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The Pocket Wife    by Susan Crawford order for
Pocket Wife
by Susan Crawford
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Is there anything more terrible than knowing that your neighbor has been slowly dying and you didn't know and couldn't help her? Yes, there is - the thought that you might have been the one to cause her death.

Dana Cantrell had had an argument with her friend Celia the day Celia bled to death in the foyer of her own home. Dana cannot remember that day with any clarity. She knows she loses periods of time. She also has quick changes of mood that quickly take her from euphoria to deep depression. She spent time in an institution for her condition and takes daily medicine to control it. But would she really have left a woman to die when she could have helped?

Her husband has been acting differently lately. And Detective Jack Moss has been asking questions that only upset her more. She slowly pieces together parts of what happened the day Celia died but the answers are not ones she wanted. Her life is falling apart more so than ever before.

Should she turn herself in to the police and tell them what she has found out? Should she sit it out and wait to see what the police conclude? The stress she is under makes her think maybe she should check into that institution once again. But she finds that an impossible solution. What to do next?

The Pocket Wife recounts Dana's plight with compassion and concern. We, as readers, can understand her obsession with what has happened and then see her world implode the deeper she gets into her everyday life. While our problems may not be as dire or complicated, we can empathize with her. Life is not easy. Ever. We have our own problems and they occupy our minds a good deal of the time. Poor Dana, however, sees no way out, whereas we can usually resolve our own dilemmas.

The Pocket Wife is a first-time novel. Well done, Ms. Crawford. Let's see more of your work.

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