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The Senator's Wife (Vintage Contemporaries) Paperback – January 6, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Sue Miller gracefully addresses her perennial theme--our intimate betrayals--in her subtle and satisfying novels. Visit Amazon's Sue Miller Page.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's the other heroine of the book, Meri. She starts off seeming ungrounded and unanchored. Midway through the book she turns creepy. By the end of the book she's so self-absorbed she takes part in one of the biggest trainwreck moments I've read in a long, long time. Yet in the epilogue she's happy as a clam, justifying her actions as "an act of love."
I kept hoping that Meri's husband would start cheating on her and we'd have Delia and Meri providing a generational mirror of how women react to infidelity. That would have been a cliche but Miller might have made it interesting. It also would have forced Meri to deal with her marriage in terms of something other than sex and passive-agressive withdrawal.
Weirdly, the most self-aware person in the book seems to be the Senator himself. He admits that he's not capable of staying faithful to his wife even when he wants to be. Delia convinces herself she's faced this about her husband but, tragically, she has not.
But Delia is the centerpiece of Miller's engaging novel, a self-contained woman who has learned at last to make peace with an untrustworthy husband and the shattering of a dream, his peccadilloes finally driving a wedge into their marriage. Delia survives, healing with time and circumstance, the façade of gentility intact. And Delia's natural generosity toward Meri is not significant, at least to the senator's wife, caught up in her own emotions as the ground shifts once more in her relationship with Tom, a long-hoped for contretemps shimmering on the horizon.Read more ›
For starters, the main character is a woman named Meri, who behaves reprehensibly throughout the book. At the end, though, we're supposed to believe she somehow matured into awonderful, loving mother. There were far too many undotted i's and uncrossed t's for me to join the author in making this leap. And the Senator and his wife behaved as twin orbiting death stars, not as real people making understandable decisions.
At the end of the book, I felt a huge sense of missed opportunity for the novel. Such a great author, but such a frustrating plot line, with main characters that seemed to revel in self-destructive behavior. In the end, I concluded they were stuck in a story where they made a series of implausibly-dumb life decisions, and was glad to put these characters back on the bookshelf.
Alternating chapters from the perspectives of Delia, a grandmother who is the "Senator's Wife," and Meri, a woman in her mid-30s who is fascinated by the quiet glamour of Delia, move the story from 1993 to present day. Meri and her husband Nathan, a college professor, move to the split house. The decision to purchase their portion of the dwelling is based on his fascination with Delia's husband, a notorious senator, now retired. The senator is mysterious and although he is rarely seen, he is very much a part of the story. Delia's excerpts explain their complicated relationship in detail. But the thrust of the story centers on Meri's fascination with Delia, hence the title, and how the relationship between the women leads to the climax.
The Senator's Wife is a fundamental look at life. It's a look at young marriage and an aged marriage lived side-by-side. It's a look at long process of raising children from birth to middle age, and at finding one's place as a caregiver. It's not action-packed or even very exciting, but for fans of Sue Miller and for those readers who appreciate strong character development, I do recommend reading this novel.
Michele Cozzens is the author of It's Not Your Mother's Bridge Club.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After a promising start in which a young couple move into a house next door to a former Senator, obviously based on one of the Kennedy clan, this novel just seizes up and becomes... Read morePublished 1 hour ago by John Fitzpatrick
Original, complete review can be found on blog HereWeAreGoing, here: https://herewearegoing.wordpress. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Charles W Smith
I never received the book! I ordered it as a kindle and it never showed up!Published 2 months ago by R. Lloyd
A realistic and unflinching look at the lives of two women in the context of their marriages. Meri, who is newly married and pregnant finds herself missing the intimacy connection... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Paolo & Francesca
Well-constructed plot and an all-around good read. Characters are convincingly depicted. Could do with a little less detail in some parts, where detail didn't necessarily... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lois Baldwin DeVoe
This was my first Sue Miller novel. I like the way she writes and the depth of her characters. Its definitely well worth reading. Read morePublished 5 months ago by CTShoeShopper
Great story! I was intrigued by the characters and their involvement with each other.Published 5 months ago by Susan Holman