Maria Dahvana Headley, The Mere Wife, London: Scribe Publications, 2018. ISBN 9781925713459.
Headley’s The Mere Wife is both a celebration of motherly love and an exploration of the disruptive tension between coexisting opposites. While motherly love is the real focus of this novel, being its leading force, reversals of fortune are an equally important element. They permeate the story on a range of levels. The two main female characters of the novel could not be more different: American marine Dana Mills is a practical, lonely and down-to-earth woman who is mysteriously pregnant and an amnesiac (she does not remember the last six months of her life), while the beautiful Willa Herot is a fashionable, apparently-sociable and empty-headed woman who takes the whole day to do her grocery shopping. At first, Dana seems to be a woman who is deeply intimidating: not only did she fight during the War on Terror, witnessing terrible crimes;, she also remembers being executed on camera during that same war. Yet there she is, pregnant in a cave.