ContemporaryThe Wife by Meg Wolitzer

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer

Do you ever open a book and just *know*? A couple of weeks ago, a lovely friend of mine, whose son is in the same class as my daughter, inquired as to whether I’d read any books by @megwolitzer. I replied that I hadn’t. She literally did not believe me and felt that this situation needed immediate rectification. The next day, I found this book and another by the same author (The Interestings) in my daughter’s school bag. I pulled out The Wife (nope, I haven’t yet seen the movie!) first, opened it and did what I always do with a new book — I can only describe it as a three-second fanning-flick through of the pages. Then I stopped to scan a random page and I just *knew*. The font itself, the amount of dialogue versus narrative description, the size of the text — who knows, but I knew I was going to LOVE this. And boy, did I!

This is the story of Joan and Joe Castleman, married for forty years; the latter a famous author who is about to receive the renowned Helsinki Prize for literature and the former his dutiful wife who has, on board the flight to receive said prize, decided she is going to leave him. This book genuinely ticked every single box for me. Wolitzer’s observations and her genuine understanding of people — their strengths, weaknesses, motivations and secrets — is second to none. Her writing reminds me of Jonathan Franzen’s — his book, The Corrections is one that I adore — and her telling of the seemingly mundane is simply spectacular. I did sense what was coming but savoured Wolitzer’s brilliant prose the whole way through. There’s always something special about being recommended a fantastic book but when that opens the door to an author you’ve never read before (I’ve already ordered two more books by @megwolitzer) well that, for me, is the ultimate jackpot!

~ Sophie 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *