"The moment I decided to leave him, the moment I thought, enough, we were thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean, hurtling forward but giving the illusion of stillness and tranquility. Just like our marriage." So opens Meg Wolitzer's compelling and provocative novel The Wife, as Joan Castleman sits beside her husband on their flight to Helsinki. Joan's husband, Joseph C ...more
What an odd, despondent little book. This was the first book I have read by Wolitzer and I was struck by her unique writing style - very candid and frank, yet at the same time ornate and flowery. Sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but it is the best way I can describe it. Her distinctive writing style is enough to make me want to pick up another book by her. This particular story, however, became slow somewhere on the back 1/2, and the big "reveal" at the ending was obvious t ...more
Joan Castleman is on an airplane accompanying her husband, writer Joseph Castleman, to Helsinki, Finland where he is being honored with the Helsinki Prize in Literature, one step down from the Nobel Prize for Literature, which he knows that he will not get. Over the next four days, Joan revisits their courtship a ...more
I'm in love so far, complete love, like a Philip Roth novel if Philip Roth weren't so flawed and frustrating. Bad analogy perhaps but she has the same comfort with describing male0-female interactions, a biting sense of humor, a lack of shame regarding human wea ...more
A Mulher é narrado na primeira pessoa por Joan Castleman, uma sexagenária casada com o famoso escritor Joe Castleman. No início da narrativa, encontramo-los num avião rum ...more
"We gave them everything we had. All our possessions were theirs. Our children were theirs. Our lives belonged to them. Our weary, been-through-the-mill bodies were theirs, too, though more often than not they didn't want them anymore."
She's got fresh, beautiful ways of looking at things that are so perfect and sharp and spot-on that it leaves you wondering why you hadn't come to t ...more
I'm seeing a lot of discussion about unlikable characters (I agree) and the author not giving the married partners a chance to demonstrate what made the marriage fail in the way of dialogue and daily interactions (also true).
But to those who say that Joan was a spoiled, stay-at-home mother who made the choice to give up her career, I say that's not fair.
Women didn't have the same opportunit ...more
If you've never read a novel by Meg Wolitzer, you're in for a treat, especially if you've chosen to read The Wife.
As the wife of a successful writer, Joan Castleman makes the decision to leave her husband while in the midst of a flight to Helsinki to attend an award ceremony on his behalf. As Wolitzer switches between past and present, thus unfolds the story of the Castleman's relationship spanning forty years; which according to ...more
Not to be flippant. I was really engaged and think Wolitzer is a tremendously thoughtful writer, word to word. It's just that I needed to believe that the Castleman novels that had received such accolades and moved the plot forward so many times actually existed and had been conceived by this great mind ...more
There is something profoundly intense about Wolitzer's style. This account of a troubled marriage, filled with infidelity and shortcomings, sheds light on the wife's background role in an uneven relationship with a famous novelist. There are some This reminded me a bit of Lily Tuck's writing in I Married ...more
Une histoire mordante écrite sur un ton acide, qui est narrée par Joan, l'épouse du titre, un personnage doté d'une voix aussi forte qu'elle se fait discrète dans la vie courante. Le roman débute dans un avion en route vers Helsinki, où Joan prend la décision de quitter son mari.
Ce roman explore la relation complexe de Joan et de Joe Castleman, son écrivain de mari, des années 50 jusqu'aux années 90. C'est une réflexion sur la place des femmes dans la société américai ...more
Joan Castleman is a disgruntled wife who provides a first person account of her 45 year marriage to Joe, a vain, self-satisfied, unfaithful man who happens to be a very successful author. The story opens with her decision to ...more
Intimate. If I had to describe Meg Wolitzer's The Wife in one word that's what it would be. Intimate not only in scope, focusing on Joan's struggles with her marriage, but in form as well, with the entire novel told entirely from her perspective in a kind of stream of consciousness. As a narrative tool, it succeeds, genuinely feeling like you're spending 200 or so pages inside Joan's head, experiencing Helsinki and the memories it conjures up right along with her.
Still, despite the intimacy of t...more
Of course, such a decision is never made at that very moment. A lot has gone into such a decision. And so the narrator takes us back with her through the history of the relationship between her and her husband. We find out that it began in the 1950's, when she was his c ...more
Despite being only 220 pages, the characters are complex and well-developed, the scenes are vivid, and the pace and plot felt very thoughtful. This was the first book by Wolitzer ...more
Author photo copyright Deborah Copaken.