Steve lovell's Reviews > The Wife

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer
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's review
Sep 12, 2011

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Joe Castleman was a wonderful writer, undoubtedly to be missed after his demise, but one possessing a secret that only wife Joan is privy to. He was also a serial philanderer, very pompous in a writerly way, and given to downplaying his spouse’s talents. This was maybe a reflection of the times in which their marriage was formed, but Joan is irked and for much of Wolitzer’s book she is planning her departure from the union.
Wolitzer writes in a caustic, acerbic manner that treats the reader to some killer metaphors. As she takes us through a marriage that reflects the mores of each of its decades during the latter half of last century, we see that much about the relationship between the two main protagonists changes – that is, apart from the ‘walnut’ at its centre. I have no idea who Lorrie Moore and Alison Pearson are – their tags of fame are not attached to their laudatory blurb on my edition’s cover. They’re pretty correct in their summations though. I’d have been a little more muted, but this was a well wrought read that put a microscope entertainingly to a long standing marriage.
Maybe there are some real life enduring artistic marriages that have lasted due to the same premise that Wolitzer evokes here- I wonder. Yes this was a novel I enjoyed and as it dates from 2004. I am about to ‘google’ the author to see what has transpired since.

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