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From the very first page, I was intrigued about what had happened to Edith Lutz. She is a woman who is running away but we are not told why she is running and from what. This is a great way to start the book because immediately the reader is drawn in and wanting to know what has happened to her.
Before long, Edith is starting a new life as a housekeeper to publisher Adam Davenport. However, she always seems to be looking over her shoulder in case her past catches up with her, and also struggling to keep up with the lies she has told Adam, especially as their relationship progresses further than that of employer and employee. Throughout the novel, the story alternates between the past and the present seamlessly so eventually one is able to piece together what has happened in her life to make run away. I liked the fact that I was able to work things out just before they were revealed to me.
It is a very interesting storyline and in some ways quite traumatic. We learn a lot about Edith's troubled childhood which has led to her need to keep on running away. This is particularly true when someone from her past tries to get in touch and she definitely does not want to be found. It is also interesting to observe how her lies lead to a very tangled mess that could result in her losing the few people who she actually holds dear. It is a salutary reminder to the reader that honesty probably is the best policy!
Edith is a very interesting main character. She is the narrator and because of this one might have expected to get to know her a little better. However, the reader seems to be held at arm's length in just the same way as the people who try to get close to Edith. I did not particularly warm to her which was disappointing because I felt she should have been a more sympathetic character. You don't really get to know the other characters either as these are all seen through Edith's eyes so you only know what she chooses to tell you.
A Lost Wife's Tale is a very good story but at times I felt it dragged slightly and I could feel my interest waning. However, at other times I was really gripped. It has an easy to read style although I did not find it compulsive reading. I liked the title very much and this was one of the reasons I was drawn to the book. I did not like the fact that there was some strong swearing at the beginning though. I was a bit concerned that this would feature throughout the book but actually it soon petered out making me wonder whether it was necessary to have included any of these words at all.
This is Marion McGilvary's first novel and although I enjoyed it you get the feeling that there might be better to come. However it has all the ingredients of mystery and intrigue, and it's definitely worth reading.
The paperback version of this book is available on Amazon for £4.89.
This review has previously appeared under my name at www.thebookbag.co.uk