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Fiction Contemporary Women

The Almost Wife

A Novel

by (author) Gail Anderson-Dargatz

HarperCollins Canada
Initial publish date
Jul 2021
Contemporary Women, Thrillers, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jul 2021
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2021
    List Price

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If you almost had everything that you wanted, how hard would you fight to protect it?

Kira is engaged to the man of her dreams: he’s charming, handsome, wealthy, and a great dad to their baby, Evie, and his thirteen-year-old daughter, Olive. Having grown up with a troubled relationship with her mother and mostly estranged from her father, Kira craves a close family and secure home, and with Aaron, Evie and Olive, she almost has it. The only problem is Aaron’s ex-wife, Madison, who’s out of control and trying to get to Olive. When Kira takes the girls out of town to her childhood summer home and finds out that Madison has followed them, she panics.

Between the beach and the forest on Manitoulin Island, Kira fights to protect Olive, Evie and her fiancé, until a dark secret threatens to unravel the life that is almost hers. With the future she has built hanging in the balance, and her past haunting her at every turn, Kira must choose who to believe and who she wants to be.


About the author

Gail Anderson-Dargatz, whose fictional style has been coined as "Pacific Northwest Gothic" by the Boston Globe, has been published worldwide in English and in many other languages. A Recipe for Bees and The Cure For Death By Lightning were international bestsellers, and were both finalists for the prestigious Giller Prize in Canada. The Cure For Death By Lightning won the UK’s Betty Trask Prize among other awards. A Rhinestone Button was a national bestseller in Canada and her first book, The Miss Hereford Stories, was short-listed for the Leacock Award for humour. Her most recent novel, The Spawning Grounds, released in fall 2016, was again a bestseller. After nearly a decade of teaching within the Optional-Residency MFA program in creative writing at the University of British Columbia, Gail now mentors writers around the world through her own on-line forums. She lives in the Shuswap, the landscape found in so much of her writing.

Gail Anderson-Dargatz's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Gail Anderson-Dargatz is a wonderful storyteller. The Almost Wife is a dangerously gripping page-turner, a psychological thriller which shows how the past can blind one to life-and-death threat, twist after breathtaking twist. Don't count on getting any sleep." — Sandra Gulland, The Josephine B. Trilogy

"The best domestic thriller I have ever read. Kira is a highly likeable character caught in a sinister web of whom to trust: her fiancé and father of her baby, or his seemingly neurotic not-quite-divorced wife? Seeds of doubt are scattered in the very first chapter with faultless execution. This is a riveting, fast-paced thriller containing every woman’s nightmare; a missing child, the spectre of past abuse, and more than one haunting secret that threatens to burst into focus. The twists come with the impact of a rifle blast. Prepare to stay up all night reading this." — Melodie Campbell, author of The Goddaughter series, past executive director of Crime Writers of Canada

"In The Almost Wife, Gail Anderson-Dargatz delivers a master class in building suspense. From the first page, the suspense is perfectly crafted to build and build, slowly, steadily, relentlessly. Everyone in this book is keeping their secrets, past and present, all of them crossing over each other into a deadly, thrilling knot." — Vicki Delany

"The Almost Wife is compulsively readable, but it’s also an engrossing study of the truth that we can never out-run our childhood."
Gail Bowen, Author of the Joanne Kilbourn-Shreve mystery novels

“Set amidst the cloistered forests of Manitoulin Island and the windswept shores of Lake Huron, The Almost Wife capitalizes on the remote backdrop of Northern Ontario to set the scene for a story of psychological isolation and family secrets. In the modern age of gaslighting, The Almost Wife is a timely psychological thriller that explores the themes of family, memory, and identity. Anderson-Dargatz is at the top of her game. This is a complex and layered work that turns a seemingly simple tale of jealousy on its head and causes the reader to question everything." — Elle Wild, award-winning author of Strange Things Done, a CBC “The Next Chapter” recommended read

"Engrossing and expertly paced, The Almost Wife is a deep dive into the secrets and lies between a new mother and her not-quite-as-he-seems fiancé. Part love story, part domestic suspense, this layered story unfolds in surprising ways that will keep readers riveted to the page. A complex exploration of parental manipulation and the impact of a woman’s past on her future." — Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of Daughter of Black Lake

“Anderson-Dargatz’s fast-paced prose tracks the plight of someone on the run, desperate to protect her marriage and family. . . .Taut with tension.” — Toronto Star

“Just what do you really know about the people you fall in love with? That’s the backstory of this excellent domestic thriller by the award-winning author of The Cure For Death by Lightning. . . . [The Almost Wife] is a really good book.” — Globe and Mail (Toronto)

“If you like twisty thrillers with a Canadian setting, this is the book for you." — The Girly Book Club

“[Anderson-Dargatz] nails it.” — Pique Newsmagazine

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