Mrs Kimble by Jennifer Haigh
They were married by a judge on the island of St Thomas, a thousand miles away from anyone who knew them. Dinah’s parents disapproved of the marriage; their absence was a relief. She wore flowers in her hair, a nervous but happy bride.
A single photo exists of their wedding, a snapshot taken by the judge’s wife. In it they stand shoulder to shoulder in front of the courthouse, Ken in a pale suit, Dinah in a white sundress, her hair braided by a woman who sold trinkets on the beach. She’d just finished her laser treatments; in the photo her skin looks perfectly smooth. She didn’t know it, but she was a beautiful woman.
observations: The pictures on this blog are – it says over there to the right – suggested by, rather than illustrative of, the text. So, they are often not the right era, or details are not as described, but the idea is that in some way they are true to the spirit of the words, or show some detail to advantage. Today’s is a very extreme case. It would have been easy to show an American couple of the right era getting married in informal mode, pale suit and white sundress. But the truth is, the couples look awful. This lady here looked so much nicer that beauty and aestheticism had to win out.
The book takes a bit of getting into, but rewards the effort – it is the story of the three wives of Ken Kimble, a truly horrible man. Ms Haigh does a terrific job of showing you how he fools women into falling in love with him, then ruins their lives: it is a chilling portrait.
Links up with: The American Wife had a wedding outfit that we were equally unwilling to illustrate. Cassandra has flowers in her hair.
The picture can be found on Wikimedia Commons.