The Widows of Braxton County by Jess McConkey is a haunting tale of deeply buried family secrets that leave us wondering if the sins of the father do, in fact, haunt the generations to come after. I really enjoyed this novel of generations past and present and the ghostly feel it had about it. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Coleen Marlo and she does a fantastic job. When I first started listening I wasn’t sure I was going to like her but it wasn’t long before I did and I’m sure that her telling of the story led to my enjoyment of it. She has that perfect tone of voice to lend to the mysterious and haunting quality of the novel.
Kate has left the city to join her husband Joseph on his family farm in Iowa which has been in his family for 140 years. Having felt suffocated for years living with her grandmother she’s anxious to make a life in her own home. Her excitement lasts only long enough to learn that her mother-in-law will also be living with them. Needless to say she’s not happy and even more so as she sees how overbearing her mother-in-law can be.
As Kate struggles to fit in with her mother-in-law and the community she finds that people are not all that warm towards the Krause family. More than that though is her shock at the shift in her husbands personality. Where he had been kind and caring he is now angry and becoming increasingly abusive. After a few instances Kate leaves to stay with a neighbour and see if she and Joseph can’t work out these issues. In the meantime she begins volunteering at a woman’s shelter and this opens her eyes even further.
All the while we are given glimpses into the past in the 1800’s where we meet Hannah who is also married to a Krause. Whereas Kate has somewhere to escape to, Hannah doesn’t. What links the two women together is two murders with disturbing similarities except that one occurred back in the 1800’s and one is in the present and is threatening to spiral Kate’s life completely out of her control.
Once again I really enjoyed this novel and would recommend it, especially the audio version which I listened to. I have a fondness for books that go from the past to the present and especially books full of dark family secrets!
The Widows of Braxton County by Jess McConkey is on tour with TLC Book Tours so be sure to check out the other tour stops to see what others thought of the book. You can connect with Jess McConkey on her Facebook page. You can also pick up your own copy of The Widows of Braxton County at Amazon or Amazon Canada.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher but audiobook purchased by me. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.