Books: The Prodigal Wife

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The Prodigal Wife

By Gabrielle Pantera

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Gosh!TV) 3/4/2011 “I became aware of Jolyon Chadwick, as if he was standing at my shoulder wanting to tell me more of their story,” says The Prodigal Wife author Marcia Willett. “I was slightly surprised, but after some months I realized that he wasn’t going away. I decided to listen to what he had to say. Many of the characters in The Prodigal Wife had already appeared in the Chadwick trilogy. The strangest thing was that a character about whom I had previously written a short story suddenly made her appearance as a major character in the book.”

The Prodigal Wife is a story of family and the intricacies of love lost and then found again over years. Willett embraces the feelings of each character, but the characters don’t leave a strong lasting impression. The plot moves along at a good pace and there’s a nice little mystery.

Baggage. Abandonment. Can two people focus on each other instead of the past? Jolyon is still getting over his mother’s abandonment when she left to marry her lover, taking his brother Ed with her. Henrietta blames her mother Cordelia for cheating on her father, causing him to abandon her and leave the country to start a new family. When Jolyon and Henrietta fall in love their friends and family are cautiously optimistic. Can they be happy together?

Willett says a great deal of research for The Prodigal Wife had already been done while writing the trilogy, that the area in which the new characters Cordelia and her daughter Henrietta lived and how they worked was new. “I had to be very careful that the balance of the book was right for both old and new readers. Too much information about the Chadwicks would bore the old readers, too little and the new ones might be confused.”

Willett’s agent is Kathie Anderson at Anderson Grinberg in New York. Willett found her New York agent through her British agent, Dinah Wiener.

Willett’s editor at St. Martins is Marsha Markland. “Most of the work is done here in the UK with my prime publisher, Linda Evans at Transworld,” says Willett. “I met them for the first time here in the UK when Tom Dunne at SMP bought my twelfth novel, A Week in Winter. It was very exciting for me. They took me out to lunch and then to the Chelsea Flower Show which was terrific fun.”

At this time The Prodigal Wife isn’t being adapted for film or television.

Willett is currently working on a novel set on the River Tamar. She shares the website www.devonwriters.co.uk with her husband, Roddy who blogs there.  Her web site. www.marciawillett.co.uk discusses her books and publishers. Her new site www.mw-wc.co.uk is intended as a companion to her novels. It describes how her books are written and where the books are set, including gazetteers and maps.

Willett lives in an old longhouse in a tiny village in Devon in the West Country, an area of southwestern England that encompasses the city of Bristol and the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset. She was born in a small village in Somerset.

The Prodigal Wife by Marcia Willett
Trade Paperback, 336 pages, Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin; First Edition edition (January 18, 2011), Language: English, ISBN: 9780312672294

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