- Book: The New Wife
- Location: Dartmoor, Devon
- Author: Sue Watson
Childhood sweethearts Sam Moore and Lauren Jackson have just got married and moved to a rather remote cottage on the edge of Dartmoor. They have particularly been attracted by the feature marble staircase at the heart of their home, which, after only a few months of marriage, sees Lauren tumbling down those very steps to her death.
The story is told from Georgie’s perspective, who is Sam’s mother. She has brought up her only child, as a single parent, within the comforting wrap of the Jackson family, who proved nurturing and inclusive as the children were growing up. A generous family who also took misfit Jade under their wing, and gave her emotional and financial support to make her way in life, a friend and companion to Lauren. it was perhaps no surprise, then, that Sam and Lauren tied the knot.
Georgie is best friends with Helen, Lauren’s mum, and finds Lauren’s dad, a wonderful support in times of need. A suffocating and enmeshed environment, perhaps, but it transpires that Georgie has no sense of the real dynamics within that family – she has tappy-lappied along, bathed in their warm embrace (honestly, she comes across as a bit gormless when it comes to any deeper emotional understanding).
So, there it is. Lauren is dead, and now, going forward, how on earth do Georgie and the Jacksons come to terms with this terrible event, with their lives until now so intertwined? Foul play is mooted and it is a long while before anyone wakes up to the fact that Sam is more than likely to be in the frame for her murder, the police always look to the husband in instances like this; don’t they?
I listened to this as an audiobook and it certainly kept me engrossed. It is only now writing it down that I feel it was really just a little too far fetched for my taste – great writing, though, with nice individual detail and observation, good twists and turns and good storytelling.