The Third Wife

Lisa Jewell (The Making of Us, The House We Grew Up In) is sure to appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty and Jojo Moyes. Just like Jewell's earlier novels, The Third Wife explores complicated family dynamics in a genuine way that is witty yet realistically nuanced.

Adrian Wolfe has been mourning the death of his third wife, Maya, for a year. Maya's death seemed to be a tragic accident--she stepped out in front of a bus--until a strange woman shows up asking weird questions, and then a series of poison pen e-mails surfaces. Suddenly Adrian is rethinking everything: Maya's death, his two divorces and the way he's raised his children.

A full cast of characters, including Adrian's ex-wives, his two grown children and three small children, give The Third Wife the momentum of an energetic household. One wife is a bit of a hippie, one a successful businesswoman. One child is an award-winning ice skater, one is unemployed, another wants to spend time only on the Internet. But Adrian loves them all, and thought they were all a big, slightly bizarre, but happy family. Could one of them have been involved in Maya's death?

The mystery of the accident, the noisy and entertaining children, Adrian's likable befuddlement and the apparently dark undercurrents moving through the Wolfe family combine to make The Third Wife an irresistible read. With questions about the nature of love, marriage and family, all within a lovely London setting, The Third Wife is practically perfect summer reading. --Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm

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