The Widow's House

The Widow's House

by Carol Goodman


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This chilling novel from the bestselling, award-winning author of The Lake of Dead Languages blends the gothic allure of Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca and the crazed undertones of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper with the twisty, contemporary edge of A.S.A. Harrison’s The Silent Wife—a harrowing tale of psychological suspense set in New York’s Hudson Valley.

When Jess and Clare Martin move from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to their former college town in the Hudson River valley, they are hoping for rejuvenation—of their marriage, their savings, and Jess's writing career.

They take a caretaker's job at Riven House, a crumbling estate and the home of their old college writing professor. While Clare once had dreams of being a writer, those plans fell by the wayside when Jess made a big, splashy literary debut in their twenties. It's been years, now, since his first novel. The advance has long been spent. Clare's hope is that the pastoral beauty and nostalgia of the Hudson Valley will offer some inspiration.

But their new life isn't all quaint town libraries and fragrant apple orchards. There is a haunting pall that hangs over Riven House like a funeral veil. Something is just not right. Soon, Clare begins to hear babies crying at night, see strange figures in fog at the edge of their property. Diving into the history of the area, she realizes that Riven House has a dark and anguished past. And whatever this thing is—this menacing force that destroys the inhabitants of the estate—it seems to be after Clare next…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062562623
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/07/2017
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 160,904
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Carol Goodman is the critically acclaimed author of fourteen novels, including The Lake of Dead Languages and The Seduction of Water, which won the 2003 Hammett Prize. Her books have been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family, and teaches writing and literature at the New School and SUNY New Paltz.

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The Widow's House: A Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn’t put it down but it was predictable at most parts. It was very entertaining. An orphan and writer, who tried to make a home with her writer husband, finds themselves in financial difficulty. Uprooted from their big city lifestyle, she goes back to the town where she grew up and become caretakers for an old professor of theirs and his enormous Riven House. The house is just as much a character in the book as the narrator and let’s it be known early in the novel. Like I said above, the book was very entertaining. There was a small twist, but for the most part, it was predictable.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read in a long time. Perfectly balanced contemporary novel with Gothic ghost story. Loved it.
TrissBS More than 1 year ago
The Widow’s House. Carol Goodman. Jess and Clare Martin move from hip Williamsburg, Brooklyn, back to their former college town, and her home town, in the Hudson River valley. They hope the change of scene, living in the caretakers cottage of a fabled old estate, may be just the opportunity to revive his flagging writing career and their frayed marriage. If that sounds like the beginning of a gothic tale, it is, and while that’s not usually my favorite kind of story, I was turning the pages as fast as I could. The beautiful setting, the persistent scary local legends, Clare’s unhappy childhood, the warm and the scary memories that bind people in a small town and the unreliability of memory in general - all are handled expertly and written beautifully by Goodman. Are the spooky events real? Supernatural? Or in Clare’s imagination? Or are there other, painful explanations? Strongly recommended.
Pika_ More than 1 year ago
How well can you trust the narrator's version of what happened when the narrator themselves doesn't know for sure what was done by the living breathing people around her, possibly done by the ghosts, or what was a misconception of her own frightened and stressed mind? The Widow's House is a haunting blend of what happened the fall and winter Clare and Jess came to act as caretakers of Riven House, and Clare's research into what really happened during the tragic last days of the Apple Blossom Girl a two generations ago. The parallel's and differences between the two haunting storylines filled with the chill cold of desperation keeping you turning page after page. It's been years since I borrowed Carol Goodman's The Ghost Orchid. Far too many years to retell the story line. But I remember how hauntingly atmospheric the story telling is that even though I rarely remember anyone's name, when I saw this book I immediately thought "wait, isn't this the woman who wrote..." And I was not disappointed with The Widow's House. Wonderful shivers that don't let you go, even after the last page is turned. A rare find that you should let slip through your fingers!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrific mystery that left me thinking about it long after I finished reading.
hes7 More than 1 year ago
Carol Goodman tells a gothic and ghostly story in her latest novel, The Widow’s House. With plenty of mystery, suspense, and psychological twists, it’s a compelling and thrilling read from start to finish. Returning to her hometown with the hope of writing inspiration, Clare Martin and her husband easily settle into their roles as the caretakers of an old house with a tragic history. Soon, though, she begins to discover one unsettlingly secret after another—about the house and about her past—as strange occurrences reinforce her eerie discoveries. Jealousy, murder, madness, ghosts… The more Clare untangles the knot of secrets, the less clear the truth of it all appears. Page after page of this dark, suspenseful, and atmospheric book kept me unsure of which character to trust and what surprise would come next, and I enjoyed it. Fans of ghostly thrillers will not be disappointed reading The Widow’s House—I recommend it. Thanks to TLC Book Tours, I received a complimentary copy of The Widow’s House and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.
tpolen More than 1 year ago
Reading The Widow's House was a strange experience for me because rarely have I come across a book in which I disliked so many characters. That being said, this is a wonderful blend of gothic and twisty psychological suspense and once I reached around the halfway mark, I honestly wasn't sure which direction this story would take. And I still wasn't certain until the last several pages. So, yeah - it's compelling. The setting is modern day New York, but Riven House might as well be an old ancestral manor in the English countryside. With a long tainted history, it holds many secrets that are gradually revealed as the pages are turned. Toward the end of this book, like Clare, I wasn't sure what was real anymore and questioned everyone's motives and actions - which thrilled me as a reader. Getting back to the characters - I'll focus on Clare. It's difficult for me to connect to a story when I can't get behind the MC. Clare isn't very likable for various reasons, but for me, it's because she considers herself inferior to her husband and is constantly worried about upsetting him, and when there's friction between them, she looks for another man to rescue her. Slather some paranoia on top of that and you've got yourself a basket case; however, I'll say that some of her behavior makes sense at the end. Although I didn't care for most of the characters, the plot was strong enough to hook me and I'd recommend this to fans of psychological suspense. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the ARC.
Myndia More than 1 year ago
In an attempt to revive Jess’s writing career, he and his wife Clare relocate from NYC to her small, rural hometown in upstate NY, taking on positions of caretakers of an old, eccentric home. What transpires after that is a gothic tale of old ghosts haunting the living until their vulnerabilities and secrets are laid bare. It has been many moons since I read The Lake of Dead Languages by the same author, but I loved it so much that I couldn’t wait to read this. And this? This is better. It has been since I last read Rebecca that I’ve picked up a gothic tale, and I am so, so glad I did. Now I have an urge to read Rebecca again, follow it with Wuthering Heights, and pretty much whatever other gothic tales I can get my hands on. There is something so intoxicating about the mood in a novel like this. It’s a little mysterious, a little creepy, slightly dramatic, and in the end, you aren’t quite sure what the truth is. You also aren’t sure that it matters. If you are in the mood for a haunting tale that is spellbinding, but not scary, this is the book for you. Enjoy! Note: I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.