“…Our marriage was far from perfect, but did I think he was cheating on me? Never. Not even in hindsight. Maybe that made me naive or stupid or a little of both, but I was happy. I wasn’t one of those wives with trust issues. I’d heard it all from friends whose husbands traveled-that they required their spouses to check in several times a day, to supply them with a full itinerary, to regale them with details about their trips when they returned back home. I didn’t want to be like that…”
Jacqueline, “Jacks”, Morales was an elementary school teacher whose marriage, though not perfect, was quite fulfilling until the day when two policeman showed up at her door. Her husband, James, who she believed was on a business trip to Kansas, has suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. Only he wasn’t alone.
Burying her husband is hard, but it is made worse by the knowledge that his final moments were spent with another woman. Now as she wrestles with both the betrayal and grief, Jacks is visited by a stranger. A man named Nick who may be the only person who truly understands how she feels. Nick, whose fiance disappeared only to wind up dead, in Hawaii. So Nick has a proposition. A way for both he and Jacks to find closure.
“…I explained to Beth what Nick said when he came to see me. That he hadn’t been able to sleep since he found out his fiancee died, because he needed answers. He needed to understand more. About Dylan. About James. About the bond they had formed together, seemingly right under our noses. He wanted to travel to Hawaii to retrace their steps. It might sound crazy, but would I go with him?
‘He asked you to do what?’ Beth interrupts me.
‘To go to Maui with him.’
‘A perfect stranger.’
‘Yes.’ But what I don’t say is that we are connected by this event in a way that no longer makes us people who don’t know each other…”
Together, Jacks and Nick travel to trace the steps of the lovers who betrayed them. But what they find is even darker and far more dangerous than the pain they are already going through. Can their newfound love survive the truth of the past that haunts them?
Okay, I started this with a pretty positive review but now is where I pull back. This could have been a really good tense thriller if the authors had invested a little more time in the characters and made them as compelling as the story could have been. But what we have is a story, a very good story, but still one where I was able to piece together what would happen in the first third of the book.
Let’s begin with Jacks. Despite the title, she is not a good widow. Hell she wasn’t even a good wife. She marries James in a whirlwind romance and forgets to mention that she may be infertile. A minor kind of thing in this day and age, seriously, why would any man ever expect to have children with his wife? But her lies and deception are really James’ fault. An unfair expectation of his predisposed by his Latin American family. But being barren aside, lets screw he boyfriend of the lover of your husband because, because you know, we all need closure.
Then there is Beth. The caricature of the best friend/sister who will travel across the world to take care of you. But then you don’t. Not really. Not when Jacks is in danger or just making bad decisions. You’re pretty much just loud and obnoxious. A busy body who serves no purpose.
But now to the real issue with this book.
I seriously figured out the plot in the first 100 pages and finished the book hoping that there was more to it than that.
The Good Widow is a good story, with an obvious plot and weak characters who cannot raise it above it’s failings.