Mrs. Wiggins by Mary Monroe
I actually just finished this book. If you like drama, secrets, and surprised endings – you’ll like Mrs. Wiggins.
With her story, Mrs. Wiggins, New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe takes her readers to the Deep South. The setting is a small Alabama town during the Depression era. In the south, it was definitely a controversial time for blacks.
“I know what it means. It would be for a good reason, though, and there wouldn't be nary bit of pleasure involved. Shoot! I don't like sex anymore than you do, but I'm willing to do it just enough times to make a baby. I'd love to have six or seven kids, but I know I couldn't stand to have that much sex. So I'll settle for just one.”
Hubert gazed at me like I'd suddenly sprouted a beard. "Maggie, I ain't never said nothing about not liking sex. Making love is a wonderful activity and I enjoy it."
I let out another loud breath. "All right, then. Let me put it another way. I don't like sex period. You don't like sex with women."
Here's my summary - hopefully without spoiling it for you!
This novel is character driven. It is told in first person narrative by the main character, Maggie Franklin (Wiggins). Her story is full of both drama and suspense. It touched on subjects that included domestic violence, sexual abuse, racism, secrets, and murder.
Maggie’s childhood was less than respectful - less than perfect. Her mother was a former prostitute, and her father was an alcoholic. Maggie was molested as a child. Hubert Wiggins was her best friend growing up. His father was a preacher, and he grew up with strong Christian family beliefs.
Hubert confessed to Maggie that he was attracted to men and wanted to remain in the closet. He didn’t want anyone to know of the secret life he lived. To continue to keep his life a secret to the outside world, he asked Maggie to marry him. Their relationship would remain platonic, which was fine with Maggie, as the sexual abuse she endured during her childhood deterred her from sex anyway. So, they entered into an unconventional marriage, with an outward appearance of a perfect marriage. And maybe for them – it was.
To complete their perfect family image, they planned for Maggie to get pregnant by another man who is clueless to the plan. It is after their son, Claude, grows up and falls in love with the wrong woman for their perfect family, that the real drama begins. Maggie began doing things that may surprise you to keep her family together. In turn, things changed for her at work. And so, the drama continues.
The secret things Maggie does to keep up her respectful image in the community becomes easier for her to do with each instance, until one day she goes too far. The ending may surprise you!
I really enjoyed the twist and turns of the story. As I read it, I wondered how many couples actually have a marriage like this. Of course, in 2021, so many things in our society have changed. Would a person need to enter into such a marriage to cover up their preference? Hmm!
I love strong characters in a story. My personal opinion is that Mary Monroe did an excellent job in developing her main characters. Even the secondary characters were memorable. So, if you've read this book already, share your thoughts.