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An Inconvenient Wife
 
 

An Inconvenient Wife [Kindle Edition]

Megan Chance
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Review

"Chance wonderfully intermingles fictitious characters with actual historical figures."

Product Description

AN INCONVENIENT WIFE is a rich blend of suspense, social history (America in the 1880s), and passion. Chance delivers a powerfully written page-turner about a woman's struggle to escape the confines of her time, class, and gender. Literary historical fiction is an extremely popular genre, as demonstrated by such bestsellers as Matthew Pearl's "The Dante Club (Random House, 2/03) and Michael Faber's "The Crimson Petal and the White (Harcourt, 9/02). Megan Chance is the author of "Susannah Morrow (Warner, 10/02), which captured the extraordinary drama of the Salem witch trials; as well as the historical romance novels "A Season in Eden (Harper, 1999), "The Gentleman Caller (Harper, 1998), "The Way Home (Harper, 1997), and "Fall from Grace (Harper, 1997).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 839 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (30 May 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FOUP92U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #277,647 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic 5 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback
This book is screaming to be adapted into a movie. This was my second novel by Megan Chance ( " Susannah Morrow" being the first which I enjoyed a lot reading it) and I have to say I absolutely loved reading this novel where we are not quite certain who the villains or the victims are. I really liked how it ended which reminded me of Sarah Waters'" Fingersmith". For those who claim that it is clear that Megan Chance was a romance writer before writing more serious novels, I do not agree. Megan Chance is a very accomplished writer and created a wonderful though twisted tale about a woman feeling restrained by family and society....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  110 reviews
74 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1800's New York... 20 Sep 2005
By Mercedes J. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This was a really good book set in NYC in 1885. A time when women were allowed no freedoms, and her place was to see to the house, the servants, and her husband. This is Lucy Carlton's story. A woman who was born into wealth and privilege, bred to be the epitome of high-class and high society. Lucy marries William Carlton, a stock-broker who is not of her class, but makes enough money for the upper-class folks that they seemingly except him.

Lucy struggles with fits of hysteria, and frequent headaches, and is absent or leaves early from many social gatherings. William has taken her to doctor after doctor, and nothing seems to be working...untill she starts seeing Dr. Victor Seth. Dr. Seth is a doctor of neurology, something the folks of 1885 have never heard of before. No one knows what to think of his treatments of hypnotism, but the therapy is working wonders for Lucy...for the most part.

Dr. Seth proves to be the best and worst thing to happen to Lucy. While the hysteria fits have ended, new problems start plaguing her. She finds herself doing and feeling things that are totally foreign to her, and make William feel threatened. In the end, Lucy and William's life together will never be the same, and lies and scandal hit the high society of NYC.

Overall a great read...the ending was excellent, something I never would of expected, and the descriptions of the time period were wonderful. The clothes, the houses, the way of life for the most important citizens of NYC, and the limitations on women of the day. I definitely won't think twice about picking up another book from this author!
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story 10 Sep 2004
By Annie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Lucy always wanted to be free to be her own woman but as she was being raised by her father, he buried her spirit by making Lucy give up anything that was important to her... religion, poetry, and painting. Once she was married, her husband did the same thing because he wanted a proper woman who acted the way a woman of the upper class should act. With no way to live out her dreams, Lucy suffered from hysteria and was not able to conceive a child. William sent her to many doctors to help her but nobody could until Victor Seth came into the picture. He was a neurologist that used hypnosis to help women with nerve problems. His treatment was unkown and criticized, but they were willing to try as a last resort before sending Lucy to the asylum. Victor made great strides with the treatment of Lucy and in the process they became involved with each other. Lucy was cured, but then she became an "inconvenience" to William because he could no longer control her. When William found out what was going on between Lucy and Victor he sent her away against her wishes which brought on a chain of events that has serious repercussions.

I found Megan Chance when she published Susannah Morrow and I really enjoyed it so I figured I would try An Inconvenient Wife too. Megan is a very talented author that has the rare ability to bring you into a story and keep you there right to the end.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Psychological -Historical Tale 17 April 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is what I imagine would have happened to Rose (Titanic) if she had married Cal (the "bad guy")and gone on to suffer the marriage/life restrictions of her era and class. It is very well-written in first-person and occurs in Victorian New York. Lucy suffers from "hysteria," a common diagnosis of female neuroses in that time, and her socially-conscious husband takes her to the new doctor in town, Dr. Victor Seth. Dr. Seth's treatments and ensuing relationship with Lucy create interesting emotional dilemmas for Lucy, her husband and Dr. Seth. The story and plot were original, absorbing and shocking: womens' health issues were not treated back then as they are today! I highly recommend this book if you seek a change from the "cookie-cutter" variety of historical fiction or romance novels.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical fiction and social commentary wrapped into one 10 Sep 2005
By doctor_beth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Socialite Lucy Carelton has been plagued with problems throughout her married life; she suffers from "fits" and has been diagnosed with hysteria as well as various other neurological disorders. Furthermore, she has failed to conceive a child, which, for a late 19th century woman, is virtually her sole life's purpose. Lucy, however, has always wanted more, which is what got her into trouble in the first place. In the book's prelude, Lucy's latest doctor suggests that she be placed in an asylum, which both Lucy and her husband view as out of the question.

Fast-forward to one year later: there's a new doctor in town. Dr. Victor Seth is the subject of both controversy and praise, and at her husband's urging, Lucy becomes his patient. Not longer after, however, her husband begins to question this decision. Lucy seems better, yet she is engaging in "strange" behavior such as drawing--something her father forbade her to do as a child. The more Lucy works with Dr. Seth, the more independent she becomes, and at the same time, the boudaries of the doctor-patient relationship begin to blur. This story is at times riveting, at times shocking, and overall a worthwhile read.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The unveiling-or is it the creation?-of a woman's true soul 5 Feb 2008
By Lilly Flora - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I first started getting serious about historical fiction I came across this book many times. It even was on my whish list for a while but in the end I decided to focus on areas that were more interesting to me like the middle ages and early age of enlightenment. In the past few days I had the opportunity to read "An Inconvenient Wife" and I was completely stunned by how good this book was.

This book is written like a mystery almost, but without the mystery. It's about long ago medical practices know thought of ridiculous and insane but it manages not to make fun of them and to stay very much in the period. And it has the most stunning characterization of any book I've read in a long time.

Lucy is a very inconvenient wife. Over the four years of her marriage to her very upper class Knickerbockers father's stockbroker she has had fits, headaches, weakness, is addicted to laudanum and has been unable to conceive, all of which is trying the patience of her loving husband William. Finally at the end of his rope William takes Lucy to the newest doctor in New York, a new breed of physician called a neurologist, a man named Victor Seth.

Told through Lucy's first person prospective and Victor's clinical notes, the story unfolds into a complicated tale of thwarted desire and passion. Lucy's medical problems deemed to be from a lack of passion and as Victor works with hypnosis they improve but he is soon of possession of Lucy's deepest secrets while William, facing the new and improved Lucy is daunted and displeased.

Everyone in this book is a complicated and complete person and that is what the book so good. Lucy-what is wrong with her? I couldn't make heads or tails of her medical problems and growing personality. Is she truly improved-or is at all just the power of suggestion? And does the same apply to her new personality? Victor is equally troubling because of his control over Lucy through hypnosis. Is he really just seeing her as an experiment or is he truly beginning to care for her? Is he horrifying or just brilliant? And William-well in a way William has the biggest secret of all.

This is a stunning book that is highly atmospheric of high society in old New York and what women had to go through to be seen as socially acceptable. The whole "hysteria" diagnosis is horrifying and a reminder of how little we used to know about the human brain. And the book has a twisty, swervy often dark plot with things you will never expect. In the end though, it is about the creation or unveiling of a true soul and watching Lucy change, from the very first line of the book to the very last, is a fascinating journey you will not soon forget.

Five stars.
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