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Een mooie jonge vrouw by Tommy Wieringa
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Een mooie jonge vrouw (2014)

by Tommy Wieringa

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2781361,152 (3.11)19
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» See also 19 mentions

Dutch (7)  English (6)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I meant to read this (like a couple of other books) for #NovNov Novellas in November, but like most of my reading plans, that didn’t happen…
A Beautiful Young Wife is unsettling reading. It’s about the breakup of a relationship, one that was never on a very firm footing anyway, and one that (like so many) doesn’t survive the arrival of the first child. It is disarmingly honest about its central protagonist, Edward Landauer, an eminent virologist, who at the age of 42 has everything he wants… except a wife. Julie Myerson at The Guardian describes it as
an examination of the ageing male heart – a dissection as subtle and tender as it is, ultimately, unnerving.
and yes it is, but it’s also more than that, and I’m not sure from her review if we are on the same page when it comes to closer examination:
For this is a wonderfully disconcerting piece of work which, on a second and even a third reading, only seems to grow more expansive and multifaceted while managing at the same time to remain mysterious and tightly furled.
For me, it’s disconcerting to see reviewers focus on the age difference between the couple, rather than other issues. While Wieringa lovingly sketches the love-at-first-sight romance, my suspicions are that Edward is in love with the idea of a wife, rather than the actual human being he has so fortuitously found.
Ruth is, as she has to be, beautiful. I don’t know in the age of Tinder if there are still ‘personals’ in the press, but they used to make amusing reading… all those women vaguely looking for companionship and romance, and all those men with a shopping list of attributes, all looking for someone who had to be attractive, shorter, with a specified shade of hair and interested in his lifestyle. Ruth’s beauty overwhelms Edward who is fifteen years older than her, and as the reader learns from a dinner party autopsy of their early relationship, there were magical moments:
She excites him terribly, but he doesn’t want to ruin it by being too greedy, by revealing his desperate longing. More than ever, he realises now, being in love connects him with the boy he once was, with the first time, his mouth dry and his heart pounding, the time of all times that followed. He had never married and had never been with one woman for long; he had always remained a collector of first times. (p.9)
Hmm. Are we liking this man?
To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2018/12/06/a-beautiful-young-wife-by-tommy-wieringa-tra... ( )
  anzlitlovers | Dec 5, 2018 |
Another short read. Did not like it as much as the other one. Not sure what the author intends to tell me with this book...
Young & old should not form couples?
You get betrayed?
Relationships intend to strand?
Be careful: before you know it you'll be in the position of someone you despised before?

I think any and all could apply. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Dec 3, 2017 |
This small book is about a man that I disliked from the start. He craves beautiful women, and by that I mean he wants one, to have, like a possession. The story starts at a dinner party where the couple describe their meeting and falling in love to another couple. But the rest of the story is about them as a couple, mainly him.

He's just not very nice! He values measurable success over meaningful occupation, and to go with this he wants gorgeous women on his arm. As his marriage progresses (yay! He got the girl!!) he realises he is tiring of her, even though he thought he could never. It is only at the very very end that he shows any insight into his behaviours and thinking patterns. I guess some people never examine their actions and the reasons for them...but it didn't make the reading experience any more pleasant because I didn't get a sense of how he justified himself, he was just like this. ( )
  LovingLit | Jan 3, 2017 |
Short story of an older scientist who falls in love with a younger woman. After marrying her she becomes pregnant and he begins an affair with an even younger assistant at his work. His wife believes their child can't stand the company of him so he is expelled from the house and starts living/sleeping in his office at the university. After this is forbidden and his affair is stopped but his superior announces 'having trouble with his behaviour and performance' he collapses during one of the last lectures before summer recess.
As a second theme there is also his wife's disgust with him testing medicine on animals and being paid by the pharmaceutical industry for developing medicine against viruses that threaten the bio-industry. He collapses as he remembers how much he cared for a white chicken as a child and now feeling only disgust visiting chickenfarms and advising mass-killing as the cheapest way to contain a virus that maybe will become dangerous for human beings in the future.
But Wieringa is no Coetzee and the story is 'easy reading' about the trouble of the generic elitist white-male that doesnot succeed in staying happy after marrying a (much) younger wife. ( )
  Dettingmeijer | May 27, 2014 |
Een gevoelige roman over ouder worden; een man wordt verliefd op een 15 jaar jongere vrouw. In het begin is alles geweldig, al heeft hij er moeite mee haar te zien bij leeftijdgenoten. Haar vader voorspelt hoe zijn leven zal verlopen: leesbril, prostaatproblemen. Zij wil een kind, zijn sperma is niet zo krachtig, maar uiteindelijk lukt het toch. Dat luidt het einde van de relatie in; hij neemt een minnares, zij duldt hem nauwelijks bij hun kind. Tussendoor mooie verhandelingen over dierproeven, farmacie en commercie. Ik heb ervan genoten! ( )
  elsmvst | Mar 22, 2014 |
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voor mijn wapenbroeders, onniedan
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Het is tijdverdrijf waarmee mannen en vrouwen elkaar tijdens etentjes vermaken, echtparen die elkaar nog niet zo goed kennen. De vraag: 'Hoe hebben jullie elkaar eigenlijk ontmoet?'
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Edward Landauer, a brilliant microbiologist in his forties, meets a beautiful young woman. She is the love of his life, and when the two marry in France, Edward is the happiest man in the world. At first, Ruth Walta appears to represent a victory over time, but even she cannot stop him growing older. After the birth of their long-awaited son, the 'happiness, delicate like filigree' turns into something new, and Edward no longer recognises his great romance nor the woman who induced it.… (more)

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