What would you do? That’s the question. What if you had battled cancer once and won but it returns with a vengeance and this time your prognosis is that it is terminal. Sure you’ll try any treatment you can but shouldn’t you prepare for the worst? That’s the dilemma facing Camille and more than anything she wants to make sure her husband and kids have someone to take care of them when she’s gone. She’s a highly sought after match-maker so why not find the perfect woman to replace her when she goes. Sounds interesting right? Yet, there is always a yet – sometimes you get more than you wish for and it isn’t always good. The Replacement Wife by Eileen Goudge is a very emotional and beautiful novel that will capture your heart.
Camille and Edward have been married for twenty years and if you go by appearances very happily so. Yet Camille’s first bout with cancer put a strain on their marriage and that spark that they used to have seems to have disappeared. When Camille suggests to Edward that she wants to find a woman that can spend time with their family and be a support system as she gets more ill, Edward becomes angry. He tells Camille that he loves only her and that nobody could just take her place and he’s more than opposed to the idea. However Camille keeps pushing and has Edward come to one of her meet and greet parties where singles come together with the hopes that maybe he’ll click with someone of her choosing. The only thing she never bargained on was that he just might find someone of his own choosing.
This novel really makes you sit back and think about what you would do. I think I’m too much of a jealous person to ever even consider finding my husband a new mate but I could definitely understand her logic. Wouldn’t you go more peacefully knowing that your family was taken care of? Camille had already been through cancer to the point of having a stem cell transplant. She knows the toll it takes on her and her family. She doesn’t want to see them all go through that again so when an experimental treatment becomes available she’s leary about trying it. Is she strong enough to have her hopes dashed again and what of her family – can they take it all again as well?
Camille is a character that takes root in your heart from the beginning. First and foremost she loves her family and then her job. She loves to see people happy together. She’s once again brave in the face of cancer. I grew to admire her and as I turned the pages I only wanted to see her happy in her life; whether it be what she has left or her future. Edward I can’t say much on because it gives away parts of the story and I don’t want to do that. I will say that I have very mixed feelings about him. Then there’s Camille’s sister Holly who adds a funny spark to the novel. The two sisters are very different and most everything that came out of Holly’s mouth had me giggling and a certain subway scene in particular was very funny.
The Replacement Wife is a hefty novel at almost 500 pages and while I thought there were a few parts that could have been left out, for the most part every last page offers more insights into this family and this drama. At every turn I found myself wondering what I would do and I like that in a novel. I also like a novel that draws me through a multitude of emotions and even has me teary eyed. Eileeen Goudge is an author who has the ability to draw a reader fully into the lives of her characters much to the point where you feel their anger and pain. You wish you could jump into the pages and change what is happening but unfortunately you can’t. I will say the ending did surprise me. I expected things to take a different turn than they did but ultimately this is a wonderful story that I loved very much!
Source: Review copy received from Open Road Media via NetGalley. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are solely my own.