The Judge’s Wife

Ann O’Loughlin. Skyhorse, $25.99 (312p) ISBN 978-1-5107-2395-5
In this gripping contemporary, Emma Moran returns to Dublin to find the mother she never knew, not to mourn her recently deceased father, a cruel judge who had her mother committed. The narrative shifts among Emma, who discovers her father’s secrets and the clothes worn by her mother, Grace; Vikram, who tells his niece Rosa about his affair with Grace; and Grace, who’s locked up in a mental hospital in Wicklow. O’Loughlin (The Secrets of Roscarbury Hall) is brilliant at revealing bits of personality and clues through conversation. She drops hints and connects concepts by juxtaposing scenes and images, such as Emma wearing the Sybil Connolly dresses Vikram watched Grace buy. The Wicklow facility attendants have no names, faces, or identifying characteristics, illustrating its dehumanizing nature. Unfortunately, Vikram and other Indian characters are nearly as two-dimensional, not developed nearly as well as Emma, Grace, or even minor Irish characters such as Emma’s father. The other sour note comes from the blithe account of Grace’s affair with Vikram, which glosses over the racial tension in 1950s Ireland. Despite these flaws, fans of love-conquers-all stories will cherish this richly woven tale of passion and pride. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/2018
Release date: 02/01/2018
MP3 CD - 978-1-5436-5591-9
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