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The War of the Wives [Hardcover]

Tamar Cohen
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
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Book Description

19 July 2012

'Dark, clever and utterly addictive' - Lisa Jewell

Imagine being happily married for 28 years. You have three children, a lovely house and a husband who travels a lot - but even after all this time, you still love each other.

Or: imagine being happily married for 17 years. You have one daughter, a lovely home and though your husband travels a lot, you still love each other passionately.

Then one day you get a call that turns your world upside down: your husband is dead. You are devastated. You go to the funeral... And come face to face with his other widow.

Another wife, another family. It can't be true. It must be a mistake.It has to be her fault - all of it. Or: is it?

With the sharp and witty scalpel she used in The Mistress's Revenge, Tamar Cohen lays bare the raw emotions thart underpin so-called normal family life and explores the hearts of two women forced to re-evaluate everything they thought they knew.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (19 July 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0857520342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857520340
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.6 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 158,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tamar Cohen is a freelance journalist who has written for countless publications including The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan. A late starter to fiction (and to other things besides) she has now written three novels - The Mistress's Revenge, The War of the Wives, and Someone Else's Wedding, all published by Doubleday. Her fourth novel, The Broken, is out in 2014. She is a Writer in Residence at Kingston University and lives in North London with her partner and three (nearly) grown children, plus one very badly behaved dog.

Product Description


"Moving, funny and completely absorbing... you won't be able to put this one down until you finish it" (Prima)

"A pacy tale of two women who discover they've been simultaneously amrried to one man - at his funeral. Witty, ludicrously melodramatic and psychologically perceptive, and you'll polish it off between Luton and Heraklion." (Sunday Telegraph)

"A smart, gripping story that we just couldn't stop reading - you won't believe the ending. *****" (Closer Magazine)

"The most fantastic gripping book [on Mistress's Revenge}" (Lisa Jewell Fabulous Magazine)

"A funny, smart and savvy read" (Sainsbury's Magazine)

Book Description

A happily married woman whose husband dies unexpectedly is confronted at his funeral by a woman who claims that she was his wife. By the author of The Mistress's Revenge.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping From The Start 8 Aug 2012
By Beatrix
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
War of the Wives is gripping from the start, with the discovery of a dead body in the Thames closely followed by the shocking revelation that the man in question - Simon Busfield - was leading a double life. The lives of his two families become irrevocably entwined and an intriguing story unfolds, told, in turn, by his two very different wives, Lottie and Selina, as they experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. In her second novel Tamar Cohen perfectly captures the fragility of contemporary family life and relationships, and the unpredictability of teenage behaviour, with a pacy narrative that is often highly amusing and chillingly accurate. I enjoyed every minute!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The war of the wives 28 May 2013
By EssexReader VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
This was my first book by Tamar Cohen and I very much enjoyed it. I loved the style of writing -it's sharp, perceptive and witty and I really felt as though I were reading about real people. I was hooked from the very start and it was a book that I couldn't put down.

Selina has been married to Simon for 28 years, they have 3 children and an expensive lifestyle with money seemingly in abundance. Lottie has been married to Simon for 17 years, they have one child, they live in a small flat, are struggling for money but appear to be happy. However, when Simon is found dead, in suspicious circumstances, the worlds of the two families collide and they are left to deal with the consequences.

To find out that you've been deceived by your husband for nearly the whole of your married life - after having his children, supporting his career and building a life together can only be devastating. We experience every emotion of both Selina and Lottie and that of their children, including denial and anger.

There is also an element of danger running through the story, Simon appeared to have some shady business partners who are seeking recompense and the two families are in the firing line.

The story is narrated in turn by each wife so you get to see both views. All the characters are so well written, you can't help but feel involved in their lives. Of the two wives, I preferred the character of Selina. Although she appears to be a high maintenance wife and has a sometimes unpleasant superior attitude, she shows herself to be more of a coper whereas Lottie comes across as being rather scatterbrained and helpless who retreats rather than face up to life.

I wasn't sure about the epilogue - this was a little too contrived for me but this doesn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book and I'm looking forward to reading The Mistress's Revenge which is also on my bookshelf.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite good, funny in places but a bit "fluffy" 2 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I was really looking forward to this book as I had enjoyed her previous one. This book was okay, a bit simplistic, readable and funny in places. It wasn't unusual or anywhere near as gripping and powerful as the previous one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not really my thing. 29 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'll be brief, partly because I stayed up into the early hours trying to finish this in my limited child-free time, thus my head is as non-productive as a dead stag-beetle. It just is.
Hmm. This book. Hmm. It was really good and I found it very compelling, and yet it just wasn't my cup of tea, despite having reasonably varied tastes. Maybe it suffered from the fact that I read it straight after Kate Morton's latest, which I simply loved.
This doesn't mean that I shan't try Cohen's Mistress's Revenge. I shall. But I'll leave a gap first. I'm not anticipating that one to be quite my thing either, but I'm sure it'll be just as compelling and hugely rewarding to many other readers. Not very insightful, I know. Better end there before I fall asleep and dribble all over the keyboard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murky, muddled, messy marriage lines. 28 Jan 2014
By Mrs. Katharine Kirby TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Two mums; Selina and Lottie. Two sons, Felix and Josh. Two daughters, Flora and Sadie. Something is amiss, there's only one husband/dad, slippery, secretive Simon... And now he's dead. There are a chorus of confidantes, sisters, friends, who cluster around and advise, but no one else really understands what being betrayed so effectively feels like.

A page turner, for sure; I just had to find out how it sorted itself. This is an undercurrent of drama, money is missing, dark forces are at work. The police appear slow to uncover the truth. A lot rides on the result, insurance payments, property deals.

I was irritated by the very short bites we had of each lady. In quick succession we hear from sharp Selina, in her smart upmarket home and Lottie who is softer, slightly more bohemian. Flick, flick. This is written for people with a short attention span. I would preferred more depth, more time to get to know each situation.

I read it on the kindle, which as usual, meant the words passed by my eyes rather differently than when holding a paper version. Throughout, however, I was enthralled, excited and engaged.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 17 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I could"t put this book down! It's about a bigamist who has been living a double life for nearly 20 years and the wives find out about each other when he dies. The death is treated as a suicide however there is a twist!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing 3 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book was quite good and an enjoyable read until the last part. It seemed to end quite abruptly and the ending was quite unexpected. It was as though the author thought I have written enough and just finished.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five star read 30 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I started this book I thought it would be a bit of chicklit fluff. I am delighted to say I was wrong. I found the characters well drawn and believable even though their circumstances would seem somewhat incredible. Indeed the surrealistic nature of the plot highlighted and drew out the humanity of each of them. I felt I had met these people.
The story is well paced and I didn't want to put it down.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars What might result from finding your dead husband had 2 wives
To grieving widows turn up at a man's funeral, neither knowing that the other existed. An intriguing story that unravels his life & his 2 families part in it. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Sharon Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Have read all 3 books by tamar cohen, brilliant , cant wait for the next book to be published by her.
Published 2 months ago by cheryl worsley
2.0 out of 5 stars Not great.
I loved Tamar Cohen's "The Mistress's Revenge" and was thus very much looking forward to reading this one. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Blod
3.0 out of 5 stars an easy read
Enjoyable story and not as taught or as good as The Mistresses Revenge the first of Cohen's books I'd read.
Published 7 months ago by Ms Lynda C. Porter
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab
Just wanted to keep reading.......couldn't put it down!
Good twist at the end. Want to try the mistresses revenge now.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs Kim Stevenson
5.0 out of 5 stars The War of the Wives
Brilliant story written with emotional intelligence. Every character draws empathy from the reader. Would highly recommend this book, can't wait for her next .
Published 7 months ago by Annie
2.0 out of 5 stars Average and a bit predictable
Started off quite strongly, characters were strong but was disappointed a characters conformed to stereotypes and the plot became very predictable !
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgiveness
How worlds can collide excellent story from start to finish with twists throughout. Enjoyable read couldn't put it down brilliant book.
Published 7 months ago by Anna O'Shea
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Absolutely loved this book! Could not put it down! I kept me hooked and wanting more and kept me guessing right until the end. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sian Roberts
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