Book Review – The Widow by Fiona Barton

Title: The WidowBook Review Button
Author: Fiona Barton
ISBN: 9781101990261
No. of Pages: 336
Genre: Suspense
Origins: NAL
Release Date: 16 February 2016


“When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen…

But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.

There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…”

My Thoughts: There have been so many novels over the past few years that compare themselves to Gone Girl that this comparison has become very much like The Boy Who Cried Wolf. For every novel that is similar and just as good, there are way too many that are duds and do the comparison a disservice. Then, there is the issue that in saying that a new novel is like a very popular one, readers’ expectations for the story and their enjoyment of it are automatically set. Thankfully, The Widow at least lives up the hype even though its story is nothing like that of those to which it is compared.

Then again, The Widow is one of those stories where to share even a hint of what is to come will be to run the reading experience for future readers. It is a twisty novel in which the truth sneaks up on you more than it hits you over the fact, which is one of its greatest strengths. For, as long as you as the reader have doubts and demand answers, you will keep turning the pages as fast as you can.

The Widow is the perfect novel for a quiet weekend afternoon or a readathon. It should also come with a warning label that it can induce book hangover, especially if you start it in the evening, as “just one more chapter” becomes the entire book. It is not Gone Girl or any other novel of its ilk, but it is still a fascinating and thrilling read that will keep you guessing until the very end.

The Widow by Fiona Barton

BOTTOM LINE: Wow. Just…wow.

6 Responses to Book Review – The Widow by Fiona Barton
  1. Brandie
    February 17, 2016 | 8:29 AM

    Yes!! Great review! I’m glad to see this one is worth the hype – I’m excited to read it!

    I hate when books are compared to Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. It’s so irritating. Happy to hear this one stands on it’s own.

    • Michelle
      February 17, 2016 | 10:21 AM

      I really liked it. I’ve seen some mixed reviews though, which always worry me.

      Yes, that comparison is getting really, really old. I am to the point where I won’t read a book if someone compares it to one of those two. Of course, I made an exception for this one, but to be fair, I requested it before they started using that marketing line.

  2. Kay
    February 17, 2016 | 10:11 AM

    Love your bottom line review – 3 words. Is that a record? LOL

    • Michelle
      February 17, 2016 | 12:41 PM

      Thanks, Kay! No, I think I have had a few one-word bottom line reviews before.

  3. Tea Time with Marce
    February 17, 2016 | 10:55 AM

    Michelle, you have me on the comparing, it is one of my book pet peeves, hate it. And I am probably in the minority that didn’t enjoy Gone Girl so it actually sways me from reading some books.

    I am interested in this one but the cover doesn’t do it justice, does it match the story?

    • Michelle
      February 17, 2016 | 12:45 PM

      I totally understand, Marce. I see that comparison and run from some books as well. It is overused and misleading. I suspect we are not the only ones who are tired of it either.

      As for the cover, it sort of fits. I agree it isn’t the best, but I do think it is better than some of the alternatives.

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