Short Story Review: ‘Wifey Redux’ by Kevin Barry

Story Title: ‘Wifey Redux’ by Kevin Barry
Collection/Anthology?: Dark Lies the Island (Jonathan Cape)
Briefly: All is well in the Prendergast household. Jonathan loves his wife Saoirse dearly, and he would do anything, as a doting father would, for his teenage daughter Ellie. Then Ellie’s new boyfriend Aodhan McAdam arrives on the scene, and Jonathan’s world begins to look a lot less shiny.
Afterthoughts: I loved, loved, loved loved, loved this story. If you’re a Dad (like me), and you have a teenage daughter (like me – I have 2), then this story will really resonate with you. It’s the whole ‘I know exactly what teenage lads have on their mind when they’re sniffing around my daughter’, and Barry explores the inevitable plight that hounds all fathers, with much prowess and humour. However, ‘Wifey Redux’ is also so much more of a story than this. It’s also about a relationship between husband and wife; a relationship that in anyone else’s eyes is pretty normal, but in Barry’s it becomes something a little more extraordinary. Phenomenal storytelling. The master strikes again!

Rating: ★★★★½

This story was read as part of a review of Kevin Barry’s latest short story collection, Dark Lies the Island. If you want to find out more about the book, or you want to read other reviews from this collection, then I invite you to pop along to my forethoughts post for this title. I also invite you to take a trip over to the publisher page for this title.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. This is a wonderful story, the best in a very good collection. I never had a daughter but know exactly what it would feel like from Barry’s portrayal of this struggling father. The balance of humour and pathos is masterful, and the pathetic but wonderful revenge at the end of the story stayed with me.