“The Replacement Wife” by Eileen Goudge

I was personally affected by “A Replacement Wife” by Eileen Goudge.  This is a story about a successful businesswoman Camille Harte, her husband Dr. Edward Constantin, and their children Kyra and Zach.  Camille is a professional matchmaker who selects people who are compatible, sets up a meeting place and let’s them take if from there.  She feels she is successful because most of her pairings end up in marriage.  She is also a cancer survivor.  I felt a kinship with this woman because I am a cancer survivor.  However, that’s where our similarities end.

Camille goes to one of her regularly scheduled follow-up appointment with the oncologist and finds that her cancer is back and that she only has 6 months to a year to live.  She eschews further treatment because the original chemo and other treatments were so harsh and further treatment will not guarantee success.  She does not want to spend her last days hooked up to IV’s and beeping machines.  Her husband does not agree, but goes along with her wishes.

Camille, because of her profession, decides that Edward would greatly benefit from marrying again after her death and is determined to find the perfect second mate for him.  He is adamantly opposed to her plans, but reluctantly goes to a “Meet and Greet” meeting with her clients.  She pushes one beautiful divorcee, Elise, to meet with Edward.  Meanwhile, he has made a connection with the caterer who handles all these meetings for Camille.  There is a spark of interest between them, but Edward is not prone to continuing the relationship.

This antagonistic relationship between Edward and Camille is the basis of this story.  However, the situations in which they both find themselves provide the interest of this book.  It is a sad story, where Camille’s obsession with finding a new wife for Edward is her undoing.  You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens between them.

I must say that I was very emotional when reading this book.  I too had one of my follow-up appointments with my oncologist and usually am very apprehensive the week before.  I try not to think about it, but this story brought those thoughts back to me.  I was glad when I had finished the book.  I liked the story and the sub-plots.  The minor characters in the book were so interesting and real to me, which spurred me on to the finish when I really wanted to put it down and not finish it.  I’m glad I did, but it was a struggle for me.

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