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The Senator's Wife


The Senator's Wife

THE SENATOR’S WIFE begins with a woman who certainly fits that title character's role. Liv Constantine presents Sloane, who has been married to not just one senator, but two. Her second marriage occurs just two years after the tragic deaths of her first husband, Robert Chase, and the wife of her second husband, Whit Montgomery. In their grief, the two find solace together, and Sloane is hoping to find even a small amount of the happiness she had experienced with Robert.

Sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine, who write as Liv Constantine, excel at bringing us into the lives of wealthy high society. Sloane is used to attending state dinners at the White House, and she entertains in her home for 200 guests effortlessly. She and Robert had many beautiful houses and the staff to run them smoothly. Now she and Whit live in the Washington, DC home with a small staff.

"There is much that the authors are hiding, which becomes apparent the closer we get to the end of this brilliantly plotted book."

Sloane has lupus, and because of the side effects from its treatment, she must have hip replacement surgery. She also runs a foundation that she and Robert had created jointly from their family wealth. Both wanted to share their good fortune --- their inherited money --- with others, and their foundation helps many battered women while performing other beneficent deeds. To help her recuperate from the surgery and assist with her administrative duties with the foundation, Sloane and Whit hire Athena, who comes recommended by a health care agency.

The story is told in third person, but from the specific points of view of several characters. This narrative strategy allows us to know their thoughts, or at least as many as the authors are prepared to share with us. We hear mostly from Sloane, Whit and Athena, but also from Rosemary, who is Robert's mother and the grandmother of Emmy, Sloane's daughter. While Rosemary is not happy that Sloane has remarried, she becomes suspicious about Whit and his intentions. She also doesn't trust Athena, so she hires a private detective to look into both.

We see Sloane's descent into despair as she gets sicker and sicker while her lupus appears to worsen as a result of her surgery. Emmy is across the country at her dream job, and Sloane has few close friends with whom she can share her fears. The signs all point to one reality regarding whom she should trust. But can we rely on what the authors are sharing? Just what is being concealed from us?

One factor that makes Liv Constantine books so enjoyable is their ability to write dialogue and action that make us feel real empathy for many of the characters. We genuinely like Sloane, and we respect her morals and beliefs. We aren't sure how we feel about Rosemary at first, but we do know that she’s doing the best she can with the information she has. There is much that the authors are hiding, which becomes apparent the closer we get to the end of this brilliantly plotted book. We are taken to the very edge of what we are willing to believe and then brought back to see that justice --- sometimes --- is delivered.

Reviewed by Pamela Kramer on May 24, 2023

The Senator's Wife
by Liv Constantine