Review: ‘The Widow’ by Fiona Barton

For the past year everyone has been talking about The Girl on the Train, but I tried to read it and didn’t really get into it. I was worried that this book was going to be the same, but I am very glad to say that I think The Widow by Fiona Barton is going to outshine many of the psychological thrillers that have been popular lately.

Synopsis: 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 her husband is dead, and 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.

This book sat on my shelf for a while, but the clever promo packaging that Penguin Random House used (an evidence bag with a pack of Skittles inside) kept drawing my eyes. I finally decided to read it after going to one of their preview sessions a couple of weeks ago and hearing nothing but RAVE reviews from other booksellers. From the very beginning of the book I was pulled into Jeannie’s world, surrounded by the media, unsure of herself after so many years of silence. She isn’t the most likable character, or the most sympathetic, but you understand how she got this way.

My only complaint about this book is that the last few chapters didn’t move as fast as I hoped. I found myself skimming some of the chapters for important information that would lead me to the conclusion. I desperately wanted to know the truth and really didn’t care about what was happening to the other characters. Perhaps some people would enjoy those loose ends being tied up, but for me it felt like padding at the end.

Overall, this book is an easy read that will keep you turning pages. I know it’s going to be a big hit with the average reader, and book clubs will be lining up to read it. People who are expecting something deep and insightful will be unimpressed, but I don’t think they are the intended reader for this type of book anyway.

LC rating: three-stars (liked it)


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