An Inconvenient Wife

Written by Megan Chance
Review by Audrey Braver

As the beautiful daughter of wealthy DeLancy Van Berckel, Lucy Carelton is a member of Caroline Astor’s Four Hundred Set of late nineteenth century New York. Her life seems a fairy tale. On the surface, she is the indulged and pampered wife of successful stockbroker, William Carelton – until she becomes inconvenient. Lucy’s first inconvenience is her failure to conceive a child. Add to that alternating bouts of hysteria and depression, and Lucy becomes more inconvenient. After a succession of doctors and misdiagnoses, she becomes the patient of Victor Seth, a doctor of the new science of neurology and practitioner of hypnotism. Under Dr. Seth’s care, Lucy grows steadily better. William is grateful until Lucy’s recovery turns her into an independent woman, an even greater inconvenience than her chronic illnesses. Lucy develops an attachment for Victor that is more than mere transference. The feeling is mutual, an inconvenience that forces William to take drastic measures.

Megan Chance has created a wonderfully complex character in Lucy Carelton. An Inconvenient Wife unfolds in a smooth, almost addictive narrative. Her multi-dimensional characters astonish the reader, as will the ending.