Julia Lederman asked:
This question contains spoilers…
(view spoiler)[The book flap states that the main character is referred to as "the wife," but I think this oversimplies the change in point of view. It starts in the first person, then switches to the third person (at which time the reference is to "the wife") then returns to the first person at the every end. Any thoughts on the reasons and significance of these changes? (hide spoiler)]
Lara To me, and this is very much a quick reaction as well having only just finished reading it less than 10 minutes ago, but I think that the narration changes from first to third person at the point where she can't think of the situation as happening to her - it feels more like she is telling someone else's story than her own - and returns to the first person when she becomes more comfortable with the way that the situation has played out its course and has come to terms with what has happened better.
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)[I noticed this change as well, and thought is was particularly nice. I would think that the affair made her feel like the caricatural 'wife' - that the affair reduced her life to being 'the wife' and focused all her problems around it. Only after the crisis was overcome she could feel like herself, as a person, again. (hide spoiler)]
Don Hackett This is a quick reaction (this may be hard to believe when you asked 50+ days ago): The third person in the middle may be a symptom of the giving up of self--dreams, art, sexuality-- in wife/motherhood. The return to first person may be the result of having that solid but deadening role rocked by the husbands cheating.