The Watchful Wife

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A story of unshakeable belief and unbending faith from the author of The Deceptions.

'The Watchful Wife is assured and engrossing. As our crisp, clear-eyed narrator with more than one cross to bear, Ellen guides us through a tangle of ethical and emotional quandaries that feel both timeless and immediate, keeping us on her side the whole way through.' Jacqueline Bublitz, author of Before You Knew My Name

'Leal's unusual perspective on the destructive force of an allegation gives this book real moral complexity…Nuanced, troubling and convincing.' Jock Serong, author of The Settlement

Raised by her severe parents in a punitive and authoritarian church, Ellen's narrow world is upended when she meets Gordon, a fellow teacher. Responding to his interest with curiosity and, before long, pleasure, Ellen is both transformed and beguiled by the connection, love and laughter he brings into her life.

Three years later, a knock on the door changes everything. Two police officers have come to accuse Gordon of a shocking crime. Abandoned and reviled by those around her, Ellen steadfastly refuses to believe Gordon has done anything wrong. In a world of swirling suspicion, however, she will have to fight to protect him.

But what will that cost her? And what will she discover about him along the way?

A propulsive and provocative novel about love, faith and courage from the bestselling author of The Teacher's Secret.

'Suzanne Leal's books always grab me from the very first sentence and The Watchful Wife is no exception. It is intriguing, engaging and deeply moving from beginning to end. I loved Ellen from the first moment I met her.' Jane Caro, author of The Mother

'Leal delivers an intriguing page-turner with emotional depth, nuance and moral complexity: The Watchful Wife is a truly gripping read from start to finish.' Mark Brandi, author of The Others

'The Watchful Wife is a tense Australian thriller that reminds us: sometimes you need an outsider to fight injustice.' Jack Beaumont, author of The Frenchman

ISBN: 9781761067778
Allen & Unwin
Publication date:
4 July 2023
Trade Paperback
Pages: 368