"[A] stellar family drama. A clever twist near the end upends the plot’s trajectory. Readers will eagerly await White’s next. "Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"White exceeds readers' expectations after his super successful debut with strong, complex protagonists...and notable secondary characters who are well developed. The plot never stops and the clever twist is thrilling." Library Journal (starred review)
"A compelling, fast-paced tale...a gripping psychological thriller that delivers on its examination of the corrosive impact of family secrets with a dramatic finish that upends expectations.”New York Review of Books
"The author does a vivid job of creating real characters and captures the alternately calm and claustrophobic feeling of island life. Some readers will find the twists fair and others, infuriating, but no doubt all will hang on to discover the ending."Kirkus Reviews
"White delivers a shocking, excellently executed twist that will have readers reexamining their assumptions; this and the sordid details of decades-old misery and fierce parental love make The Wife and the Widow a story to remember. Fans of White’s debut will be pleased with this follow-up."Booklist
"White’s sophomore outing succeeds as both a clever literary puzzle and an insistent page-turner."The Seattle Review of Books
"White destroys any thoughts of a sophomore slump with an entrancing standalone mystery. White draws readers in quickly and adroitly with this compulsive tale, which is a stay-up-all-night kind of book full of masterful plotting and strong characters. The claggy setting is fittingly oppressive and everything builds to a culmination that is breathtaking."Mystery Scene
"Gripping. White maintains a steady flow even as he nimbly uses history and secondary characters to create multiple potential scenarios. Misdirects and a terrific reveal midway through the novel add to the pleasure of White's second standalone thriller."Shelfawareness
"White knows his way around a plot twist. Even the most die-hard thriller reader will be surprised at the direction The Wife and the Widow takes, but even without its truly shocking reveal, White’s thriller stands out for its penetrating examination of marriage and the lies that build between spouses. White’s eerie, patient unraveling of small deceptions makes The Wife and the Widow a hypnotic reading experience."BookPage
"White is a master of the art of misdirection. Just when you think you have worked things out, he pulls back the curtain to reveal his cunning sleight of hand. It’s often hard to write about the machinations of a really good crime novel without giving too much away, and this is indeed the case with The Wife and the Widow."Sydney Morning Herald
White's sophomore novel (after The Nowhere Child) is told in alternating chapters by Abby (the wife) and Kate (the widow), who both look inward to decide how far they will go to protect their families. When her husband, John, fails to return from an overseas business trip, Kate starts to dig into his past, and realizes that he was tormented by a terrible secret. He wasn't in London but at his childhood summer cottage on a remote island, dredging up the past. When Kate learns that John has been murdered, she travels to the island for answers. Meanwhile, island resident Abby, a true crime aficionado and novice taxidermist, must face the shocking possibility that her husband Ray may be capable of murder. VERDICT White exceeds readers' expectations after his supersuccessful debut, with strong, complex protagonists in Abby and Kate and notable secondary characters who are well developed. The plot never stops and the clever twist is thrilling. [See Prepub Alert, 7/8/19.]—Marianne Fitzgerald, Severna Park H.S., MD
When Melbourne resident Kate Keddie learns her missing husband has been lying to her about having gone to London for work, she looks for answers on a small Australian island, where local woman Abby Gilpin is also dealing with consequences from her husband's secrets.
The two women are strangers, but they won't be for long. Kate, a passive, go-along sort of spouse, is stunned to find that her husband, John, has been lying to her about work; he hasn't been there for three months. She and her gruff father-in-law leave Melbourne for Belport Island, where Kate and John have a summer home, in search of answers. Meanwhile, Abby, a crude but tough mother, is trying to work extra shifts at the grocery store to help with finances. Her husband Ray's job as a caretaker for unoccupied vacation houses is seasonal and uncertain, and he's been moodier than usual. The novel is told in alternating chapters from each woman's point of view. There are so many twists and turns that to reveal more of the plot would be unfair; suffice it to say that the story doesn't go where most readers will expect it to. The author does a vivid job of creating real characters and captures the alternately calm and claustrophobic feeling of island life.
Some readers will find the twists fair and others, infuriating, but no doubt all will hang on to discover the ending.