Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Mrs Kimble, Jennifer Haigh, HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 2003, 394 pp

This was a book club book and we were all sorry we picked it. It is the story of a man who had three wives, told from the viewpoint of each of the wives, though in third person. The man is not a good man. He is a con man and lures each of these women by pretending to care for them but actually playing on each one's weaknesses. Yet, you are never given any insight into why Mr Kimble behaves the way he does. In fact, by the end of the book, you feel you don't even know him.

I did not like or admire any character in the story except for one of Kimble's children; a son who eventually pulls some of the people in the story together. But the way she structured the plot gave an urgent propulsion to the novel and made me read on to find out what happened. I suppose there are women who are fooled the way these three women were but the author simply did not make me believe it.

The writing is only barely good, as far as style goes, but it made for fast reading. Jennifer Haigh is another one of those Iowa Workshop MFA grads and her writing is disturbingly similar to that of Kim Edwards, who wrote The Memory Keeper's Daughter.

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