm sorry to bother you at such a difficult time". They all say that and put on that stupid face. Like they care." --- from Chapter one of The Widow by Fiona Barton.
How well do you know your spouse or significant other? Maybe you don't know him/her as well as you thought you did. What if that person committed a horrible crime? Would you stand by their side?
This is the premise of The Widow, Jean Taylor and her husband, Glen, have been married over a decade and she is somewhat happy in her marriage. They were in love when they married but sometimes complacency can make that love change.
The Widow starts out in 2010, after Jean's husband has died, hit by a bus. The reason for the reporters? Well, in October of 2006 a two-year-old little girl by the name of Bella disappears from her front yard. You may wonder what a little girl was doing out in the yard all alone. Her mum, Dawn, just went inside to make their tea and things happen very fast. There are predators out there who prey on children and that is what happened in this case.
Who took Bella? Glen is a suspect and undergoes interrogation after interrogation and never reveals what he knows. Jean sticks by her man, if you will, and they weather the storm of accusations by the press, neighbors, and family, but this goes on until 2010 and the death of Glen. There is no real evidence that Glen had anything to do with Bella's disappearance.
This story is told by different viewpoints, Jean being the main one, the reporter, Kate Walters and the investigating detective, Bob Sparkes. Through alternating chapters, the reader learns more about these people and the circumstances of not only Bella's disappearance but of Glen's death.
The Widow is being compared to the Best Seller The Girl on the Train, of which I have read. It definitely has a similarity as they are both psychological suspense in nature. The protagonists are both women in a situation not of their own making. I found the characters to be well developed, and as I read this book, I kept coming back to the question, how well do we know another person? Everyone has secrets, some minor in nature and some people have secrets that are dangerous. This book encompasses both of these scenarios as we learn what kind of people that Jean and Glen were.
I read this book in a few sittings and that is an accomplishment for me lately, and I really liked it. Kind of had an idea about the ending but was not sure. The author writes in a way that grabs your attention in the first chapter. I give this book five stars for writing and plot!