Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, Haigh’s novel examines how much women give up when they marry as three women vastly different, yet strikingly similar all become Mrs. Kimble — the wife of the elusive and lying Ken Kimble.
Extremely well-written, I was moved by all three stories: there’s Birdie, who falls apart after Mr. Kimble leaves; Joan, who sees Ken as her only chance for love following a battle with cancer; and Dinah, the former babysitter and the wife left holding the proverbial bag. Fearful that the time jumps would leave the story in-cohesive, I was pleasantly surprised to see the story continued to match up, to flow as I progressed from 1961 to 1994. Haigh provides wonderful emotional detail without being caught up in too much physical description. Definitely a page turner; I read it all in one night.
There is little explanation as to why each of these women fell for Mr. Kimble. Haigh states that he is a very smooth talker but his ability to make three different women fall in love with comes from his ability to recognize what they need at that moment. Learning about a man through the women he marries is definitely an interesting concept, but I would also recommend the book based on the fact the novel is quite well written.
- Haigh, Jennifer. Mrs. Kimble. New York: Harper Perennial, 2003. Print. 394 pgs. ISBN: 9780060509392. Source: Library.