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The Bad Boy's Wife
by Karen Shepard

Category: Fiction / General
272 pages; ISBN: 0312318960

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


The Bad Boy's Wife
Karen Shepard
St. Martin's Press, Jul 2004, $23.95, 272 pp.
ISBN: 0312318960

Though coming from wealthy respected parents Hannah married the local bad boy Cole. They stayed together for twenty years living in the same house for fifteen of them. They had one child Mattie. However, Cole ended their marriage without warning and immediately wed her friend Georgia. Cole and Georgia seem happy together and recently had their first child while Hannah feels discombobulated and out of soughts. The relationships between the trio have taken its toll on confused ten years old Mattie.

Everything changes when Georgia is severely injured in a car accident. Cole turns to Hannah to watch the infant Sam. Mattie is even more confused as the relationships between the adults subtly switch again. As the dynamics between Cole and Hannah turn even stranger and Georgia remains in terrible shape, Mattie begins looking backwards because her parents pressure her to choose between them when all she wants is to finish fifth grade.

THE BAD BOY’S WIFE is a bittersweet family drama that takes the twist of starting in the present (year 2000) and looking backwards over the through the years to the late 1970s. The reverse plot flow works quite well as the audience receives an even deeper understanding of how far Cole and Hannah fell. Little memory tidbits such as Hannah’s recall of standing back to back with Georgia and not clearing the younger woman’s nape add the depth to a strong character study of how a relationship collapsed and its impact on the innocent.

Harriet Klausner


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