Louisa has a choice. In the past year, a driver struck and killed her grandson and her husband died by suicide. She can either resign to life on her farm with her temperamental cat and agreeable chickens or she can get a Plan. Louisa knows the driver who killed her Cody was drunk, even as the Court bought his story. And she knows her Harold tried to get even with him, but the Sheriff deterred him at every move. But a Plan of her own might bring some peace … and revenge sounds better and better every day.
Author Lynne Hugo has produced an incredibly powerful novel focusing on the beauty and tragedy of aging and grief. The personal loss of the main character, Louisa, is evident on each page, but she balances this with the humor and self-awareness only possible with someone comfortable with their life. Louisa can be a jumbled narrator, which she readily admits, but therein lies her charm. While forefront in her mind is the need to exact revenge, she also hosts tea parties with her chickens and battles with her son’ favorite artwork: a glitter Jesus. In a less mature character, these scenes would be absurd, but Hugo writes with such authority that they are touching and real.
This is a relatively quick read without a ton of action. Louisa is introspective, typically plotting over the phone with her sister and navigating everyday life after tragedy. However, Hugo gleans everything from these reflective moments and her prose elevates scenes as simple as feeding chickens into something special. Louisa and, in turn, this book provide so much wisdom on life.
Title: The Testament of Harold’s Wife
Author: Lynne Hugo
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Classification: Women’s Fiction
Note: I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.