“The Third Wife”


The Third Wife: A Novel  by Lisa Jewell.  Jewell is a British author. I read one of her first books, “Ralph’s Party” about 20 years ago about young, single people living in London. It may have been one of the seed starters to the Chick Lit genre that sprouted years later. She has matured as well as the characters in her novels.

The main character in “Third Wife” is in his late 40’s and has just been widowed.  Adrian is a nice guy. He is such a nice guy that his 2 ex-wives and the children he had with them still get together frequently as a blended family.  This is the first time he’s been on his own now that his 3rd wife, Maya, was mysteriously hit by a bus.  Jewell sketches out his first two families and the problems of each of his 5 children: his 2 older children in their 20’s (Luke is aimless and jumps from 1 mindless job to the next) and Cat is suddenly eating non-stop. His 3 younger children also have their quirks.

A mystery weaves its way through the plot as we learn that Maya had been receiving emails from an unknown person before she died. As Adrian advertises to give away Maya’s pet cat, a woman responds to the ad, stalks him for a week and then disappears. The family descriptions work to reveal why Adrian finds women to love, marry and leave.  Adrian attempts to track down the elusive potential cat-adopter believing she can provide him with answers to Maya’s death.

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