Jennifer Haigh is one of my author discoveries from 2008. No, I didn’t discover her, but I did wonder where she had been all my life when I read her book The Condition this summer (reviewed briefly on my blog HERE).
I came across Mrs. Kimble in a used bookstore while I was on a relaxing getaway with my husband, which meant that I actually had time to read it. I read it quickly — within 24 hours — yet in spite of reading it fairly quickly, I savored each page along the way.
This is the story of Ken Kimble, told through the three women who he marries. We meet the first Mrs. Kimble when she falls for Ken when he’s her professor at Bible college. The second Mrs. Kimble is an old maid of sorts — a woman who put her career first (in a time before that was done). The third Mrs. Kimble is a young woman who knew Ken Kimble when he was married to the first Mrs. Kimble. Kimble seems to be a different person in each stage of his life, and the question is whether the women he’s been with have changed him, or he changes to suit the women, and ultimately — who is he, really?
If you generally prefer suspense to literary fiction, perhaps this would be a good combination for you. As this character-driven mystery unravels, I found myself asking all sorts of questions:
- What drives Ken Kimble?
- Who or what does he really care about?
- How does one person’s choices affect those around him?
- Why does he leave, and are they better off without him?
So, with Jennifer Haigh’s novels, I’m now two for two. I’ve now read her first novel Mrs. Kimble and her latest novel The Condition. Baker Towers is sandwiched in the middle, and it’s always great to know that there’s another of the author’s work yet to be discovered (not to mention those which she hasn’t written yet).
Managing Editor Jennifer Donovan also blogs at Snapshot about life with her tween daughter and preschool son.