Connie A Thompson

Tag Archives: Ariel Lawhon

Review of Ariel Lawhon’s The Wife, The Maid, and the Mistress

wifemaidmistress1The Wife, The Maid, and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon is the story of three women bound together through one man, Justice Joseph Crater. Stella is his wife, Ritzi the mistress, and Maria the maid. The story is revealed through each woman’s point of view.

One sultry night Joe Crater doesn’t return home. His wife knows of his infidelity and so does the maid. The mistress has her own secrets. The police are searching for the missing judge, who was known to frequent Club Abbey, a gathering spot for mobsters, showgirls, and corrupt politicians. Joe Crater had a taste for liquor, women, and prestige. Rumor has it his appointment as a judge came with a price rather than diligence and hard work.

Most of the narrative takes place in 1930 thru 1931. It begins and ends in Club Abbey in 1969 where all the secrets are revealed including just what happened to the honorable Joseph Crater, his wife, his mistress, and the maid.

Stella, the wife just wants a husband, who loves her and forsakes all others.

Ritzi wants to be a star on Broadway. The only way to get there is through Owney Madden, owner of Club Abbey and the man who can make things happen, although his assistance comes with a hefty price.

Maria is happily married to Jude Simon, a New York Police Detective. Maria has defied her Catholic father and married an agnostic. She works as a maid in the morning for the Crater’s and as a seamstress in the evening. More than anything Maria wants a baby, but at 32 she remains barren.

The novel begins with a little bit of intrigue, a hint of mystery and scandal that this simple meeting between acquaintances that once would have made the front page of the newspaper. Lawhon gives you a little taste and then plunges you back in time to before the mystery began, when Joe was just a husband coming home to his unhappy wife.

I couldn’t help but like these three women. I cheered them on. I cringed at their mistakes. I reveled in their bravery. I couldn’t put the book down.

I actually spent Saturday night reading a book while my sweet husband enjoyed one of those shows he loves. I woke up at four in the morning thinking about poor Ritzi. I couldn’t wait for the Sunday afternoon football pre-game so that I could return to the world of Stella, Ritzi, and Maria. I’m a reader not a sports fan, although I do love the Super Bowl commercials.

About the cover. I love the color, a beautiful coral color with gold stripes and thin black lettering. The black and white image is alluring. I’m drawn to the cover. I wanted to pick it up and see what the book is about. After reading, I wish the image on the cover was of three women rather than a single woman.

The Wife, The Maid, and the Mistress is the She Reads selection for February. Join us there all month where there will be interviews with the authors, reviews by bloggers, a twitter chat, and some great giveaways. If you’re new to She Reads be sure to sign up for their newsletter.

I gave the novel 5 stars on Good Reads.