By Deborah Bedford, FaithWords, $13.99, 294 pages
New York Times best-selling author Deborah Bedford invites her readers to explore the complex process of forgiveness through the eyes of Hillary Wynn and her son, Seth in her new novel, His Other Wife. Hillary’s husband, Eric, confesses to an affair and leaves to start a new family in LA. After years of absence, Eric returns to Chicago for Seth’s graduation—with new family in tow. Old scars are reopened and tempers flare as Eric’s “other wife,” Pam, relentlessly spars with Hillary. To make matters worse, Seth is forever jerked out of childhood when a graduation party goes horribly wrong. In order to make it through “the long months when God [is not] handing out any answers,” both mother and son must learn to forgive others—and themselves.
While Bedford unravels her novel through various perspectives, from Hillary and Seth’s to Pam and Eric’s, her character development is flat. Hillary is an unrealistically benevolent protagonist; even her mistakes are made with good intentions, and while the novel’s resolution is predictable and unrealistic, Bedford skillfully employs suspense to keep the reader engaged. For those who enjoy Christian fiction, but seek a more contemporary read, His Other Wife is a suitable choice.
Reviewed by Emily Davis