A Matter Of Wife and Death
by Ginger Kolbaba & Christy ScannellReviewed by Heather R. Hunt
"...fans of Desperate Pastor's Wives will want to catch up with the characters in this sequel"
Desperate Pastor's Wives Mimi, Lisa, Felicia, and Jennifer are all back in A Matter of Wife & Death, the second book in the Lulu's Cafe series from Ginger Kolbaba and Christy Scannell. The series continues its episodic format with the four ladies' stories rarely overlapping except for their bi-weekly gabfests at Lulu's. This time around a major plot development occurs midway through the book that does affect all four women - and for a few chapters the story takes on the rhythm of a plotted novel and increased my interest level.
But the situation is resolved a bit too quickly and the episodic format returns. Which is a pity because I felt the book really started to get going at that point. This isn't to say the ladies don't encounter some real and sobering problems. On the contrary, the protagonists face everything from adultery to job loss to rebellious teenagers and yes, even death. But the pattern of featuring a different woman each chapter lessens the tension in each of their individual stories because they unfold in such herky jerky fashion.
I think I would enjoy the series more if, instead of giving all four ladies stories of equal weight and apportioning them equal space in each novel, the authors featured one lady's story in each novel with the other ladies as supporting - or maybe even conflicting! - characters. Or if the novel was divided into four parts, with one lady featured exclusively in each part and the other ladies as supporting characters. At any rate, as the series continues, I would definitely like to see some development for the ladies' faithful server at Lulu's Cafe - who can't have been named Grace by accident.
Certainly, fans of Desperate
Pastor's Wives will want to catch up with the characters in this sequel.
And readers of contemporary women's fiction
will probably also enjoy A Matter of Wife & Death. As will those who
want a little light reading with a dash of realism and a dose of Christian
friendships and (mostly) happy endings.
Heather R. Hunt is a business editor in Connecticut. For fun she reads, writes, cheers on the Red Sox, and enjoys tennis and cycling. She also co-leads a local tea party and enjoys holding government officials and media outlets accountable. Check out her blogs, The View from Stonewater and Connecticut for Sarah Palin.