The Wife's Tale by Lori Lansens. I read this book for my on-line bookclub "Word Shakers" hosted by Sheila at "One Person's Journey Through a World of Books."
What can I say about this book? First off, let me remind you that I am NOT a book reviewer...I could never write with such expression and articulation as most book bloggers do. I, however, do have the gift of gab, and I can talk about books forever and not get tired.
I read The Wife's Tale in 2 days. I was running late, but didnt' want to miss out on the discussion and being a part of the group. At first, I was disappointed and wasn't sure I liked the book well enough to read it in 2 days. I did not like Mary, the main character very well.
For a bit of background, Mary was morbidly obese and reclusive and dependant on her husband for everything. My reason for not liking Mary was not because she was obese or introverted (which later turned to reclusivness), but because she was such an unhappy, unconfident, miserable person. It's hard to like someone when they feel sorry for themselves all the time, which Mary did. Her life was all about self-pity and eating.
But as the book progressed, and Mary began to emerge as a stronger person, a person who had thoughts and ideas and opinions, she became much more interesting and I began to want to know what was going to happen to her. She lost some weight during the course of the book, but she was still a big woman...and that's okay, because she grew in other ways...opened herself to others and let them in to her life.
My favorite minor character might have been her husband Jimmy, who was never actually in the book, except in memories. Jimmy abandoned her on the eve of their 25th wedding anniversary. In real life, abandonment is a cruel, cruel thing to do, and it was in the book too, but Mary could never have had her life changing adventures if that crisis hadn't taken place in her life. She had kind memories of Jimmy and how he treated her during their marriage, and by looking back, she could see that there were things she could have done different. She was just filled with so much guilt over an incident that took place the day before her wedding that she let it fill her whole life and it took over in the way of food and inertia, and eventually ruined her marriage and could have ruined her life. Until Jimmy left her and forced her to life.
So, Jimmy was a great minor character, whom we never met.
I liked the book. I had read "The Girls" by Lansens a couple of years ago and really enjoyed that one. One other minor thing that Lansens did in this book, was to have the characters Mary, Jimmy and their families/friends, live in the same town as the characters in her novel "The Girls". It's mentioned in passing a couple of times--the conjoined twins who lived in the town, but were dead now.
I always like a connection that.
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