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Friday, August 11, 2017

When Marriage Leads to Mayhem


            In fiction, as in life, marriage is not always a bed of roses. Here are some new novels that prove this point.

            In the Shadow of Lakecrest, written by Elizabeth Blackwell, is set in 1928 where heroine Kate Moore seeks to hide her past life of poverty and violence and start anew. She meets the handsome and wealthy Matthew Lemont while working as a governess on a transatlantic cruise. After marrying him, she discovers that her new life isn’t perfect: Matthew suffers bouts of PTSD from combat in World War I, and Kate is kept isolated at Lakecrest, the family estate, with his controlling mother-in-law and aloof sister-in-law who have their own dark secrets.

            The Good Widow: A Novel is written by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. Here, Jacqueline Morales, an elementary school teacher who has been married to James for eight years is stunned to learn he has been killed in a car accident in Maui when he was supposed to be on a business trip in Kansas. And, he was with another woman named Dylan. Devastated, Jacqueline stumbles through a deep depression until Nick, Dylan’s fiancĂ©, shows up at her house. Together they travel to Hawaii to investigate.

            The Widow of Wall Street: A Novel, written by Randy Susan Meyers, tells the story of Phoebe, married to childhood sweetheart Jake. They both share in the luxurious lifestyle resulting from the financial empire that Jake has built. Then the trusting Phoebe discovers that Jake’s success is based upon a Ponzi scheme. What to do? Leave her husband, as her children want her to do, or stay by his side?

            Behind Closed Doors is written by B.A. Paris, and is about Jack and Grace, the perfect couple; he is a successful lawyer and she is a full-time homemaker preparing gourmet meals and hosting glamorous dinner parties. But she never leaves the house unless she is accompanied by Jack. And why are some of the windows barred? Can Grace set herself free?

            Mr. Rochester, written by Sarah Shoemaker, presents the story of Jane Eyre from Mr. Rochester’s viewpoint. We learn of his upbringing as the younger son of a wealthy man; he is not to inherit the Thornfield estate but instead sent to Jamaica to learn the family business after his education is completed. There, after a whirlwind courtship and marriage to Antoinetta, who is becoming increasingly mentally unstable, he is called home to Thornfield where the Jane Eyre story begins.

            A bibliography with these and other suspense novels is available at the library.