The Disenchanted Widow – Christina McKenna
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Amazon Publishing (27 Aug 2013)
Source – Amazon Vine
My Rating – 3.5 stars
Having thoroughly enjoyed Christina McKenna’s previous novel, The Misremembered Man, I was eager to read her latest offering, also set in the fictional rural Northern Ireland village, Tailorstown.
It is 1981, the height of The Troubles and the imminent deaths of the IRA Hunger Strikers are aggravating an already tense political situation. Recently widowed Bessie Lawless is on the run, pursued by the “Dentist”, an IRA enforcer whose torture methods are renowned. Bessie’s feckless, abusive husband thought he could swindle the Dentist but now it’s payback time and Bessie is the target. She ends up in Tailorstown with her unruly 9 year old son, Herkie (Hercules), in tow. Is Tailorstown ready for this brash blonde?
As in her previous novel, the author highlights the comic elements of rural life with all its quirks including the local gossips who have a field day when Bessie arrives. Although there are allusions to the Troubles, the emphasis is on the peculiarities of village life where the local parish priest is revered. The characters occasionally veer into pantomime territory but this is a light, heartwarming read which will appeal to fans of Alexander McCall Smith – indeed, Bessie could be the Irish version of Precious Ramotswe!