Saturday, 9 July 2016

A Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante: review

A Circle of Wives

At the beginning I liked detective Samantha Adams. Her honesty about her shortcomings and the way she approached the investigation , even her descriptions of her boyfriend's peculiarities.

At first the novel made me smile more often than not, in spite of the plot : three women married to a man who is murdered.
However, as I continued reading and discovering new facts about the three wives , their present and past lives and their relationship with a very charismatic but moody husband, I felt that the novel was getting darker, sadder and not fun at all.

It is in fact a vivid description of the personal dramas of the characters involved in a murder investigation; more than the plot, it is the story behind those characters what makes the book interesting and at the same time quite depressing. As a matter of fact the detective's life is deeply influenced by the investigation and makes her question her ideas about love and marriage.

Although this comment has little to do with a review, I would like to say that I used to think that bigamy only happened in the films or to very strange people. However , I once met a girl who had recently found out that her father, who was still married to her mother, had another family and that she had three half-siblings. She had been devastated by the news and found it very hard to cope with it. I think she shared her story with other people to try to come to terms with it herself, she didn't want it to be a secret anymore . I felt terribly sorry for her. In the novel, the feelings of the victim's children are seldom mentioned but I think they suffered even more than the wives.

I would recommend this book to adult readers who like character driven novels about women, marriage and love.

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