When you marry someone you learn things about them throughout the marriage. You learn their quirky habits, their faults, and even sometimes a secret or two. How about learning that your husband is Jack the Ripper and you were the reason he became that monster? That’s one secret that cannot be easily forgotten! In Brandy Purdy’s “The Ripper’s Wife”, we meet the woman that unknowingly inspired the man who was rumored to be Jack Ripper and kept his secret for him. Talk about wifely duty!
“The Ripper’s Wife” is the story of English cotton broker James Maybrick and southern belle Florence “Florie” Chandler. The beautiful and vivacious Florie falls for the much older James and they marry quickly after their meeting. James and Florie live a glamorous life abroad on their honeymoon with pure ecstasy and romance, but their return to the Liverpool home of James causes friction between them. James is addicted to arsenic and other medicines, is physically abusive to Florie, and she begins to take solace in her husband’s best friend and his own brother. When James catches Florie in her affair, he takes a dangerous turn. He knows he cannot kill Florie because he still loves her and she is the mother of his beloved children, so instead he takes his rage and anger out on the prostitutes of Cheapside. James becomes Jack the Ripper killing prostitutes because of his rage towards Florie while Florie sees the man she loves disappear into his medicines, illnesses, and madness. At the deathbed of James, he gives Florie the diary that contains all the information about his time as Jack the Ripper and a request that will impact her forever. The decision Florie makes changes her life forever and separates her from her children, her wealth, her comfort, and puts her in grave danger. This is a novel about a woman who inspired a man to become Jack the Ripper, protected the man, and gave up all she loved and had to protect the monster that was her husband.
“The Ripper Wife” is Purdy’s finest work. Purdy has taken one of the Jack the Ripper suspects and created a fabulous story at why he could have become Jack the Ripper and the how it impacted the real life Florie’s story. This is a very fascinating look at two people who came together so blissfully in marriage, but ended up becoming a serial killer of prostitutes and a wife who ended up in jail and had a tragic life.
Purdy does a great job of showing the story through both characters. The novel begins with Florie and her optimism and vivaciousness and you’ll eventually see her become a broken wife and then a broken woman in general. The novel also features the point of view of James through his diary entries about why he killed these women, how he did it, and how it impacted him. James and Florie each have a specific voice and their stories come alive.
Be aware though, this story isn’t for the faint of heart. It is very graphic in the sexual and gore content. The novel’s portrayal of sex is raw, but real. The sections of the novel featuring the diary of James and his murders are gruesome and difficult to read, but make the murders and the transformation of James to Jack the Ripper that much more powerful. This novel will constantly cause you to have your jaw dropped in amazement at the horror of everything occurring in it.
“The Ripper’s Wife” is an interesting and unique look at the man who could have been Jack the Ripper and also about a marriage torn to shreds and how a woman’s dignity and life were ruined because of her sins and most importantly, the sins of her husband. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself questioning everything your significant other does after reading this novel!
To purchase “The Ripper’s Wife”: http://www.amazon.com/The-Rippers-Wife-Brandy-Purdy/dp/0758288891
For more information on Brandy Purdy: http://www.brandypurdy.com/