The Wife

The Wife

A Novel

Book - 2003
Rate this:
"The moment I decided to leave him, the moment I thought, enough, we were thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean, hurtling forward but giving the illusion of stillness and tranquility.Just like our marriage."So opens Meg Wolitzer's compelling and provocative novelThe Wife,as Joan Castleman sits beside her husband on their flight to Helsinki. Joan's husband, Joseph Castleman, is "one of those men who own the world...who has no idea how to take care of himself or anyone else, and who derives much of his style from the Dylan Thomas Handbook of Personal Hygiene and Etiquette." He is also one of America's preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award to honor his accomplishments, and Joan, who has spent forty years subjugating her own literary talents to fan the flames of his career, has finally decided to stop.From this gripping opening, Wolitzer flashes back fifty years to 1950s Smith College and Greenwich Village -- the beginning of the Castleman relationship -- and follows the course of the famous marriage that has brought them to this breaking point, culminating in a shocking ending that outs a carefully kept secret.Wolitzer's most important and ambitious book to date,The Wifeis a wise, sharp-eyed, compulsively readable story about a woman forced to confront the sacrifices she's made in order to achieve the life she thought she wanted. But it's also an unusually candid look at the choices all men and women make for themselves, in marriage, work, and life. With her skillful storytelling and pitch-perfect observations, Wolitzer invites intriguing questions about the nature of partnership and the precarious position of an ambitious woman in a man's world.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, c2003.
ISBN: 9780684869407
0684869403
Branch Call Number: FIC WOLITZE
Characteristics: 219 p. ; 22 cm.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

r
rixonkj
Apr 24, 2018

This book is devastating. I've read quite a bit about how women's writing is suppressed, but analytic cultural criticism is one thing and a novel dealing with the same things is another. I read this book through in one sitting, horrified and transfixed. Joan Castleman is an intense character, morally complex and fully realized in a way that women characters are all-too-often not allowed to be. Joe Castleman, the husband, also feels authentic to me, like male writers I have known and loathed. The circumstances of their life together also felt fully realized and authentic in a way that made me furious--not at the book but at the world. Anyone who loves a female artist should read this book, as should anyone who as ever voiced an opinion about why there aren't more 'great' women writers--or 'great' women actors, painters, musicians, etc.

m
macierules
Jan 27, 2018

A good read - soon to be released movie with Glenn Close.

b
Bonnie_Schultz
Aug 30, 2015

I enjoyed this book even though I wished that Wolitzer provided more depth to the characters. However, it was an entertaining satirical depiction of the post-WWII crowd of male authors (read Updike, Bellow, Cheever types) with huge egos along with prodigious skirt-chasing. The ending was a bit of a surprise to me and ultimately not believable, but I won't give it away. Wolitzer is a prolific, fun writer who tackles major issues (such as sexism and family dysfunction). I hope her writing matures into better character development.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...
Sno-Isle Libraries owns a similar edition of this title.

View originally-listed edition

Report edition-matching error

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top