The Almost Wife

A novel by Gail Anderson-Dargatz.

Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Kira is engaged to the man of her dreams: he's charming, handsome, wealthy and a great dad to their baby, Evie, and his 13-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. (From HarperCollins Canada)

Gail Anderson-Dargatz is a writer from B.C. Her first novel, The Cure for Death by Lightningwas a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Anderson-Dargatz's other books include A Recipe for Bees, The Spawning Grounds and Turtle Valley.

From the book

I ran to forget. Here, in motion, I was only aware of the early morning light glinting off the water, the beat of my running shoes against asphalt, the rhythm of my breath. There was nothing ahead of me, and the past lagged far behind. I lost all sense of time and, blissfully, of self. There was no me. And there was nobody else, either — no Aaron, no Evie, no Nathan and no Madison. But then the buzz of the phone strapped to my arm yanked me out of the flow, and the low sun emerged from the clouds as if rousing from sleep.

I slowed my pace as I removed my phone from the strap, nodding at a woman jogging toward me. A recreational runner, a young mom dressed in blue Lululemon crops and tee, trying to burn off pregnancy fat as she pushed her baby in a Thule Jogging stroller. As she passed, her child mewed, and I immediately felt the tingle of letdown. Evie would want to breastfeed as soon as I got home. She was there with Aaron now; they had both been asleep when I left the house in the morning twilight. Evie's eyelids had fluttered when I checked on her before leaving, her tiny hands grasping something in her dream. She had turned her face toward me when I kissed her cheek.

From The Almost Wife by Gail Anderson-Dargatz ©2021. Published by HarperCollins Canada.

Interviews with Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Gail Anderson-Dargatz on her latest novel, set in the Shuswap Thompson region of British Columbia.

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