Saturday, January 6, 2024

Before Meg Wolitzer’s The Wife, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a movie adaptation before reading the book it’s based on. Fortunately, my memory of having seen the film was a little vague. I know I saw it on a flight; presumably somewhere in the airspace between Australia and the UK, and – although I remember liking the lead role of Glenn Close–the exact details had long since left my memory.

I don’t know if I even knew at the time of viewing that the Film was based on a book – but when I saw the book in my beloved Gertrude & Alice, I bought it right away, and out of the twenty-one books I read this year, it was by far one of the best.

The Woman Book Review

A note from a book rich in powerful prose and strong characters, I loved the woman from the beginning. A story of marriage, sacrifice and deception that follows the story of Joan flying to Finland With her husband Joe Castleman, where he is expected to receive a prestigious award for his decades-long writing career. Divided into two periods – yesterday and today – Joan looks back on the childhood of their relationship, offering readers a cautious glimmer of bitterness that Joan harbors towards her husband.

Unlike any other book I’ve read before – and certainly very different from The Female Persuasion and The Interesting’s, also by Meg Wolitzer – both of which I liked, but not on the same level as The Wife, this book offers a brilliant representation of the bond in which women have spent most of the story.

In the end, The Wife is about the ruined marriage of the Lord of the Castle, but also about the role of a woman in a relationship, equality, identity, decisions made, contrition and, perhaps most importantly, resentment. A thought-provoking book about what it’s like to be a woman and what it’s like to regain the power you gave up when you didn’t know better, there was nothing I didn’t like about this book.

A wise, polite, elegant and stylish read that bubbles with restlessness and contrition and that ends up having a brilliant touch. For me, this is Wolitzer’s best Book about a country mile and the one that everyone should read.

Summary of the woman

“The moment I decided to leave it, the Moment I thought, enough, we were thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean, we ran forward, but we gave the Illusion of silence and tranquility. Just like our wedding.”Thus begins Meg Wolitzer’s captivating and provocative novel, The Wife, as Joan Castleman sits next to her husband on his flight to Helsinki. Joan’s husband, Joseph Castleman, is “one of those men to whom the world belongs… who has no idea how to take care of himself or others, and who derives much of his style from Dylan Thomas’s manual of personal hygiene and etiquette.”He is also one of the most outstanding writers in America, about to receive a prestigious international award to honor his achievements, and Joan, who has spent forty years mastering her own literary talents to fan the flames of her career, has finally decided to stop.

From this captivating opening, Wolitzer returns fifty years to Smith College and the Greenwich Village of the 1950s — the beginning of Castleman’s relationship—and follows the course of the famous marriage that brought her to this breaking point, culminating in a surprising ending that reveals a carefully guarded secret.

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