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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 11 star ratings
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Courage in adversity

    What a little treasure this book is: it will make you laugh, it will make you cry. And you will not regret spending time with The Testament of Harold's Wife by Lynne Hugo. Louisa is Harold's wife. She has lost her grandson Cody, who was killed by a drunken driver. Larry has been found not guilty of this crime because he claimed he swerved to avoid hitting a deer. Louisa has also lost her husband Harold. She spends most of her days with her cat and chickens which are named after the sisters in Little Women. She finds herself needing revenge for the loss of her grandson and husband. She meticulously plots how to get back at Larry, a plan which occupies her days and nights. You need to read the book to find out how all that planning and plotting works out. This novel brings out all kinds of emotions: anger, loss, sorrow, revenge, laughter and hope in the future, no matter what. A great read. Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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    Heartfelt, couldn't put it down

    What a pleasure to read this book and to spend time with Louisa. The Testament of Harold’s Wife is a story about a lot of things: hunting, farming, small towns, the death of loved ones and the need for closure or maybe revenge, each person’s ability to move on – or not move on, but mostly to me this was a story about the period of time where Louisa is trying desperately - desperately - to get a grip on her life, a life so totally different from the one she has so far lived. No husband Harold, no grandson Cody, son Gary not the same. She blames the drunken man who ran Cody down on the side of the road for Harold’s death, too. Harold was consumed by trying to get even with Larry, the “killer.” Louisa regrets she didn’t realize what Harold needed, couldn’t give it to him. It’s too late now that he’s gone, she feels apart from the son she was never that close to anyway, knows she isn’t and can’t help him, and fears he is trying to manage her life now, that he thinks she’s just a bit wacky and can’t manage on her own. He’s turned to God and has given her Glitter Jesus to watch over her. The writing in this book is perfect. Louisa’s closest family now is her cat Marvelle and her chickens named after characters in the story Little Women. They spend most of the day in the house with her (when Gary isn’t checking up on her) and she has insightful conversations and tea with them all. Louisa drinks a bit too much and a bit too early these days, and as she and the cat and the chickens have tea with a boost Louisa slowly works her way to THE PLAN. Larry must pay. Simple as that. Louisa is also close with her sister CarolSue. CarolSue worries about her and checks in with her and gives Louisa fashion advice for her reconnaissance/pretend dates with the sheriff, Gus, who seems to have a crush on her. Initially the sisters develop THE PLAN together. But they aren’t that close – CarolSue lives in another state and her husband is ill and receiving radiation. So while sharing a lot, Louisa decides maybe CarolSue doesn’t need to know quite all the details of THE PLAN. And what follows is amazing and funny and suspenseful and thoroughly entertaining. As I said, it’s perfect, real and authentic. The flow, the language, the setting, the characters – and a little mystery and a lot of suspense thrown in – are so satisfying. It’s not always a happy read because you are suffering with Louisa, feeling her grief and her tenuous hold on herself and don’t know what’s in store for her future, but it’s also wry and witty and will make you laugh out loud. And genuinely care a lot about many of these people. A new author to me but one I will most certainly continue to read. Very enjoyable, well crafted, engaging story that made me think. I recommend author Lynne Hugo’s work without hesitation.

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