Book Review: The Widow

The Widow by Fiona Barton is a fictional text I picked up several weeks ago in the Limeridge Mall. I have been searching for a good read since completing the school year, and it is exciting to be able to select a novel of my own choosing to read as opposed to an assigned course text. One can only read so many 18th century novels

The book was set out on a featured display, so I picked it up to give it a glance. The summary of the book on the inside cover of the text is what caught my eye: “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” (Barton, summary).

Unfortunately in a lot of instances, the synopsis listed within a book is often inaccurate of what the book itself contains story-wise. This is not the case, however, with this particular book. The summary is certainly accurate in its description of Jean and Glen Taylor, though not overly revealing of the twists and turns that Barton incorporates into her plot.

Barton’s protagonist character, Jean Taylor, is so intriguing and compelling that it makes it difficult to remove yourself from her story when you put the book down. Her husband, Glen, is equally enthralling, though in an entirely opposing way. The characters balance each other out well, and their private lifestyle undoubtedly contributes to the overall secretive and mischievous feel of the story.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a suspenseful and slightly dark read. Barton keeps you on your toes with her numerous plot twists, and her simple writing style makes it enjoyable to follow along and absorb the curious lives of the Taylor’s.

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