I’ve always been attracted to the idea of the large extended Italian family. That idealised Dolmio advert group of people sitting down around a huge table to noisily eat pasta and share their lives. Maggie finds herself joining that dynamic when she marries widower Nico. Life on the council estate had meant sleeping on her Mums sofa while they both looked after Maggie’s young son Sam. She is the first woman in three generations of her family to get married and there are plenty of challenges ahead. Step-daughter Francesca still misses her Mum and finds it hard to accept Maggie in any capacity. The saintly first wife is revered by all in Nico’s family and Maggie knows that she is perceived as a gold digger by comparison.
Although billed as a psychological thriller The Silent Wife is also a fascinating study of family and relationships, of how you never truly know what goes on inside someone else’s marriage. The strength of this book is the truly wonderful, larger than life, characters who leap off the page at you. Feisty Maggie, struggling to become part of the family, a woman that you’d want to be friends with and who you need in your corner on a tough day. Younger brother Nico, the calm considered son with a talent for design and horticulture. Bullish Massimo with his love of sports and fiercely competitive nature will let nothing stand in his way. Matriarch Anna overseeing her flock and looking down on both her daughters in law equally!
I’ve not read any of Kerry Fisher’s earlier works but if they prove to be as compelling as this one I will definitely be seeking them out.
Supplied by Net Galley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.
UK publication date – Feb 24 2017. 350 pages.