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My Only Wife Paperback – May 8, 2012
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
There is a sense of chaos involved in the act of falling in love, a lack of control, and quite possibly a hint of something tragic, a chance to be hurt. This applies to the slim but haunting novel My Only Wife (Dzanc Books) by Jac Jemc. In marriage there is the possibility of intimacy, a merging of spirit and life, but the reality can be a dense caryatid carved out of lies, mysteries, and selfish acts.
My Only Wife is about an unnamed couple, a husband who has fallen and surrendered, and a deceptive, passionate and quirky wife. The way Jemc renders their story is painful in its depiction of beauty and love, vicious in its evocation of what a broken heart feels like--the eternal echo of a call left unanswered.
I don't usually point out epigraphs, but the two that open up this novel are so perfectly selected that I need to mention them up front. The first is from Emily Dickinson:
"That those who know her, know her less
The nearer her they get."
And the second is from Leonard Cohen:
"Is this what you wanted? To live in a house that was haunted by the ghost of you and me?"
The wife is an enigma, defying expectations--inclusive and dependent one minute, reclusive and absent the next--and the Cohen lines, especially, touch on the idea of a cruel mistress (or master) who would ask a lover to stay in a place where there is only the ghost of what used to be.
The wife is a waitress, and though she keeps her thoughts and interpretations private, she has a unique ability to listen, to pull hidden narratives from her customers as if laying her hands on them to rid their souls of demons, and she shares their personal matters with her husband.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Poetically vibrant narrative. Great for lingering reads, quick revisits, a novel I'll continue to come back to.Published 6 months ago by Jenny Bostrom
Excellent! I love the author's style of writing. I felt like I knew the only wife - every eccentric part of her. Read morePublished on December 14, 2013 by E Jones
I started this book a few weeks after my first child was born. I wasn't sure how well I'd be able to focus, but Jemc's compelling, conceptual work kept me hanging from chapter to... Read morePublished on March 22, 2013 by Chelsey D. Hillyer