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His Wife and Daughters by [Tokunaga, Wendy Nelson]
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His Wife and Daughters Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Length: 246 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 775 KB
  • Print Length: 246 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: December 19, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006O33VV2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #904,870 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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'His Wife and Daughters' is a complex look at what happens to a family when a husband and father strays. It is very well written with lots of subplots and different settings (LA, San Fran, Japan)to keep the story moving forward at a good pace. It is insightful and real, with some very edgy scenes. Ms. Arbor does a great job at a difficult task - writing from three character's perspectives. It is fitting that we never hear from the man himself, only from the women's POV, leaving us only to guess his side of the story and emotions.
My only criticism is that I didn't really like any of the characters. I do like to fall in love with a protagonist, but here I felt angry at the way each one behaved in certain situations. I realize that flawed characters were necessary to the story's topic however. Ms. Arbor is a very talented writer and she cleverly portrays a scenario that happens all too often in our contemporary society, and the consequences that occur because of it. A solid and enjoyable read.
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His Wife and Daughters is a forgiving story of the wife and two daughters of California Congressman Dan Brath. Trina Brath deals with her husband's infidelities in a few ways--some helpful, some not--and shows how a woman in her situation can still lead a dignified life, even if it takes years to get there. Jill, the older daughter, is a divorced realtor. Although the story is often sad, I found myself laughing out loud when Jill thinks her ex-husband is about to ask her back or when she spills coffee all over herself in a public spectacle at a cafe. She's so human and sympathetic. And her younger sister, Phoebe, is portrayed as a lost soul who feels betrayed by her parents and her sister after her father's sex scandal goes viral when Phoebe is at the tender age of 13.

I love the San Francisco setting, especially Potrero Hill, which was the closest nice neighborhood to where I lived for a couple years in the 90s. But I had no idea about San Francisco's stairway streets. One could take a walking tour of many of the places in this book--and see a side of San Francisco off the tourist path. The story also takes place in Tokyo and in Koreatown in Los Angeles, as well as in Mt. Shasta in Northern California.

If I could change one thing about this book, I'd add a disclaimer at the beginning warning readers not to start this book on an empty stomach. The food descriptions are just too delicious to read when you're hungry!
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We have all seen politicians standing behind a podium, confessing to an extramarital affair while his wife stands stoically beside him. I always have the same thoughts - How can she just STAND there??? Where is her self-respect??? And more important - how can he subject her to such indignity??? For these reasons, I could not muster an ounce of sympathy for Trina, the constantly cheated-upon Congressman's wife in "His Wife and Daughters", and I wonder if that's how the author intended it. Trina has got Hillary Clinton's "stand by your man and protect the image at all costs" attitude multiplied by 100. At least we could imagine Hillary giving Bill hell in private. Trina, on the other hand, asks herself, "Where would I be without my husband? I couldn't imagine no longer being Mrs. Dan Brath. Being his wife was a privilege." She seems to accept Dan's serial infidelity as just the cost of doing business as a political spouse. On nights when he deigns to come home to her, rather than spend it with a mistress, she showers him with affection. She blames the women, but absolves her husband of all culpability.

Dan's line to Trina after having his most recent affair with Lesley, a 19 year old intern is exposed: "It's my duty to protect you from any further pain." Great job, pal! When repeatedly questioned by the media about his affair with Lesley, Dan continues to deny. He insists to Trina that he has nothing to apologize for and that his personal life is his business alone (although his constituents might not see it that way.)

The only real innocents in all the sordid mess are the couple's daughters, Jill and Phoebe, who were teenagers at the time the scandal exploded. Years later, they continue to be impacted, but both have dealt with the situation in very different ways.
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Although sensational and devastating, HIS WIFE AND DAUGHTERS is a quiet little novel about real people. Yes politicians are real people with real families and yet somehow, sometimes, power corrupts. Dan Brath loves his wife and two daughters or at least they choose to believe so. Yet the reader never knows what Dan thinks or feels, only Trina, Jill, and Phoebe speak of him in this mesmerizing tale. And what they do and say may stun, annoy, or simply amaze you to wonder: How could they or how could they not?

Kim Arbor holds love and loyalty to the ultimate test in this timely book!
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Dan Brath's wife and two daughters are the main victims of Representative Brath's adultery with a teenage congressional intern. Sadly, it's an all-too common story. The image that most sticks with me is of Trina, his wife, standing beside him with a fake smile plastered on her face while he lies through his teeth to reporters about the affair. Trina is one of those "stand by your man" wives who can rationalize pretty much anything and remind herself that she took vows that she will keep, even if he doesn't. By the end of the book the reader is left wondering if maybe her philosophy has a little merit. Not that I would do it, but I could see where she was coming from.

Daughters Jill and Phoebe, teenagers when the affair was the talk of the nation, as adults struggle to trust men, and they just want to keep a low profile. Jill, divorced, is a not-very-successful realtor in San Francisco, and Phoebe escapes to Japan. We get to see how each member of the family fights to deal with the fall-out from the adultery. Except for Dan Brath. He floats above the fray and lives his life, seemingly able to adapt to every circumstance, even abject poverty, with equanimity.

Don't start this book if you're hungry. The descriptions of the food are enticing, as are the descriptions of San Francisco. I don't know the city well, but the next time I go I want to see the staircase streets that the author describes so beautifully.

My only complaint is that we never find out why Lesley Chisholm did what she did to Dan Brath. I felt a little gypped about that. Why would anybody disappear for months, leaving her lover hanging out to dry, and never once explain it?

Other than that, if you're looking for a summer book to enjoy in your hammock with a vodka tonic and chips, this is it. Look no farther.
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