Saturday, January 31, 2015

War of the Wives-Tamar Cohen

War of the Wives
Tamar Cohen
Mira, Jan 27 2015, $14.95
ISBN: 9780778317487

When Simon Busfield died in what looks like a suicidal leap into a river, he left behind two widows, Selina and Lottie, without divorcing either.  The late bigamist’s wives are 180 degrees different in outlook.  The deceased’s first wife of twenty-eight years Selina is sophisticated and the queen of organize; while his other spouse of seventeen years Lottie is artistic and the queen of disorganize.  Selina arranges the funeral that Lottie attends when a stalker expresses his condolences for her loss.  Thus Simon’s two spouses and their respective offspring meet for the first time at his burial.

The widows are far from merry with the shocking news of their late husband’s infidelity.  As they struggles between denial and anger, Selina and Lottie share in common a need to know why he had two families and why he committed suicide if that is he actually took his own life.  To do so they must put aside their raging War of the Wives.  Thus the depressed widows bargain with each other to forge a détente in order to uncover the secrets of whom the man each spent years with truly was.

The intriguing storyline follows the Kübler-Ross's Five Stages of Grief while rotating the lead between the two wives in each phase.  The two families have more problems than Job and myriad of secrets than the CIA possesses; both elements at times overwhelm the overall fine tragicomic family drama.

Harriet Klausner

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