Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Ripper's Wife - Reading Outside of the Box!

TITLE: The Ripper's Wife
AUTHOR: Brandy Purdy
PUBLISHER: Kensington
PUBLISHING DATE: October 28, 2014

FROM GOODREADS: It begins as a fairytale romance-a shipboard meeting in 1880 between vivacious Southern belle Florence Chandler and handsome English cotton broker James Maybrick. Courtship and a lavish wedding soon follow, and the couple settles into an affluent Liverpool suburb.

From the first, their marriage is doomed by lies. Florie, hardly the heiress her scheming mother portrayed, is treated as an outsider by fashionable English society. James's secrets are infinitely darker-he has a mistress, an arsenic addiction, and a vicious temper. But Florie has no inkling of her husband's depravity until she discovers his diary-and in it, a litany of 

MY THOUGHTS:  I stumbled upon this book strictly by accident. I had featured an upcoming Purdy book on my Waiting on Wednesday meme for a new Lizzie Borden book she has coming out in January. Lately I have been obsessed with all things Lizzie Border - I blame Cherie Priest but that's another story. Anyway, the author kindly contacted me and wanted to know if I would like to review her new book and also, would I be interested in The Ripper's Wife. Well, I have always taken an interest in Jack the Ripper as well so I thought "Why not?"

I don't read a lot of historical fiction, and didn't really know what to expect with this book but I can say I really enjoyed it and would recommend anyone who likes thrillers, historical fiction, or serial killers give this a try. This is a story of Florie Maybrick and her husband James, told from Florie's point of view. They meet, have a whirlwind romance, and end up getting married rather quickly. Their relationship is not without flaws including James' drug addiction and Florie's knack for spending non-existent money. Basically trials and tribulations ensue which prompts James' transition to Jack the Ripper.

I liked a lot of things about this book but let me add, it is not for the weak of heart. While Purdy is extremely talented in providing descriptive prose setting the scenes in this historical novel, she is equally as talented in describing the horrible acts committed by James. There is violence, blood, gore, adultery, rape and murder so be warned. However, Purdy does it tastefully and I didn't find it to be sensational in manner. In addition, this book did get me thinking. Without giving too much away, James was definitely driven to perpetrate his murderous acts by some things which happened in his life and while it doesn't excuse his behavior, it does make the reader ponder where some of the responsibility might lie. In addition, Florie, although a main character and a victim in her own right, is not always likable and free of criticism and judgement.

This was a perfect read for the creepiness needed for an October/Halloween book. I also think it could be enjoyed year-round as it did not in any way focus on the Halloween season. While it did take me longer than normal to finish, that is not a reflection on the book but rather a failed attempt of reading multiple books at one time. I loved Purdy's writing style and the way she pulled me into the book and made me feel like I was spying on the Maybrick's lives from the corner of a dark room. I am glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave this historical fiction book a try. I can't wait to pick up "The Secret's of Lizzie Borden."



  1. Torn about putting it on my TBR. I don't always like graphic violence. But on the other hand you say she did it tastefully. So there is that. Thanks for introducing the book to me. And I would be waiting on the Lizzie Bordon book too. Enjoy!

  2. I shall keep my eye out for this one - I like the sound of the creepiness and anyway, you sort of expect a bit of murder and gore if you're reading about the ripper.
    Lynn :D

  3. Oh, that sounded good at first, but I'm not great with books w/ gore in them, so will probably have to pass on this one. So much harder to read that sort of thing than to watch it on TV (where you can look away if you want to for a sec). One of my fave TV shows is Ripper Street, and I do love historical fiction, but I don't think this sounds like it would be a good read for me!

  4. Nice review! I tend to only read the Tudor period when it comes to historical fiction but I do find the Jack the Ripper story somewhat intriguing. I might take a look at this when time allows.

  5. oh I love historical fiction, glad you gave this one a shot o.o creepy factor and all!