Mark Trainer’s New Wife was the winner in the Jeffrey Archer Presents Short Story Competition, sponsored by St. Martin’s Press.
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I bought this short story while preparing for our Spring 99 Cent Frenzy, thinking I might include it in the mix of offerings. Time disappeared without the file even being opened and New Wife didn’t get a post in those two days. Another reason the story was ignored was the title. I had not read the description, but with a title like New Wife . . . well, who wants to read another book about a second or third wife. I should have read the description.
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One morning Danny doesn’t recognize the woman who is his wife. She knows all about him, knows everything about their house, and does all the things his wife does. But she isn’t his wife; she’s a stranger. Everyone else recognizes her as Eve, his wife. Why can’t they see she’s not Eve?
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As I read of Danny’s deepening confusion, I felt such sadness for the man who couldn’t remember people, events and places. I even remembered times I was out of sorts and I ached for this man.
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The story follows Danny, Eve and their son Sean only for a couple of days. Sean has a problem with his classmates and Danny can remember with clarity a similar situation when he was a kid.  If he can remember that, why can’t he remember to pay the mortgage?
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This story is a statement for fathers and men standing by their families. It’s finding clarity and purpose in a very hazy world. It’s about being a parent and only getting one chance to defend what’s right and overcome the past. Surprisingly, the book gives insight into how some men think – with singularity of purpose. The reviews on Amazon are mixed – either they thought it was brilliant or they didn’t get it.
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Even though the story is not long (less than 30 minutes to read) , the 99 cent price was worth it. If you read New Wife, please leave a comment to tell me what you think of the story.
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Click here to purchase Jeffrey Archer Presents: New Wife