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The Wife's Tale: A Novel by Lori…
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The Wife's Tale: A Novel (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Lori Lansens

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4986720,501 (3.62)69
Member:teelgee
Title:The Wife's Tale: A Novel
Authors:Lori Lansens
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library, Read in 2011
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fiction, own, 2011, RR gift (Lee), women writers, favorite authors

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The Wife's Tale by Lori Lansens (2009)

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» See also 69 mentions

English (64)  Dutch (1)  Piratical (1)  Italian (1)  All (67)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
I LOVED this book. I did not want it to end. I want to follow Mary Gooch onward in her life. I loved her so much. She is so real and becomes so brave . She is so good to people so innocent and kind.I have so many questions for her. Mary, do you find Jimmy Gooch your husband who disappears on your 25th wedding anniversary? Mary, how much did Jimmy win in the lottery? Mary, do you continue to lose weight? Do you stay in California or go back to Leaford Ontario? What happens to your friends, Ronnie with the triplets, Your mother in law Eden? Hay SU the Mexican pool guy? Do you want Jimmy back?
Such a good book. ( )
  Smits | Jun 12, 2017 |
I'm going with the goodreads description of 2 stars as "just OK". ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
I enjoyed The Wife's Tale very much. Some reader reviews complain that the story is unrealistic, but I see the "Tale" part of the title telling us that this was never supposed to be exactly realistic. It's a story, and like other tales, it's the story of a journey.

Mary Gooch is morbidly obese and lives a life of relative isolation in small town Southern Ontario. On the eve of her 25th wedding anniversary, her devoted husband abandons her. Shocked out of her malaise, she goes to his family in Southern California looking for him. Along the way she meets many wonderfully-drawn characters and discovers herself. I also found that at the sentence level the writing was often rather wonderful.

The book is not perfect and if I wanted to nitpick, I could pick away. There was one point midway through the novel that I thought the author was taking us down a cliched predictable path. But then she veered away, and the story went off in a direction, and toward a conclusion, that I didn't predict at all.

Although I don't believe the author meant the story to be realistic in itself, the details of the story are crisp and evocative. I particularly delighted in her descriptions of life in the small area of SoCal where she sets the second half of The Wife's Tale, as it's a corner of the world I know very well. Even though she changed some of the names (Thousand Oaks was decimated and became Hundred Oaks, for example), the real world setting is clear, right down to the corner where she meets the Mexican men (just one of many example). I love that sort of verisimilitude in a novel, although I know others couldn't care less.

Years ago I read the same author's The Girls, which I found massively disappointing. I'm happy to say that this one was much better. ( )
3 vote Nickelini | Jul 25, 2016 |
Just wasn't working for me. I get that mary's learned to define herself as fat, but who taught her that? Herself, and strangers. Her husband and parents loved her. She's witty enough to create the quip 'ogres and obeasts.' But she's so pitiful, at least for the first 10%. So, then I skipped to the end, and it looked like a ridiculous fairy-tale, more implausible than [b:How Stella Got Her Groove Back|958254|How Stella Got Her Groove Back|Terry McMillan|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1179804206s/958254.jpg|558576]. But I could be wrong, so I won't rate it.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
Second time trying and on the verge of giving up. I do not want to give up cause in a way I love that this is about a very fat woman and I love how even though she is huge she comes of as being light. lol cannot explain. Have read 101 pages but I am going to give it another 24. if then still not really enjoying I will quit.
  Marlene-NL | Mar 12, 2016 |
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Alone in the evenings, when the light had drained from the slate roof of her small rural home, and when her husband was working late, Mary Gooch would perform a striptease for the stars at the open bedroom window: shifting out of rumpled bottoms, slipping off blousy top, liberating breasts, peeling panties, her creamy flesh spilling forth until she was completely, exquisitely nude.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316069310, Hardcover)

On the eve of their Silver Anniversary, Mary Gooch is waiting for her husband Jimmy--still every inch the handsome star athlete he was in high school--to come home. As night turns to day, it becomes frighteningly clear to Mary that he is gone. Through the years, disappointment and worry have brought Mary's life to a standstill, and she has let her universe shrink to the well-worn path from the bedroom to the refrigerator. But her husband's disappearance startles her out of her inertia, and she begins a desperate search.

For the first time in her life, she boards a plane and flies across the country to find her lost husband. So used to hiding from the world, Mary finds that in the bright sun and broad vistas of California, she is forced to look up from the pavement. And what she finds fills her with inner strength she's never felt before. Through it all, Mary not only finds kindred spirits, but reunites with a more intimate stranger no longer sequestered by fear and habit: herself.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:16 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

On the eve of their Silver Anniversary, Mary Gooch is waiting for her husband Jimmy to come home. As night turns to day, it becomes frighteningly clear to Mary that he is gone. Through the years, disappointment and worry have brought Mary's life to a standstill, and she has let her universe shrink to the well-worn path from the bedroom to the refrigerator. But her husband's disappearance startles her out of her inertia, and she begins a desperate search.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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