Book Review: The Widow


A husband with secrets. A wife with no limits. A riveting novel of marriage, privilege, and lies by Kaira Rouda, the USA Today bestselling author of The Next Wife.

Jody Asher had a plan. Her charismatic husband, Martin, would be a political icon. She, the charming wife, would fuel his success. For fifteen congressional terms, they were the golden couple on the Hill. Life was good. Until he wasn’t.

Martin’s secret affair with a young staffer doesn’t bother Jody personally. But professionally? It’s a legacy killer. Soon a reporter gets word of this scandal in the making, and Martin’s indiscretions threaten to ruin everything Jody has accomplished.

When Martin suddenly dies, it’s a chance to change the narrative—but the reporter won’t let go of his lead. As the balance of power shifts in the Asher house and on the Hill, it’s time for Jody to take control. And there’s nothing the ruthless widow won’t do to secure the future she’s entitled to. Even if she has a secret of her own.

My Review

As a political novel the characters in this book act the way I imagine most politicians do. They’ll do whatever they need to in order to get reelected. It’s a cutthroat world where you’d better watch your back. That includes people that you think are your friends. They can be the worst of all. You’d better watch the press too. Any reporter would enjoy publishing an expose that would ruin lives and careers. At its best, though, you may live a glamorous life rubbing shoulders with Washington elite, taking fabulous trips, and entertaining to perfection. Some of it is on the government’s dime of course. If you happen to be married to an ambitious wife who wants more than you can give her, they are some steps you can take to supplement your income. Legal steps? Not exactly.

I wrote my last book review on a book titled The Hike. In that story not one character had any redeeming qualities. Well, none of the characters in this book are likable either. They’re self-serving, immoral, and dishonest. I told my son about the book, and he said he thinks writing books with all bad characters is a thing now. Fine by me, but I don’t like to read a story where no one has any redeeming qualities. I’ll be hunting something different.

The book is well done, though. If you don’t mind the entire cast of characters being immoral jerks, you’d like the book.

Authors, would you write such a book? Readers, would you pick it up and enjoy it?


About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
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6 Responses to Book Review: The Widow

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    if that’s a trend — books with all characters unlikeable — count me out. That’s too much like reading the daily newspaper or watching the nightly news channel.
    I want to go on (fictional) journeys with someone I like / respect… not with someone I wish would fall off a cliff.


  2. I really have to find the people ENGAGING. I don’t have to like them or all of their actions, but I have to CARE.


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