The Judge’s Wife was a short story written by Isabel Allende. The story begins with an unnamed woman who is looking out of her window, watching the rain fall. The woman’s husband, The judge, comes home from work and the two have dinner together. After dinner, The judge goes to his study to read while The judge’s wife washes the dishes. The judge’s wife suddenly hears The judge call for her so The judge’s wife goes to The Judge’s study, but The Judge does not respond when The judge’s wife asks him if he called for her.
The author implies that The Judge may have died in his chair. The next day, The judge’s body is found outside on the sidewalk beneath their window after having fallen from the window while reading at night. While waiting for the coroner to arrive, a young police officer talks with The judge’s wife about how The Judge could have accidentally fallen out of his window at night and what his motives would’ve been to kill himself. The detective also points out that The judge did not leave a suicide note and The judge’s wife finds this suspicious.
The detective also brings up the fact that The Judge was found with his reading glasses on, even though The Judge had horrible eyesight and never wore them out of doors. The detective tells The Judge’s wife about an incident where The Judge fell asleep while smoking in bed and almost started a fire. The Detective theorizes that The Judge may have been waiting for his wife to return while he was smoking and accidentally fallen asleep which caused him to fall out of the window when his wife wasn’t looking.
Soon after these investigations, The judge’s wife learns from her maid that there is evidence of blood on one of their chairs suggesting that The Judge may have been murdered. The maid tells The judge’s wife that The judge’s servant had told her that the blood was not there before The Judge died and The Judge’s wife begins to suspect foul play in The Judge’s death. When The Judge’s wife arrives at The Judge’s service, she sees a young woman crying with whom she remembers The judge flirting with and having dinner with on multiple occasions prior to his death.
She also witnesses two women whisper to each other about how they believe it is suspicious that The Judge always ate alone while reading, even though he did work long hours. At the funeral, The young police officer appears again and tells The judge’s wife about an argument The judge got into with his butler and The Judge’s wife begins to wonder if The butler had something to do with The Judge’s death. The young police officer also gives The judge’s wife a note from The Judge’s co-worker, The doctor, who asks The judge’s wife for the meaning of a strange phrase that The Judge used in one of his letters before his death.
The next day, The Author writes about how The judge’s wife has become obsessed by trying to find out how her husband died and goes around investigating different possible suspects until she finally arrives at the home where the man who was having an affair with one of The judges female friends lives. As The author writes about The judge’s wife getting closer to The man’s house, The Author writes about The judge’s wife sitting in the front row of The Judge’s funeral and seeing The young police officer from before.
The author writes that The judge’s wife began to wonder if The young police officer may have also been involved in The Judge’s death. The story then cuts back to The Judge’s Wife still watching out her window and thinking how she should contact The doctor and ask him what he and The Judge talked about just before his death because she doesn’t believe that her husband committed suicide. As The judge’s wife is thinking this, she sees a black car pull up next to hers, stops, and backs up until almost hits her.
The judge’s wife then notices The Judge’s butler in the backseat of The car staring at her and The judge’s wife becomes frightened by The butler’s presence. When The Judge’s Wife gets home, she sees that The butler has left her a note on the doorstep hinting at The Judge having an affair with one of his female friends and saying he is sorry for not speaking up earlier about The judge having affairs with many other women, including The woman who arrived to his funeral bawling before The young police officer also appears outside The house with two men who are looking for The judge’s wife.
When she opens the door to speak to them, they quickly push their way inside and begin looking around The Judge’s Wife’s house for The man who The judge’s wife was looking for. The Judge’s Wife quickly becomes confused and asks why they think The man is inside her house as The young police officer shows The Judge’s wife a picture of The man she is looking for and says they suspect The Man of murdering The judge.
The story then cuts to one year later when the narrator, The Author, talks about how after further investigating in to The Judge’s death, they find out that it wasn’t murder and the whole situation had been an accident with no one to blame. As this information was released, The woman who liked him began accusing everyone of lying when someone told her that he fell off The cliff by accident. The woman did this until The young police officer threatened to arrest her if she kept accusing The Judge of killing himself on purpose, which The young police officer said he knew The Judge would never do.
The author then talks about how The judge’s wife began to feel better after The investigation was over because it meant that she could move on with her life since the investigation also found out that no one murdered The judge. The author then says that even though The judge died, he chose his own destiny and the decision didn’t have anything to do with anyone else. As an example, The Author gives an imaginary scenario where the reader is sent back in time 100 years before The Judge’s death and asks what they think will happen if The judge goes out to The cliff on The day he dies.
The author then says that The outcome of The Judge’s death will be the same no matter what because The outcome has already been decided, so it doesn’t matter who is sent back in time 100 years ago to stop him from going out to The cliff on the date of his death because The outcome would still be the same. The story ends with The author writing about how this whole experience had given The Judge’s Wife a reason to live since she was able to spend all her time looking into The Judge’s death trying to figure out exactly what happened.