Tuesday, March 16, 2010

39 - The Wife's Tale; Lori Lansens


















 
Mary Gooch is a 43 year-old, 302 lb woman who has struggled with weight issues for most of her life. She is married to Jimmy Gooch who is still as handsome as he was in high school. For Mary food became her friend and her solace, when things went wrong in her life. With each major disappointment and loss in her life, she packed on more and more weight. The extra weight she gained, keeps her socially isolated.  Even when she was a little girl, she heard the doctor whisper to her mother that she was "abeast". It is only as an adult does Mary, realize that what her  doctor really called her when she was little was -- "obese". 

While Mary waits for her husband to come home, on the eve of their 25th wedding anniversary, the introspective Mary looks back at her life and recalls a time when she and Jimmy...A.K.A. Gooch were happy. She was thin and happy, when she first met her husband, but now Mary has not wanted to go on a vacation and she has never flown in an airplane. In fact, except for her menial job at a drug store, she spends her life at home hiding food , eating and filling the void in her life with more and more food. Her wardrobe is pathetic, it consists of two pairs of blue scrubs because she has trouble finding clothes that fit her. As Mary waits and waits and waits for Gooch,  it becomes pretty clear to her that her husband is not coming home.

Determined to find her husband, Mary faces her fears and leaves her home in Canada for California. She sees the ocean for the very first time, learns to use a bankcard and experiences a few other firsts as well. She soon realizes her own self imposed fears were just that and she soon begins to see herself in a new light.

MY THOUGHTS  - I loved this novel and the character, Mary. It is a touching story of a damaged woman in crisis. It was easy to quickly get caught up in her life and this story.  The author did a beautiful job creating, an at times heartbreaking story, into a story of hope and transformation. Mary shows us how our own inner strength can give us the power to change our lives, by taking a chance and doing something new when the old way is no longer working for us.

I was sad  to see this story end. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
(5/5 stars) - Library Book

29 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to reading this book. However, like other have commented elsewhere, the cover model is misleading. Not sure what I would have suggested, but....

    Glad you enjoyed it so much Diane!

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  2. great review. I actually just won this book and I am glad to hear it is a great read.

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  3. I've been wanting to read this one for awhile now. Nice review!

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  4. I have this book in my to-be-reviewed pile and am looking forward to it. Very nice review!

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  5. I loved this book, too! I want to read more of Lansens work now.

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  6. I'm so glad you liked this one. I adored Mary. Definitely going to be in my top ten this year.

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  7. Thanks for the great review. I'll have to check this out.

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  8. You've intrigued me. I've added this one to my list.

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  9. This looks really good and your review got me very excited to read it!

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  10. This sounds kind of like Anne Tyler's Ladder of Years, but with Lansens' own quirky take. Have you read her book, The Girls? It sounds like you might like it, too. :)

    Great review!

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  11. Another positive review of this book! THE WIFE'S TALE is another book that I've heard so much about. Thanks for the review!

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  12. Brilliant review - I am so much looking forward to reading it as it sounds very Anne Tyler like and I love her books.

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  13. I enjoyed reading The Girls, so am pleased that you liked this one. I hope to get to it at some point.

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  14. Such a beautiful book! I have to read this!

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  15. I loved The Girls, so I am pleased to hear this is so good.

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  16. This has been in my tbr pile for ages. Great review Diane- makes me want to get to it and get it read already.

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  17. All I knew about this book before your review was the cover controversy (thin model, fat character), but the premise sounds wonderful too. I added it to my list!

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  18. Oh, wonderful! I wasn't sure if this was a book I'd enjoy, but it sounds like it has universal themes, not just women's fiction ones.

    I wish she was overweight on the cover, though.

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  19. This is the type of book that I skip just because of the cover. It's a beautiful cover, but it screams "chick it" to me.

    Your review pulled me in though.

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  20. Oh, I think I'd really like this book. Your synopsis made me sympathize with Mary instantly. Good review!

    But does the cover match the story?

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  21. I have been considering grabbing a copy of this book for some time now. I have her other book (The Girls) on my shelf and will probably be reading it soon. Thanks for the great review, I will definitely be picking this up. Glad you loved it!

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  22. Thanks to all who commented. I agree the cover screams 'chick lit" and the cover is misleading. IMO as well, it should have had an obese woman, but we all know how much of society view this.

    It is not chick lit, and the story is just a page turner -- read it everyone. Thanks for the discussion.

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  23. I love it when a book is so good you don't want it to end. Glad to see you enjoyed this one, as it's sitting on my shelf waiting patiently to be read.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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  24. I've heard great things about this one before; definitely need to add it to the tbr list.

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  25. I'm adding this to my TBR on Goodreads right now. It sounds really, really good!

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  26. Oh, I am going to have to read this one. It sounds fantastic and you gave it a 5 start rating!

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  27. This book sounds really good! Can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

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  28. Another book that I have on my TBR List. I haven't gotten to The Girls yet and that's sitting on my TBR Shelf. I'm looking forward to them both.

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