The Wife's Tale Paperback – 5 Aug 2010
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"A sensitive but deliciously comic account of Mary's fight against the "obeast" that has lived inside her since childhood, The Wife's Tale offers more than self--improvement: there are loving reflections on marriage and family in small-town Ontario, hilarious travelogues about American obsessions like McMansions and vanity license plates, and a tender documentary of the improbable compassion of strangers for fellow travelers. Of course, there's plenty of self-discovery too.... Lansens has more than a few tales worth telling."-- New York Times Sunday Book Review "Casey Cep " "Lansens's hopeful and gentle third novel (after "The Girls"), opens in the same fictitious Ontario county as its predecessors, but the heroine's journey takes her to a vastly different landscape, both literally and spiritually... Mary Gooch's [is] a wonderful character, and Lansens's handling of her eventual transformation into someone capable of compassion and acceptance is handled with a light but assured touch."-- Publishers Weekly "Lansens' clear prose unveils the connection between a body weighed down by flesh and a spirit smothered by loneliness. Mary's odyssey of heartache and hope is not so much about finding her husband as it is about rediscovering herself."-- People "Lansens--who lived so memorably inside the heads of conjoined twins Ruby and Rose in "The Girls"--sketches another indelible female character here. Mary Gooch... [is] original... heartbreakingly funny and sad."-- Entertainment Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
* From the author of the Richard and Judy bestseller THE GIRLS, comes a novel about the extraordinary lives of ordinary peopleSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
Jim Gooch just up and leaves Ontario one day. He sends his devastated wife Mary a short note, saying he'd won some money in the lottery, and is off to try to discover just what he does want. Mary traces him to his estranged mother's house in suburban Los Angeles and she gets on a plane - for the first time in her life - to see if she can find him. He has deposited $25,000 in her bank account, so she has some money. Alone in the San Fernando Valley, Mary makes friends and begins to live her own life. She also loses the voracious appetite that has dogged her her entire life. As Mary makes the transition - both in body and spirit - we follow along.
Lansens is such a good writer that no one comes out the villain in the story. She works with the nuances in her characters' lives and they are all flawed, but interesting people. This story is really good.
Mary is greatly overweight, having spent life battling the "Obeast" her rather obsessive personality makes her real and easy to realte to for those of us who aren't perfect. Having found friendhsips difficult and life a battle, she finds the sudden freedom of having her husband walk out on her with no warning, a terrifying event and one to which she has little idea of how to react.
Journey with her and enjoy the fabulously real characters Lansens creates, including the eponymous Mary who is, in many ways, larger than life.
Yes, I can see why some people found Mary to be frustrating, but I found her to be sympathetically written and one of life's true gentle souls. Her emergence as her own person as she steps out of the shadow of her husband and marriage is fascinating and I couldn't put the book down towards the end. I enjoyed it so much that I have already lined up Rush Home Road to read next. Definitely recommended.
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What happened to Gooch? Why did he leave her? Was it he that was drawing the money out and making the silent phone calls?Read more