Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Widow by Fiona Barton (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen...

But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.

There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…"

My Thoughts:

What a book this was!  I went into this one expecting a thriller and a page turner.  While this book was definitely a page turner, it was one of those rare suspenseful reads that is meant more to be savored and read both slowly and carefully.  It was a book of questions and one that kept me entranced throughout.  Sometimes the slow books that take their time building up are the ones that stay with you the longest.  I can tell you that the more I think about this book, the more I realize just how much I enjoyed it.  Don't get me wrong, I knew when I finished that this was a book that I wouldn't forget anytime soon but what I didn't realize is how much this book would stick with me.  Haunting is a great (although a bit overused) way to describe it.  There was this overall feeling of darkness that was present throughout the book.  As the reader I instinctively knew that bad things were going to happen- I could just feel it as I read.  The author made the questions build up slowly and surely in such a way that added to the layers of suspense already present.  What had happened on that fateful day when a little girl disappeared?  Is Jean someone you can trust and what has she been hiding all of this time?  

The questions of Jean and her character were yet another thing that added to the tension of the story.  I couldn't help but wonder what she was going to reveal next and her motivations behind it all.  Could we trust her?  You should know by now that I am a sucker for any book with a possibly unreliable narrator.  It is like reading catnip....I just cannot resist!  The story goes along told in three different parts: one from Jean herself, one from the eyes of a reporter, and the final part from the lead detective that was involved in the arrest of Jean's husband.  The author interweaves these three stories in such a compelling way that I just couldn't stop reading.  I needed to know what had happened so long ago and it was that reason that kept me reading late into the night.  This book wasn't at all what I expected but that was why it worked so well for me!  The ending itself was well done and completely unexpected.  This was one of those rare books where you think that you have it all figured out only to realize that you were completely wrong.  I loved the way this book ended and won't say any more than that.  I've said this already but I will say it one more time:  this is a book that sticks with you and just begs for you to think about days later.

Overall, I really enjoyed my reading experience with this book.  It was different than I expected but it turns out that is exactly what I needed/wanted without knowing it.  I loved the slow building layers of tension and suspense that were present throughout this book.  I am glad that I took my time with this book as I feel like it really added to reading experience.  If you are looking for a quieter yet still thrilling read, this is the book to check out.  Just be warned that you will be thinking about it long after.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A book that I still cannot stop thinking about!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.


  1. I was discussing this one with my daughter yesterday and she said she had used a credit at Audible for it. I decided I would do the same. Glad I did. I think it will be a good one for me to listen to. Hearing such good things about it and your comment of not being able to stop thinking about it is great.

  2. We both love our unreliable narrators, I'm excited. I liked how you built us up with your excitement without giving to much of the storyline, guess the less we know the better. This one is on my list Sam. I giggled at 'it's like reading catnip' cute

  3. I've this on my TBR pile! I'll have to move this up the pile after reading your thoughts! :-)

  4. I enjoyed this book too! Jean was an interesting character. She was hard to figure out, which was fun.

  5. Sam, your bottom line says a lot about this book. Terrific review! I'm so pleased that you are reading such remarkable books.

  6. I love books that really stay with you long after you've turned the last page. I have this one on my Kindle and am looking forward to it!


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