The Widow's House

The Widow's House

Book - 2017
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When Jess and Clare Martin move from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to their former college town in the Hudson River valley, they are hoping for rejuvenation -- of their marriage, their savings, and Jess's writing career. They take a caretaker's job at Riven House, a crumbling estate and the home of their old college writing professor. While Clare once had dreams of being a writer, those plans fell by the wayside when Jess made a big, splashy literary debut in their twenties. It's been years, now, since his first novel. The advance has long been spent. Clare's hope is that the pastoral beauty and nostalgia of the Hudson Valley will offer some inspiration. But their new life isn't all quaint town libraries and fragrant apple orchards. There is a haunting pall that hangs over Riven House like a funeral veil. Something is just not right. Soon, Clare begins to hear babies crying at night, see strange figures in fog at the edge of their property. Diving into the history of the area, she realizes that Riven House has a dark and anguished past. And whatever this thing is -- this menacing force that destroys the inhabitants of the estate -- it seems to be after Clare next.
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017].
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062562623
Characteristics: 333, 6 pages ; 21 cm.


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Jun 23, 2020

Award winning novel for which character is the least likable.

The protagonist Clare can sing, "Stand By Your Man!" as she plays human doormat to her self-absorbed husband Jess.

Jess, a writer, is a narcissist who tells Clare that her miscarriage is proof that writers shouldn't have children-- kids just get in the way!

In the 21st century? Wow!

That might be the fundamental flaw with 'The Widow's House.' Early twentieth century might've been believable, but 21st century? Realistically, Clare would have divorced deadbeat hubbie.

Then there's the cheap 'rabbit out of the hat' trick that Goodman tries to play. Clare finally figures things out, but she's stumped. She cannot get out of a problem through her own efforts. Presto! Plot device as Clare's ex-boyfriend suddenly shows up to help out.

Got the feeling Carol Goodman was either out of ideas at this point in her career, or just didn't care.

Oct 25, 2019

This book was a great read if you wanted a spooky story... However once I reached the ending it ruined the allure of the "ghost story" feel I was going for. It was a well written piece nonetheless.

Jul 04, 2019

I had high hopes for this book, but sadly it fell short. The thing that bothers me most is the fact that Clare's husband Jess is a passive-aggressive jerk who treats her like crap and what's worse is that she simply accepts it. I am so sick and tired of authors creating female characters whose purpose seems to be nothing more than a doormat who doesn't have enough self worth to stand up for themselves.

The plot is all over the place. Instead of taking one idea and developing it, the author had several ideas and tried to make them all work. While I see where the story was ideally headed, it was far too complicated and (at times) convenient for my taste. Everyone in the small town is related and all of them are more than willing to stick it to Clare in whatever way they can.

Just when you think the story is going to move forward, another weird circumstance is tossed in and you're off on another tangent that really doesn't make much sense. I think this is a case of too many ideas and not enough editing or focus.

DOMESTICAT Mar 19, 2018

I loved The Widow's House. Some of the characters are very unlikable but I liked Clare. Finally, an "unreliable narrator" who's actually the most reliable character in the story ! I highly recommend this book.

ehbooklover Aug 13, 2017

Another great Gothic read by Goodman. I loved the atmospheric setting, the twisty plot, and the overall creepiness of the story.

Jun 08, 2017

The author used my home town as the basis for this story's location. That alone made it especially interesting to me, but I also enjoyed the story. Very suspenseful.

Apr 06, 2017

this was a good story and of course well written. But it just wasn't Carol Goodman good. The characters weren't full enough and the story wasn't scoped out enough. I liked it, but I know she can do better.


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