Title: The Replacement Wife by Eileen Goudge
Publisher: Open Road Media
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 484 pages
Book Rating: A
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
From New York Times bestselling author Eileen Goudge comes a poignant new novel that asks the question, “What would you do if you were told you had only six months to live?” For one professional matchmaker the answer is heart-wrenching: She must find her husband’s next wife.
Camille Hart, one of Manhattan’s most sought-after matchmakers, has survived more than her fair share of hardships. Her mother died when she was a young girl, leaving her and her sister with an absentee father. Now in her forties, she has already survived cancer once, though the battle revealed just how ill-equipped her husband Edward is to be a single parent. So when doctors tell Camille that her cancer is back—and this time it’s terminal—she decides to put her matchmaking expertise to the test for one final job. Seeking stability for her children and happiness for her husband, Camille sets out to find the perfect woman to replace her when she’s gone.
But what happens when a dying wish becomes a case of “be careful what you wish for”? For Edward and Camille, the stunning conclusion arrives with one last twist of fate that no one saw coming.
At once deeply felt and witty, The Replacement Wife is an unforgettable story of love and family, and a refreshing look at the unexpected paths that lead us to our own happy endings.
The Replacement Wife by Eileen Goudge is a breathtaking story that is full of emotion and richly drawn characters that will capture your heart. When matchmaker Camille Harte receives the devastating news that her cancer has returned and it is terminal this time, she makes the unorthodox decision to find her husband Edward Constantin a new wife. Camille is unprepared for the emotions her matchmaking efforts will provoke in herself and Edward, and she sets in motion a chain of events that have a surprising and unexpected impact on their twenty year marriage.
Camille Harte and Edward Constantin are, to all appearances, a deeply in love and happily married couple. Despite their love for one another, Camille’s first bout with cancer has taken a toll on their marriage. Her determination to find a woman to step into Edward’s and their children’s lives after she is gone reveals both the unseen and unacknowledged changes their relationship has undergone.
The Replacement Wife is a well-written novel with a unique plot that is engaging and quite compelling. Told from multiple points of view, the reader gains valuable insight into the various characters’ thoughts and motivations. The characters are beautifully developed and incredibly true to life. Their reactions and emotions to the situations facing them are realistic and given the circumstances of the story, understandable.
Ms. Goudge brilliantly demonstrates the effects that a catastrophic illness has not only on a marriage but the entire family. The couple’s roles are redefined with the strengths and weaknesses of the partners quickly becoming apparent. But the key issue that The Replacement Wife raises is how far should one go to make their spouse happy? Should your partner’s desires supersede your own? And if you do give in to their wishes against your will, what effect will that have on your relationship?
The Replacement Wife is an exquisite novel that is quite captivating and thought provoking. While an emotional read, it is delightfully free of angst and heavy sorrow. Eileen Goudge takes the The Replacement Wife in an unforeseen direction that brings this beautiful story to an unanticipated yet marvelously satisfying conclusion.