Friday, February 22, 2013

Review: The Second Wife by Catherine Cavendish

The Second Wife by Catherine Cavendish
Synopsis (Goodreads):
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…
My Thoughts: Catherine Cavendish resurrects a vindictive first wife in this tale of spooky happenings in an otherwise idyllic house. Well, maybe it's only idyllic on the surface. The creepiness of living in what is basically a shrine to the memory of the first Mrs. Marchant is well-realized and sets the tone nicely. Chrissie is trapped by her love for her new husband as she tries to fit in to her new home. He doesn't want anything changed and she feels like an outsider. Her isolation begins to affect her and she's not sure if she's losing her mind as strange things begin to happen.

The sense of loneliness is powerful. Chrissie is not cut out for a life of leisure and her husband works long hours at his practice, leaving her alone in the big, perfectly decorated house. I liked the slow journey as she unraveled and fell apart. It was wonderfully creepy and intriguing.

I think the moral of this story is... don't be the second wife. Bad things will happen to you.

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The Second Wife was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I agree with everything you said Kelly. I am reading this now (just started yesterday) and loving it! It's a cold, rainy Saturday today, perfect day for it!