Dear Great Book Guru, With every new year comes the resolve to improve oneself . My goal in 2016 is to read a book a week- so help me, please… I need something riveting and not very long- and, yes, fiction! Determined 2016 Reader
Dear Determined, I admire your resolve and indeed I have a compelling book to begin your odyssey : THE GOOD WIFE by Stewart O’Nan. First, let’s make it clear this book has nothing to do with the very popular TV series of the same name- no, ours is a story of a blue collar, hard scrabble existence, a tale of a life and a love observed over 28 years. We first meet Patty as she waits in bed on a snowy evening for her husband Tommy to return home from a local bar. She is 25 years old, pregnant, and unaware of her husband’s shadowy life of petty crimes. Then the call comes- there has been a break-in, an elderly woman has been killed, her house set on fire, and Tommy has been arrested. We accompany Patty as she sits through the trial, the sentencing, the birth of her son, the appeals, the weekly trips upstate to a series of prisons - each further, each more dehumanizing than the last. The cruel banality of her life as she tries to hold things together over the years is recorded in stark detail, and we to are left question who has been punished more- the good wife or the errant husband? Recommended!