Monday, June 22, 2015

The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell

In the early hours of a summer morning, a young woman steps into the path of an oncoming bus. A tragic accident? Or suicide?

At the center of this puzzle is Adrian Wolfe, a successful architect and grief-stricken widower, who, a year after his third wife’s death, begins to investigate the cause. As Adrian looks back on their brief but seemingly happy marriage, disturbing secrets begin to surface. The divorces from his two previous wives had been amicable, or so it seemed; his children, all five of them, were resilient as ever, or so he thought. But something, or someone, must have pushed Maya over the edge…

With psychological nuance that gets into the heart of its characters, The Third Wife is a gripping story about a man seeking the truth behind his seemingly perfect marriage and the broken pieces left behind.

“You’re a love addict.”

Things aren’t always as they appear. That was the underlying theme throughout this twisted family drama that kept me enthralled, pretty much until the end.  It was well-written, dynamic and left me wanting to pick up the author’s other books.

The story centered around a man, Adrian Wolfe, and his unique family situation. When the story started off, my heart broke for him. Here’s a guy that just lost his third wife. Yes . . . third. It’s hard to fathom, anyone could believe in love after two failed marriages, but this guy was convinced, he had finally found the one. The woman he was going to spend the rest of his life with. 

Was Maya's death a terrible accident or was it a suicide? The circumstances of that night, didn't really fit with the person everyone knew. Or thought they knew.

From all outward appearances, Maya was the perfect fit for Adrian’s unconventional family.  Still immersed in his ex-wives lives and juggling the schedules of his five kids, Maya didn’t have much choice but to be accepting and join in the chaos. It honestly was a strange dynamic. One, I couldn’t ever imagine any woman signing up to be a part of. But, sometimes love makes us do crazy things, right?

In an attempt to move on, after Maya’s death, Adrian tries to find a home for her cat.  He meets a woman that opens his eyes to the possibility that maybe things weren’t as great as he once believed. Her role in the story and some of the secrets along the way, played out a little differently than expected.

By the end of the story, my feelings for Adrian had totally changed. I felt like I had been duped. It all boiled down to his selfishness and total disregard for anyone else’s feelings.  He had convinced himself that just because he was happy, so was everyone else around him.  In a way, maybe a typical guy, oblivious to the feelings of those around him?

The story was a little bit of a slow build, but the author really took the time to develop the characters and to ratchet up the suspense, which I appreciated.  Where the story failed for me was the ending. It wasn’t satisfying. I wanted more. Something bigger and bolder. I won’t go so far to say it ruined the story, but it definitely didn’t live up to the expectations, I felt the rest of the story garnered. 

4/5 Fangs

*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

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