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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Half Wives...#BookReview

About the book:
Over the course of one momentous day, two women who have built their lives around the same man find themselves moving toward an inevitable reckoning.

Former Lutheran minister Henry Plageman is a master secret keeper and a man wracked by grief. He and his wife, Marilyn, tragically lost their young son, Jack, many years ago. But he now has another child—a daughter, eight-year-old Blue—with Lucy, the woman he fell in love with after his marriage collapsed.

The Half Wives follows these interconnected characters on May 22, 1897, the anniversary of Jack’s birth. Marilyn distracts herself with charity work at an orphanage. Henry needs to wrangle his way out of the police station, where he has spent the night for disorderly conduct. Lucy must rescue and rein in the intrepid Blue, who has fallen in a saltwater well. But before long, these four will all be drawn on this day to the same destination: to the city cemetery on the outskirts of San Francisco, to the grave that means so much to all of them. The collision of lives and secrets that follows will leave no one unaltered.

Henry and Marilyn tragically lost their 2-year old son and their marriage never recovered. They live together but distantly. Marilyn has never been able to move forward in her grief and loses herself in charity work. Henry has had a long-term affair with Lucy and they have a daughter. 

The one day that Henry and Marilyn come together as a couple is the anniversary of Jack's death. They meet at his graveside at a set time in the afternoon. But, Henry has also been going to the grave site on that same day with Lucy, but earlier in the day. And on this day, with extenuating circumstances and unexpected delays, they all come together.

So, a slice of life story is clever and a great way to keep the reader's attention. The characters were well developed and we really get a sense of their feelings.

The second person narrative with questionable punctuation and different perspectives? While, I can see why the author may have chosen to narrate second person, but it's just not a narrative I enjoy. However, the details and inner thoughts did add to the story.

The historical aspects and the dark history of San Francisco cemeteries was absolutely new to me and fascinating. 

The story is just that. A story. There isn't a grand reveal or am exciting turn of events. It's not particularly uplifting and there is little hope for a happy ending. There were some loose ends that were not resolved and I was disappointed in that.

Read 9/20

* * * 
3/5 Stars


  1. It sounds like a very good story with an intriguing setting as well.