When Hattie Darling's husband Ben dies on his first night home from an
extended business trip, she is devastated. But when she finds among his
belongings evidence that there had been another woman in his life, Hattie is
unable to mourn Ben as she thinks she should. In an attempt to make peace with
her discovery, and against the advice of her friends, Hattie decides to find the
other woman and confront her.
But the confrontation leads to surprise and eventual understanding. At the heart of this unusual book is the unexpected intertwining of the lives of the two women. Gradually, Hattie realizes that she has superimposed the deceit of Ben's life onto her own.
Hattie awoke the first time, it was still early, around midnight. The house was
quiet. Although she had been asleep less than an hour, she felt jittery and
restless. She walked into the bathroom and drank a glass of water and started
back to the bed. Abruptly, she turned and went down the stairs. Instead of
switching on the hall light, she steadied and guided herself down each step by
pressing her fingertips against the wall as she had done a thousand times
before. Fear was the only thing different in Hattie's life.
The fear, the casket and the knowledge that Ben had been about to tell her something important. At first she was so afraid that she couldn't focus her eyes, but she approached the casket and forced herself to look at him. Ben lay there with his hands folded on his stomach; his left hand on top. He had never worn a wedding ring, and now Hattie wished he had. She thought back over the events of the past two days from her anxious anticipation of Ben&...
A gentle tale of two women who, unbeknown to each other, shared the same
husband. The story opens as Hattie's husband returns from a business trip
and dies just as he is trying to tell her something. Shortly after, Hattie
discovers evidence of another woman and goes in search of her. She finds
her and, unexpectedly, becomes deeply involved in the other woman's life whilst
never revealing her own true identity. Whilst the storyline of one man,
two wives has been told many times, (for example Anita Shreve's relatively
recent, The Pilot's Wife) this tale brings a new angle to the telling. I
recommend this to readers who enjoy novels that explore family relationships -
with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure. I understand that the
book is currently being made into a movie by Barbra Streisand's film company -
it should make a great 'chick flick'.
If you liked A Trick of Light, try these:
Even before the plane is located, the relentless focus on Kathryn's dead husband's life begins to bring a bizarre personal mystery into focus. Could there be any truth to the increasingly disturbing rumors that he had a secret?
A moving and satisfying sequel to Sister of My Heart, The Vine of Desire stands on its own as a novel of extraordinary depth and sensitivity.
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