Book review: The Gallery of Vanished Husbands by Natasha Solomons 

The title of this book attracted me on a recent visit to the library. I had not previously heard of it or the author, Natasha Solomons. The Gallery of Vanished Husbands is set in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

Cover of The Gallery of Vanished Husbands Illustration is of a woman wearing a green sleeveless dress and lighter green gloves. Most of her head, her hands and her legs are not included in the picture, but she is wearing red lipstick. Lime green background.

The chapter headings take the form of catalogue entries for art exhibitions. They form an important context for the story with dates and other information. The main protagonist is something of a rebel in her family and community. The mystery underlying the title: The Gallery of Vanished Husbands unravels slowly. While the main settings are Chislehurst (Kent) and London, there is travel to another part of southern England and overseas by ship, reminding me of Maiden Voyages by Siân Evans. 

I enjoyed reading about the Jewish community and the artist friends of Juliet Montague, whose name sent me to check the surnames in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. (In case your memory is hazy like mine, Romeo’s was Montague and Juliet’s was Capulet.) 

The loose ends are all tied up satisfactorily although some disturbing events take place (Content warning). I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 

The Gallery of Vanished Husbands was first published in 2013 and is available in paperback, e-book, and unabridged audio editions. 

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