Happenstance: Two Novels in One About a Marriage in Transition
These two unique novels tell the stories of Jack and Brenda Bowman during a rare weekend apart in their many years of marriage. Jack is at home coping with domestic crises and two uncouth adolescents, while immobilized by self-doubt and questioning his worth as a historian. Brenda, travelling alone for the first time, is in a strange city grappling with an array of emotion...more
The first book of the year is complete. I'm ecstatic and relieved. This book was not what I assumed it would be. I must admit I was curious and excited about reading a two sided book. I thought one side is the wife, flipping the book upside/backwards we read the husband, is pretty clever. Why not? There are two sides to every story. I'm going to read the wife's point of view and then the husbands for the same situation. But this is not what ...more
Each of them has been peopled by a married couple with children. Each of them has been full of gentle and startling insights into self and relationships. Shields shows ordinary folks as the simple, complex, base and nobe beings we all are. Her characters are Everyman. After I finished this boo ...more
Finished. Felt an odd loyalty towards Brenda, based purely on gender, ...more
The conventioneer the wife meets really annoyed me; I thought that he was really corny! However I'm not saying the character was unrealistic...
I'm going to read something else in between the books as I started The Husband's Story and found I need a break between the two.
I found the husband's story more interesting than the wife's, t ...more
Here's a passage I liked:
But anything can break the fragile arc of fortune, anything. There are casualties everywhere; Brenda is always running into them or hearing about them. She has been one of the lucky on ...more
At times I did get bored with the style of writing and irritated by the continual use of interrupted dialogue.
I recommend reading The Husband's Story first, though you could go either way.
Catching up with a big backlog of read books, hence very short writeups.
This is two separate stories The Wife's Tale and The Husband's Tale set during the same period of time. It wasn't anything like I thought it was going to be. They are really quite loosely joined pieces and weren't originally published as a set.