His First Wife’s Secret
reviewed by Cara DiCostanzo
His First Wife’s Secret is a beautifully written story of two women married to the same man at different times in their life. There are secrets, lies, heartbreak and love that bring these two women together.
Caroline has recently suffered the loss of her college-age son because of a terrible accident. Subsequently, she has gotten divorced but cannot move on – struggling to find a balance between grief and life. Her ex-husband, Peter, has moved on. He has since gotten remarried and his current wife, Emily, is pregnant. Sadly, tragedy strikes again and Peter is killed in a car accident, leaving Emily pregnant and alone with no one to help her. As Caroline gets pulled into Emily’s lonely life and feels compelled to help her, she realizes that all is not what it seems with Emily and her pregnancy.
Emma Robinson does an incredible job with development of her characters. They are all realistic and while you want to get mad and identify with one or the other, both deserve empathy. Caroline and Emily are realistic about their challenges and described so well that you feel you are going on this journey with them. I enjoyed watching the relationship grow between them, despite terrible secrets being revealed. The friendships that are depicted are also amazing, and we envy Caroline for them. We all wish we had a team like Faith and Gabby. Emily is a bit more difficult to like, though in the end, she is more understood and I empathized with her situation.
While the mystery in this book comes from the secrets the women keep, it is a story of guilt and heartbreak, and I was very moved by it. This story highlights the way women reach out and support one another, and the impact that minor acts can make.
The author describes perfectly why sometimes we make the choices we do when we are deep in grief and don’t see a way out. Her knowledge of depression and particularly post-natal depression is impressive, and she has clearly done her research.
His First Wife’s Secret is a book to be savored. It is both a mystery and a book about friendship and what happens when we take the wrong road. All the characters are relatable at different points in the story. Even Peter, with all of his faults and lies. I very much enjoyed it. Grab the tissues for this one!