‘Can a love last forever?’
The Judge’s Wife is the second novel by Irish Writer Ann O’ Loughlin. Published by Black & White Publishing on the 1st July 2016, I received my copy recently and jumped right in!! It’s a novel that has been on my horizon so I was delighted with this opportunity to review it.
‘When Emma returns to Dublin to put her estranged father s affairs in order, she begins to piece together the story of his life and that of Grace, the mother she never knew. She knows her father as the judge as stern and distant at home as he was in the courtroom.
But as she goes through his personal effects, Emma begins to find clues about her mother that shock her profoundly.
A tale of enduring love and scandal that begins in 1950s Dublin and unravels across decades and continents, digging up long-buried family secrets along the way, The Judge s Wife asks whether love really can last forever.’
I made it to page 5 of The Judge’s Wife and I knew I was hooked in.
‘Scuffles of clouds framed by rectangular, dirt-encrusted windows danced overhead. The sound of laughter drifted up from downstairs, where the two attendants puffed on cigarettes and relayed to the staff canteen every detail of the committal of the judge’s wife to the asylum’
Grace is a striking young woman. It is 1950’s Ireland. Times were different. Facades were in place. Reputation was EVERYTHING.
Grace, at a young age, becomes the wife of a very eminent judge in Dublin, Martin Moran. She has the best of everything that money can buy. Her taste is fashion is impeccable. She lives in a beautiful house, where people vie for an invitation. Grace should be happy….but she is not.
Placed in an asylum in Co. Wicklow, Grace’s life changes beyond recognition. Everything and everyone she has ever loved is lost to her.
Meanwhile, the story jumps thirty years to the 1980’s. We are introduced to Emma. Emma is the daughter of Judge Martin Moran. She has returned to Dublin to sort out his estate. Her relationship with her father has always been very strained and, as Emma discovers, there is a history to this that she was never aware of.
Emma delves into the secrets of a past she knew nothing of and makes some astonishing and rather traumatic discoveries along the way.
Emma is at a juncture in her life where many changes are occurring and she now has to make some major decisions on where her future path will take her.
Finally, the book takes us to Bangalore. There we are introduced to Vikram, his sister Rhya and Rosa, a young lady who has, unwittingly, been part of a web of deceit and lies.
Living among the coffee estates of India, we are brought into a world of fragrance and colour. It is very obvious in researching this part of the book that Ann O’ Loughlin is basing her descriptions on her own experiences, You can almost smell the spices and feel the heat of the sun on your skin.
Vikram is a troubled man who is on a mission to correct a wrong of many years ago. He takes us on a journey into his past, where his pain is palpable within every word he speaks.
While The Judge’s Wife is a fictional book, the story does introduce you to the horrendous wrongdoing that was carried out against innocent young women in Ireland in the last century. The treatment of these women in many institutions around the country was deplorable and for many, still best forgotten. The authorities of the time closed their eyes to terrible injustices and the effects of these are still to felt in many families across the country today. Families were torn apart, never to be reunited.
Ann O’ Loughlin, paints a tragic story but still manages to instill beauty in the descriptions and colours of the clothes and fashion of the time.
It is a very moving story with enough interesting twists to keep the reader’s interest piqued at all times.
Have a read and do please let me know what you think.
Purchase Link ~ The Judge’s Wife
About the author:
A leading journalist in Ireland for nearly thirty years, Ann O’Loughlin has covered all major news events of the last three decades. Ann spent most of her career with independent newspapers where she was Security Correspondent at the height of The Troubles, and was a senior journalist on the Irish Independent and Evening Herald.
She is currently a senior journalist with the Irish Examiner newspaper covering legal issues. Ann has also lived and worked in India. Originally from the west of Ireland she now lives on the east coast with her husband and two children.
Her debut novel The Ballroom Cafe was an eBook bestseller, and has sold over 220,000 copies to-date. The Judge’s Wife is her second novel. (via Amazon.co.uk)