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The Wife: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 228 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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A New York Times Notable Book
"A rollicking, perfectly pitched triumph. . . Wolitzer's talent for comedy of manners reaches a heady high."
—Los Angeles Times
"Acerbically funny . . . Wolitzer keeps us guessing right up until the gut-wrenching twist of a finale."
"To say that The Wife is Wolitzer's most ambitious novel to date is an understatement. This important book introduces another side of a writer we thought we never knew: Never before has she written so feverishly, so courageously."
—The Washington Post
"Deploys a calm, seamless humor. . . Rage might be the signature emotion of the powerless, but in Wolitzer's hands, rage is also very funny."
—The New York Times Book Review
"The Wife isn't just women's lit with feminist issues. Deft and passionate, it raises questions about misguided aims and the deals we make with ourselves and others to reach them."
"There are women in New York City who would kill to be Joan Castleman . . . [Wolitzer] paints an urbane picture of the book world of the '50s and '60s, when male writers would put down their pens and use their fists. Her hilarious gripes about marriage make this tale a pleasure best indulged in away from your better half."
"Meg Wolitzer's sixth novel, The Wife, may be her boldest yet—an exploration of the passionate highs and divorce-threatening lows of Joan and Joe Castleman's forty-year marriage, delivered with signature wit, warmth, and a wise, woman's-eye view."
"The Wife speeds along, glittering all the way, equal parts Jane Austen and Fran Lebowitz: epigrammatic, perceptive, ironic, smart, and ringing with truth. . . . [It] crackles with such intensity that it's hard to put down for a few hours. . . . [Wolitzer] grabs hold of that brass ring of universal experience and takes us all along for the carousel ride."
—The Buffalo News
"The Wife is a difficult book to put down, written with Wolitzer's customary wit and verve."
—The Raleigh News & Observer
"Diabolically smart and funny . . . Wolitzer choreographs [Joan Castelman's] ire into kung fu-precision moves to zap our every notion about gender and status, creativity and fame, individuality and marriage, deftly exposing the injustice, sorrow, and sheer absurdity of it all."
"A tale of witty disillusionment . . . Wolitzer's crisp pacing and dry wit carry us headlong into a devastating message about the price of love and fame. If it's a story we've heard before, the tale is as resonant as ever in Wolitzer's hands."
"[The Wife] features amazingly crafted prose. . . . Complete with a staggering twist ending, this is not one to miss."
"A triumph of tone and observation, The Wife is a blithe, brilliant take on sexual politics and literary vanity (as well as sexual vanity and literary politics). It is the most engaging, funny, and satisfying novel the witty Meg Wolitzer has yet written."
"Meg Wolitzer's sixth novel is her best—an astonishingly dry, funny, and gripping account of two writers trapped for life in an evermore bizarre marriage. Every detail she evokes about an era in American literary life, from college campuses to writers' parties, is persuasive, hilarious, and even frightening, while the indignation she registers about her heroine's predicaments is lightened and even liberated by her perfect comic timing. The Wife is a milestone in the career of one of her generation's truest novelists."
"The wife of The Wife is a brilliantly conceived character, smart and foolish, tough-minded and weak-willed, witty and profoundly sad. And Meg Wolitzer's observations about gender and creativity: They are not only pointed, but penetrating. She has written some fine novels, but this is her best yet!"
"How does Meg Wolitzer do it? Write those witty, deft, hilarious sentences that add up to so much tragic understanding of life? The Wife is a funny, sad, beautiful novel. Unforgettable."
"Unflinching and acute, The Wife packs a ferocious punch. And that is before Wolitzer's stunning twist of an ending. If you've ever wondered what a female Philip Roth would write, here is the answer."
"Funny, smart, sad, gripping, and utterly surprising. Meg Wolitzer's subjects are the yin and yang of love and hate, and the various strange and shadowy transactions at the heart of a marriage—specifically a marriage between members of that cohort too young to snuggle easily into the certainties of the Greatest Generation and too old to catch feminism's wave."
"A complex, compelling portrait of a marriage that raises painful issues, even as it has you howling with recognition."
About the Author
- File Size : 2793 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 228 pages
- Publication Date : November 1, 2007
- Publisher : Scribner; Media Tie-In Edition (November 1, 2007)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00ADSC5KC
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #57,362 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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An older man, a writer and professor, becomes fascinated with one of his students at Smith College, and after seeing how well she writes, and that he is attracted to her, never mind that he is married and a new father. Well, let’s leave it there. The book spans their relationship. Narrated by the wife herself. It is filled with subtle humor as well as heated topics such as women being suppressed by men, forfeiting careers, and men using sex as power.
Wolitzer’s natural ability to create characters who occupy the page allows you to absorb everything about them. You can’t help it. They are alive. You might dislike them, disagree with them, or want to urge them to take a step back, but you are invested in their path.
If you’re a fan of Ms. Wolitzer’s writing and have not read this book, pick it up. Before you see the movie.
Other reviewers have said they guessed the 'twist' earlier in the book, but I have to confess, I did not. Does that make me naïve? Simple-minded? I hope not. Rather, I've been in her shoes...the wife of a powerful man/main breadwinner/an admired by many CEO--and so I know how she felt--believed it all. She was his appendage, living in his shadow, a supporting cheerleader, albeit his spouse, mother of his children, keeper of the laundry, shopper for the pantry, Chief Bottle Washer who organized bountiful parties and family gatherings--and did what her husband told her to do. I was the woman behind the man--who was never asked by guests at those big corporate gatherings what I did, if I'd ever had a 'career', as if a college degree was a blank piece of paper. Motherhood and Wifedom was the end of our destinies.
I was a Joan, too, so naturally, believed every word she spoke, felt every nuance she felt...in the beginning.
And then, when the plot began to reveal more, I felt sort of vindicated. I wanted to stand up and cheer for her strength, her ability to finally say 'enough'. So many of we wives reach that point. Right then and there, she'd earned a Gold Star! As did the author!
Thank you, Meg Wolitzer, for telling it like it is...or was for so many of us.
"Everyone knows how women soldier on, how women dream up blueprints, recipes, ideas for a better world, and then sometimes lose them on the way to the crib in the middle of the night, on the way to Stop and Shop, or the bath. They lose them on the way to greasing the path on which their husband and children will ride serenely through life."
Top reviews from other countries
The prose style is lovely and occasionally really affecting. It jumps around through their lives together without ever feeling as though the author is hiding anything or pushing the reader in any particular direction. The style seems to get more confident as the book goes on, reflecting Joan's decision taking shape as she rakes over past happenings. It also has a cracking ending that left me entirely heartbroken and frustrated, not with the novel or the author, but with the circumstances. It really pricked my sense of natural justice. Beyond that I felt (I'm a bloke by the way) like I got a real insight into the lives of women. The expectations placed on women, the manner in which they are expected to abdicate personal authority and ambition for either a family or just a man is something I sort of accepted as fact but hadn't thought deeply about. This novel made me think a great deal about the subject and how equal relationships really are.
I'd really recommend this, to men specifically. It's well written, funny and smart and will give you an insight into the deal that couples enter into and how the expectations are different depending on whether or not you have dangly bits. I'm now off to read more Meg Wolitzer, she's really good!
I had no real expectations with this book, in fact I barely even knew what it was about. I have read ‘The Female Persuasion’ by Meg Wolitzer previously and gave it a 2 out of 5 rating but I approached ‘The Wife’ with an open mind.
The main character and narrator is Joan. We are introduced to Joan as she is on a flight with her husband of many years, Joe, to collect a major literary award that he has been awarded. During the course of the flight, Joan makes the decision to leave Joe. What then follows is a series of flashbacks through Joan and Joe’s relationship and the events that unfurl as Joan announces that she is leaving Joe.
I read this book purely on its entertainment merit. I didn’t think about any political or feminist angles and did not take the time to try and analyse the words and phrases that Wolitzer has used. Based on that, I enjoyed this book. I felt the writing flowed well and it was easy to understand which tense we were in. The characters are interesting, if slightly predictable. A strong, highly educated and suppressed female and a weak, useless but somehow successful male seem to be characters that Wolitzer leans towards.
There were some slower parts of the book for me and I saw the ending and the ‘twist’ coming but this didn't detract from my overall enjoyment. I found myself thinking about this book in between reads and looking forward to when I could next read it.