The Second Wife

The Second Wife

by Catherine Cavendish

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Emily Marchant died on Valentine's Day. If only she'd stayed dead...

When Chrissie Marchant first sets eyes on Barton Grove, she feels as if the house doesn't want her. But it's her new husband's home, so now it's her home as well. Sumptuous and exquisitely appointed, the house is filled with treasures that had belonged to Joe's first wife, the perfect Emily, whom the villagers still consider the real mistress of Barton Grove.

A stunning photograph of the first Mrs. Marchant hangs in the living room, an unblemished rose in her hand. There's something unnerving and impossibly alive about that portrait, but it's not the only piece of Emily still in the house. And as Chrissie's marriage unravels around her, she learns that Emily never intended for Joe to take a second wife...

Product Details

BN ID: 2940162031505
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Publication date: 07/09/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 416 KB

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The Second Wife 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Nobody’s perfect, and the handsome doctor’s deceased first wife is no exception. Sadly the doctor is far from perfect too, and cruelly unwilling to countenance any change in his home or way of life. New wife Chrissie learns to cope with the first wife’s photograph staring at her. She learns to look beautiful and prepare lovely meals, instead of going out to work. And she finds her value in her husband’s approval, forgetting all the skills she had before. But the house seems unwilling to forget its former mistress. Tension rises, and Chrissie’s attempts to explain away her discomfort are gradually eroded. Slowly she learns some sympathy for the dead, but will the dead wife have any sympathy for her? The story’s short and easy to read in one session. It builds through various climaxes to moments of peace and sheer horror, and it ends, in classic horror style, with just a hint of more. Swift skillful writing, quick scary images, and a satisfying storyline make this an enjoyable short horror tale for a cold dark night. Disclosure: I won a copy and I’m offering my honest review.
Chukkie More than 1 year ago
Chrissie Marchant has it all going for her when she marries a successful widower with a fabulous home. But the first Mrs Marchant's presence is always there to ruffle poor Chrissie, and when she decides to make her own mark on Barton Grove things begin to go awry. Cavendish has again dished up a taut supernatural thriller that should delight fans of the Gothic genre. (I received a review copy for an honest appraisal)
Mallory_SupernaturalFan More than 1 year ago
Review of The Second Wife by Catherine Cavendish 5 stars As a youngster, I devoured “Gothic” suspense stories, such as those by the prolific Victoria Holt. In almost every instance, a misguided but trusting and idealistic young woman took a position, whether it be governess, housemaid, teacher, or nanny, at a dark and brooding estate, owned by a dark and broodingly handsome gentleman. Usually there was a late wife, late grandmother, or some such individual (think Daphne Du Maurier’s classic “Rebecca,” think Robert Browning’s “The Last Duchess”). Always there was someone or something setting up obstacles to this young lady’s future happiness. Also always, the reader managed to settle in comfortably, expecting good things, only to find out that Supernatural intervention was at hand, and it wasn’t kindly intentioned. This is sort of the approach excellent author Catherine Cavendish takes. Chrissie, a University librarian, coincidentally encounters village GP Joe Marchant, and after a very whirlwind courtship, they marry. Chrissie is ecstatically in love, but her first experience of Joe’s Victorian home proves to her that neither the house, nor his late wife Emily, deceased these five years, wants her present. While Chrissie tries diligently to make her marriage happy, even to the point of trying to win over the village biddies, that stunning photograph of Emily and her rose, hanging over the mantel, is the focal point of various types of hauntings, and yes, Supernatural intervention with a seriously bad attitude and an axe to grind. This becomes a marriage of four: Chrissie, husband Dr. Joe, the house, and The Late Emily. What makes this novella different from the stories I’ve mentioned above? This is Catherine Cavendish, who writes horror that creeps up on the reader unexpectedly; horror that grabs the throat and collapses the lungs; horror that is heart-stopping to the point that the reader will be crying out, “Will the heroine survive?” She sets up a protagonist who seems on the surface to be a normally functioning adult, but in reality is a woman harbouring inside a small child frequently tremendously abused, and her “normalcy” is only dancing on a tightrope. As such, she is fair prey for the evil in Dr. Joe’s home—The Late Emily’s home. “The Second Wife” is a story of both the persistence of the Supernatural and of psychological horror, so finely tuned that the approach of the horrendous is gradual but implacable. I’m so glad I read this in the daylight; although I expect to have nightmares tonight. I literally have chills.