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The Runaway Wife

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  958 ratings  ·  171 reviews
Rose Pritchard has fled her home and her abusive husband with little more than the clothes on her back – and her most precious possession, her seven year old daughter Maddie.

But Rose does have one other thing left – a glimmer of hope that she can build a better life for herself and her daughter, whatever it takes…
Paperback, 408 pages
Published November 12th 2013 by Gallery Books (first published September 27th 2012)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
****4 Gut Wrenching Stars****

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

You know, when I first started reading this book, I was ready to put it down and figure out how to word my review in order to not offend the author.  But I kept at it and I wasn't disappointed - Yeah there were times that I got confused with the "timing" of the writing - it would bounce back and forth between the past and present without warning or preamble. Getting past this though, the story is heart-felt an
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Worn down by an abusive husband/relationship, Rose Pritchard clings to the kind words written to her in a letter years ago.
Steeling her courage she takes her daughter and leaves everything behind and heads for the village of Millthwaite.
Rose then searches for the only person who had ever offered her even a smidgen of hope, but once she arrives she is confronted by obstacles she never expected and now wonders if she has made a terrible mistake after all.
At a crossroads now, she wonders if she
Nov 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Rating: 3 out of 5

A beautiful poignant story about a woman who leaves behind a life of abuse, in search of something better for her and her daughter. This novel started out great and overall, it was pretty good. The trials and tribulations of life is beatutifully depicted here. The fact that one man's actions could have such great consequences, is humbling.

Having said that, however, I found it hard to like the characters.

For starters, the main character's father was a flawed man. He has ruined
Jane Stewart
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
3 ½ stars. Enjoyable about a woman finding her strengths and a new life. The daughter’s personality added specialness.

Abused wife Rose runs away from her husband. She takes her 7-year-old daughter with her. Rose was married for 13 years. Frasier an art dealer visited Rose’s home once 7 years ago. He was looking for Rose’s father a painter. Frasier and Rose had a connection in their brief conversation. Because of that connection Rose travels to where she hopes to find Frasier. The story is mostly
Dale Harcombe
Two and a half stars. Rose and her seven year old daughter Maddie arrive at a Cumbrian Bed and Breakfast, where despite the late hour and having no luggage, they are taken in by Jenny and Brian. They have ended up at Millthwaite following a chance meeting years with an art dealer called Frasier and a follow up postcard he sent her. Rose's only thought at the time is to get far away from a life that has become unbearable. Unexpectedly Rose finds she has ended up in the same place as her father wh ...more
Sharon Redfern
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I started The Runaway Wife, I expected it to be another story of the wife who leaves, finds new love and life goes on. While it did have all of those things, it also had a strong emotional plotline about the loss of a father in a little girl’s life and how it has impacted her through her life. Rose Pritchard has left her controlling husband and come to a small town to seek out a man she met only once. Frasier McLeod showed Rose kindness at a time when she really needed it and she has never ...more
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rose left her abusive husband and bring her daughter, Maddie with her. She wanted to find Frasier a guy who she met only once and show kindness when she really need it. Goshhh she fall in love with him... I was like whyyy? You only met him once! How can you love someone that fast? asdfghjkl this is ridiculous!! But it's fine I guess? I kinda enjoyed this story lol
My favorite character is Maddie! For a seven years old kid she is pretty smart xD
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
Amanda‘s review posted on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Review copy provided for an honest review


The Runaway Wife by Rowan Coleman is a compelling novel that will stay with you long after it is over. It a story that touches on the subject of domestic abuse and of one woman’s journey of finding a safe haven for her and her daughter. The author unfolds this story one layer at a time, slowly uncovering the reasons for Rose leaving, which made me intrigued until the end. However, Rose is also
May 14, 2014 rated it liked it
“No one knows, do they, what it’s like inside? How you feel stuff you don’t want, think things you shouldn’t. It’s like . . . it’s like you’re two people–the person who knows what to do, and the one who does what she wants, whatever the consequences.”

This book has been on my radar for a long time. I was curious about both author and narrative, specifically her presentation on the topic of abuse.

I struggled with narrative and character. I found both flawed and disappointing. As far as the plot we
Half and Half

There were parts of this book that were boring and slow and parts that were good. I thought this book was going to be more of a mystery/thriller. It is not. I actually did not like all of the characters in the book. Shona and Ted, I thought annoying. I think the story could of been shorter. There were parts just not interesting and could of been deleted. Better editing was needed.
Feb 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
I read maybe a quarter of the book and I JUST could NOT do it anymore...

Some books captivate you right from the first page. This was not one of them. I really really tried to finish reading this book but it was too boring. It could also be because I could not understand the main character. She went in search of someone she could barely call an acquaintance??!!!
Sep 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Found myself skim reading this book. Too predictable for me.
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read. I was gripped from the beginning. Domestic abuse has been a hot topic for authors for many years, later novels getting darker and darker (e.g. Girl on the train, gone girl). This novel written in 2012 avoids the darkness and brings it into the light but in a way that you feel the fear, the wanting to succumb because it is easier and overall the fight to escape.

This is the second novel I have read of author and want to gobble up lots more.
Tara Screen
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. It was such an easy book to read and so full of turmoil. You really felt for the characters. Would definitely recommend.
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rowan has always written about difficult even taboo subjects - death, divorce, single parenthood, loss, child abuse - always with some degree of humour as well as seriousness but with Dearest Rose she encompasses domestic abuse and manages to dispel the myths that domestic abuse is a predominantly working class problem that goes hand in hand with inner city sink estates and drug and alcohol problems. She is never judgemental in her writing, instead the thought and empathy that she has obviously ...more
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been home from the wonderful island of Paxos for just over a week, as always, after a holiday, I've found it really difficult to get back into reading. I'm not sure why it happens, but it always does. I've picked up and abandoned a couple of books since we arrived home and was beginning to despair. I was really pleased to receive a copy of Rowan Coleman's tenth novel Dearest Rose this week and hoped that this would be the book to cure my reading malaise - sure enough it did! Thank goodness! ...more
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I really enjoyed this book. If you enjoy stories by the late Maeve Binchy, I think you will enjoy Rowan Coleman's brand of storytelling. Although it is not quite on par with Binchy's mastery--the narrative has a similar feel to it. It is an easy, comfortable read with a satisfactory ending.

The book also had some reflections of Stephen King's _Rose Madder_ where an abused wife escapes her traumatic life by escaping into the landscape of an actual painting. In this book, the main character, Rose,
Cocktails and Books
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I have read by Rowan Coleman. It will not be my last! I enjoyed her style of writing, how she reveals a bit of "backstory" at a time & makes it flow right along with the present story being told.

Rose is a troubled character and readers will be captured by her & her daughter Maddie from the start. As I was reading, I put myself in her shoes--to leave home with my small child and nothing but the clothes on my back? I am not sure I would have the courage to do what Rose does
Dec 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Rose was in an abusive marriage. One day she opens the door while her husband is away and a kind stranger changes her life. When she finally gets the nerve to leave her husband the only place she thinks to go is on a post card sent by the kind stranger that she only met once years 7 years prior.

Finding herself on the run with her 7 year old daughter in tow she makes her way to a Bed and Breakfast in the town searching for the man who changed her life with an impromptu visit and some kind words.
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finished this one in the early hours last night, thoroughly enjoyed every moment, and it's most definitely one of my books of the year. Rowan Coleman has always been more at the "thinking woman" end of the chick lit spectrum, but this one moved her writing into a whole new league for me. All the chick lit staples are there - the sexy young barman, the scatty friend, the near misses and misunderstandings - but this is a book with a really dark underside, and some of the strongest female character ...more
Hannah Symonds
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book to add to my collection of Rowan Coleman's books. I loved this story, it was emotional as there are a few personal issues in this story. I love the way even though there are personal issues, Rowan has approached it in a sensitive way but with lots of detail so she has obviously done lots of research. I loved the plot and I fell in love with Rose's daughter Maddie she is such a sweetheart but can hold her own. I found this book emotional but also heartwarming.
Aug 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up
I confess I didn't actually finish this book. I tried really hard to keep going but Rose irritated me beyond belief and the whole story line was nothing new. Obviously, not having finished it I can't say how things will turn out but when I have to steel myself to read and would rather do anything else it is time to give up.
Rebecca Emin
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the characters in this book, with a particular soft spot for Maddie. I made the mistake of reading the last few pages just before the school run - bit of a red eyed collection that was! I also love the cover of this book.
Dec 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
Terrible waste of time
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay but not a patch on her other books such as the Memory Tree.
Jess Milner
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: physical-book, 2018
Listen, I thought I was going to love this book. It was a story I was really interested in, and it started off well. There were parts I really liked, but slowly but surely things went so downhill for me.

As always, spoilers ahead.

First off the writing was a mix of good and bad. Parts of the prose were great, but the dialogue. The dialogue stone cold murdered this book for me. The first and main thing was the weirdly formal way of talking. And I could have dealt only this book is 440 pages of this
Poignant story of an abused wife after years of misery decides to take her 7 year old daughter Maddie in search of a better life in the village of Millthwaite. Spurred on by a letter written to her some years ago she goes in search of its author Frasier in the hope that his kind words will be enough for her to start a new life. Once she gets to her destination its not as easy as she hoped it would be and faced with many obstacles she starts to wonder if she has made a terrible mistake.

I did loo
Carrie Spooner
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love all of Rowan Coleman’s book and this was no exception. My 2 favourite characters were Shona and Maddie, both for very different reasons! Saying this though, literally every character in the book has been written about so well that you really get a feeling of who they really are. I feel like I actually know them all. The struggle that Rose faces throughout her entire life is devastating and the story is a real roller coaster story. It was refreshing to read a story where the emphasis is pu ...more
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was not what I expected...I thought I was going to be reading a somewhat fluffy, fun romance and this is not that. The characters were well-developed, the storyline was compelling and the sense of place was well-rendered. The relationships among the characters were interesting and reached satisfactory resolutions. I did feel like the ending was a bit too rushed, but I am not dissatisfied. I look forward to reading more by the author.
Alexandra A
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an excellent emotional book! For someone who’s never felt an ounce of love for most of her life, she sure had a lot to give out.

This is a story about a beautiful woman inside out, who’s been through horrible things and finally gets the ending she deserves. I am glad you are truly happy, loved and FREE Rose (even if it was long over due). I miss you & Maddie already!
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Rowan Coleman lives with her husband, and five children in a very full house in Hertfordshire. She juggles writing novels with raising her family which includes a very lively set of toddler twins whose main hobby is going in the opposite directions. When she gets the chance, Rowan enjoys sleeping, sitting and loves watching films; she is also attempting to learn how to bake.

Rowan would like to li

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