The War of the Wives by Tamar Cohen

Imagine being happily married. Then imagine one day you get a call that turns your world upside down: your husband is dead. You are devastated. You go to the funeral… And come face to face with his other widow.

The War of the Wives brings us the story of Selina and Lottie, two women married to the same man. Simon spends a lot of time travelling, and some how he has managed to fool two women for many years – and at his funeral they come face to face.

The narrative jumps between the two women, as we switch between their experiences, feelings and memories. It’s soon apparent that these are very different characters, and Simon has managed to live two very different lives with them.

Of course, after the initial anger, they find themselves brought together, along with their children of various ages, and some handle this better than others. There are various strands to the story, including the reason behind Simon’s death, financial issues etc.

I have to admit there were times when I wondered just how much could happen to two women, and to me, the reasons behind Simon’s death were not needed, as it just seemed a little too much. I’m also not sure about what happens to Lottie, but that does make for an interesting ending. Despite this little criticism however, this book certainly kept me reading, and I enjoyed the sharp humour Tamar appears to have.

Published by Doubleday July 2012

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