It’s a cool, overcast morning as I sip a steaming cup of chai and enjoy an Apple Cinnamon Date Square, a change from my usual Date Bar. It is supposed to start raining later this morning, so I’m hoping to finish this post and head out for a long-ish walk before it begins.
I finished reading The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell, a book I found to be unputdownable. After drinking way too much, Maya, the third wife in a sprawling family of two ex-wives and five children of various ages, stumbles in front of a bus and dies. Was it an accident or did she step out intentionally? Nearly a year after her death, grieving, significantly older husband Adrian is tacking up a notice in the post office to find a home for Maya’s cat, Billie, when Jane enters his life. Beautiful, smart, compelling Jane visits the flat under the pretense of possibly adopting Billie. When she decides against this, but turns up unexpectedly when the whole family are out for dinner, and when one of Adrian’s daughters admits to having seen her at one of her skating practices, Adrian begins to suspect that Jane had something to do with, or at least knows something about, Maya’s death. But then Jane disappears and Adrian is at a loss. When oldest son Luke discovers evidence of possible foul play on his father’s computer, everyone becomes involved in the search for the truth about what really happened to Maya - was is an accident, suicide or murder? This was such an engaging, gripping domestic thriller that I flew through it, finding opportunities to read whenever I could. It was part mystery, part psychological thriller, and a big part of the novel looked at the real family dynamics under the veneer of placid acceptance and willing cooperation. Of course, all is not what it seems, but the brilliance of this novel is the not-quite-knowing what is true and what is pure pretense. I have read or listened to many of Jewell’s novels in the past, and for me, this one ranks right up there with the best of her books. The characters and relationships were complex yet credible, the situations were compelling, and the plot rolled along at an even pace that was just right for this reader. It brought to mind other novels that explore domestic discord beneath a seemingly tranquil surface such as Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies and The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas, but was a much gentler treatment of this theme. In my opinion, it’s actually almost too gentle to call a “thriller”- it is more of a domestic drama. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys this type of book.
That’s all for today. Have a wonderful rest of the week and enjoy your weekend!Bye for now…