The War of the Wives – Tamar Cohen

The War of the Wives

Published 19 July 2012 by Transworld Digital

From Goodreads:
Imagine being happily married for 28 years. You have three children, a lovely house and a husband who travels a lot – but even after all this time, you still love each other.

Or: imagine being happily married for 17 years. You have one daughter, a lovely home and though your husband travels a lot, you still love each other passionately.

Then one day you get a call that turns your world upside down: your husband is dead. You are devastated. You go to the funeral… And come face to face with his other widow.

Another wife, another family. It can’t be true. It must be a mistake.It has to be her fault – all of it. Or: is it?

With the sharp and witty scalpel she used in The Mistress’s Revenge, Tamar Cohen lays bare the raw emotions thart underpin so-called normal family life and explores the hearts of two women forced to re-evaluate everything they thought they knew

My thoughts:

This was my first book by Tamar Cohen and I very much enjoyed it. I loved the style of writing -it’s sharp, perceptive and witty and the characters were just so real. I was hooked from the very start and it was a book that I couldn’t put down.

Selina has been married to Simon for 28 years, they have 3 children and an expensive lifestyle with money seemingly in abundance. Lottie has been married to Simon for 17 years, they have one child, they live in a small flat, are struggling for money but appear to be happy. However, when Simon is found dead, in suspicious circumstances, the worlds of the two families collide and they are left to deal with the consequences.

To find out that you’ve been deceived by your husband for nearly the whole of your married life – after having his children, supporting his career and building a life together can only be devastating. We experience every emotion of both Selina and Lottie and that of their children, including denial and anger.

There is also an element of danger running through the story, Simon appeared to have some shady business partners who are seeking recompense and the two families are in the firing line.

The story is narrated in turn by each wife so you get to see both views. All the characters are so well written, you can’t help but feel involved in their lives. Of the two wives, I preferred the character of Selina. Although she appears to be a high maintenance wife and has a sometimes unpleasant superior attitude, she shows herself to be more of a coper whereas Lottie comes across as being rather scatterbrained and helpless who retreats rather than face up to life.

I wasn’t sure about the epilogue – this was a little contrived for me but this doesn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the book and I’m looking forward to reading The Mistress’s Revenge which is also on my bookshelf.

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