Kevin's Reviews > The Woman Who Wouldn't

The Woman Who Wouldn't by Gene Wilder
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's review
May 05, 08

Recommended for: Gene Wilder fans, sentimentalists
Read in March, 2008

I said of My French Whore that it was a "silly, sappy, love story. But Wilder infuses it with enough wit and heart that it is enjoyable regardless." That can be said of this work as well. Kirkus calls it a "A sweet, adult fable." Wilder has a certain minimalist style; a straightforwardness that matches the brevity of his stories. But there is also a sense of humor; what PW calls "whimsically romantic." This second novel has a happier ending but it still has the poignancy and the sense of the power of love.

Whether you would enjoy The Woman Who Wouldn't thus depends a lot on your taste. If you are a fan of Gene Wilder you will obviously enjoy these books as they share a large aspect of his personality. But if you are looking for complexity, cynicism, or psychological realism I am not sure Wilder is for you.

But if you enjoy simple, romantic, and often poignant stories told with a touch of whimsy then you probably will enjoy Wilder's novellas. Personally, I enjoy complexity and depth as much as the next but it is fun to try something different now and again. And I enjoy Wilder's simplicity and belief in the redemptive power of love.

A little sappiness never hurt anyone.
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