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The Gallery of Vanished Husbands    by Natasha Solomons order for
Gallery of Vanished Husbands
by Natasha Solomons
Order:  USA  Can
Plume, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Juliet Montague is not a happy camper. Her husband disappeared eight years ago and she is left with the onus of living as a widow. Because George left her, she is more or less a prisoner in her town. Except for a few, most women shun her. Men daren't talk to her. It is thought that she must be to blame for George leaving the bustling but conservative Jewish community and her. Actually she is better off without him. He was nothing but a layabout.

According to Jewish law, she cannot divorce him. And she can't find him to obtain a divorce. Life is looking very glum for her until a younger man asks if he can paint her portrait. You can see what's coming. Her portrait is painted and she has an affair with the artist. Good for her. She ends up leaving her work in her father's factory to open an art gallery, focusing on new and upcoming artists. The gallery is a success. Her life, maybe not so.

The Gallery of Vanishing Husbands grips your sympathy. I took umbrage at the treatment by the wives of the community. Those whose husbands were still in residence looked down on Juliet. This blemish on her name follows her no matter what she does or where she goes. Even her baked goods for the synagogue are left uneaten. She lives a tough life until she takes her children and embarks on a trip that might answer some questions for her. As well as change her life.

The Gallery of Vanished Husbands by Natasha Solomons, author of the bestselling The House of Tyneford, is well worth the read.

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