The Widow’s Tale

Written by Margaret Frazer
Review by Lucille Cormier

It is the year 1449 in Broxbourne, England, and Edward Helyngton knows he is dying. He also knows that once he is gone his wife, Christiana, will be at the mercy of men grasping for her widow’s hand; with it will come control of his estates and their daughters’ marriages. As such, The Widow’s Tale is the story of a mother’s nightmare. Christiana is kidnapped, locked into an abbey, and abandoned without hope of being reunited to her children. Her rescue precipitates events that force her to choose between her children and her nation. However, without losing a beat in credibility, the story takes a totally unexpected turn and draws us into a heart-pounding and tragic conclusion.

This novel is surely some of Margaret Frazer’s best writing. As a historical mystery it has it all: a wonderful plot, richness and accuracy of historical information, believable and finely drawn characters, quick pace, surprises, and good action. But what makes it more than just a great read is its depth. The reader comes away sadder and wiser, knowing that what they’ve read is the stuff of real life. Brava!