The Half Wives

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Marilyn Plageman and Lucy Christensen didn’t intend to love the same man, but that is their reality. Lucy knew former pastor Henry Plageman was married when she began seeing him over ten years ago, just four years after the loss of his son Jack, but she was drawn to him. And Marilyn, drowning in guilt and grief, had pulled so far away from her husband that she did not notice him becoming more distant. She never suspected he had another life, another wife.

In The Half Wives Stacia Pelletier breaks the narrative into the voices of each major character by dedicating chapters to Marilyn, Henry, Lucy, and a young girl named Blue. This allows readers to dive into each story and each life with freshness and tension. Pelletier also employs the use of second person, an uncommon point of view, so that readers become the “you” in each chapter. At one point, we become Lucy: “You cannot remember what you looked like before Henry. That girl—you cannot recall her face.” This intimate use of “you” makes the story ours as much as it is the trio’s at the heart of the book.

Part historical fiction, part heartbreaking romance, part bildungsroman, this book takes readers on a journey rich with detail and darkness. Told over the period of just one day, the book reminds us that our lives are filled with so much, and, if we’d only slow down, we’d have so much more to see. The book also deals with grief surrounding the loss of a child and the ways families are often torn apart in the aftermath of such a tragedy. Set against the changing landscape of San Francisco at the turn of the century, The Half Wives is the kind of book that makes you want to hold your loved ones a little closer and say prayers of thanks for the blessings of each day.


Reviewed By:

Author Stacia Pelletier
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publish Date 2017-Apr-04
ISBN 9780547491165
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2017
Category Historical Fiction
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