Snippet of Afterthoughts for The Other Widow
It was important for me to understand Dana, to try to see the world through her ultra-sharp lens, her terror and confusion and to hand that lens to readers. We tend to compartmentalize – bipolar here, schizophrenic there. It’s safer that way. We feel normal, secure. I think it’s far more complicated, that there isn’t one thick line that separates us – that so much of what determines who we are, who we become, our sanity or lack of it, depends on circumstance, on voices from the past that whisper in our ears or lodge themselves in our heads. I hope my readers will relate to Dana on some level. They don’t have to love her. It wasn’t my intent to make her loved, but understood.
Dorrie, in The Other Widow, falls for someone else’s husband and instantly becomes the proverbial detested other woman. We know her. She’s slept with our now exes, stolen our sister’s husband, come between our parents. She has no heart, this interloper, picking at the bones of someone else’s marriage. Again, different from us. We have morals, scruples – we draw boundaries. And so I made her flawed, conflicted, struggling with her alcoholic husband, stuffing glue in the cracks of a fractured life for the sake of the daughter they both love. He makes her feel alive, this man who isn’t hers. He gets her humor, notes her worth. He touches something in her she’d forgotten – he makes her feel alive, even if it’s only for stolen chunks of time, even if she is his Tuesday girl, his other woman, unable even to grieve openly when he is killed. She has friends and a cat. She makes veggie burgers and shares a bed with someone she no longer trusts and sometimes wonders if she loves. She’s vulnerable and tough, a woman in a dying marriage – much closer than we thought and more than a cliché. She could be our next-door neighbor, our best friend. She could be us. Again, the lines are blurred, the right and wrong, the black and white.