Set against the backdrop of an eerie island town in the dead of winter, this is a thriller 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.
... a compelling, fast-paced tale of two seemingly disparate families ... There is a devilishly deft plot twist at the finale ... This is a well-constructed novel with a strong, atmospheric sense, which is not surprising. The locale is a fictional stand-in for the author’s home town of Ocean Grove on the Province of Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula ... a gripping psychological thriller that delivers on its examination of the corrosive impact of family secrets with a dramatic finish that upends expectations ... A small caution: There are probably more details of taxidermy—not coincidentally White’s wife’s hobby—than the average reader may require or find palatable.
It’s often hard to write about the machinations of a really good crime novel without giving too much away, and this is indeed the case with The Wife and the Widow. It’s one of those books that you recommend to people with the instruction, read it – and then we can talk. What can be said is that White employs a highly original narrative structure ... [White] also writes like a dream ... one of the most original crime novels of the year and White is clearly a rising international star of the now very vibrant Australian crime fiction scene. Prepare to be dazzled.
White has more than one shocking twist ready to trip the unwary ... Here, the twist only amplifies a solidly constructed, emotionally moving, and deeply compelling story told with beautiful yet straightforward prose. White’s characters are complex and real, varied in their behavior and motivations ... there’s an otherworldliness to this story that leaves quite an impact ... The themes The Wife and the Widow explores are equally impactful; from the obligations of honesty and responsibility to the bonds between parents and their children, wives and their husbands ... an impressive, cinematic chiller that demands a re-read if only to fully appreciate the mastery of its construction.