The Wife

The Wife

A Novel

Book - 2004
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The moment Joan Castleman decides to leave her husband, they are thirty-five thousand feet about the ocean on a flight to Helsinki. Joan's husband, Joseph, is one of America's preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award, 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, Meg Wolitzer flashes back to 1950s Smith College and Greenwich Village and follows the course of the marriage that has brought the couple to this breaking point--one that results in a shocking revelation. With her skillful storytelling and pitch-perfect observations, Wolitzer has crafted a wise and candid look at the choices all mean and women make--in marriage, work, and life.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2004
Copyright Date: ©2003
ISBN: 9780743456661
Branch Call Number: WOL
Characteristics: 219 pages ; 21 cm


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JCLHeatherC Mar 14, 2019

There was only one way for this story to end and it wasn't nearly as satisfying as it should have been. Little hints planted throughout the book give away the 'twist' but in a subtle way.

nwhite1 Mar 07, 2019

After seeing the film, I've added this book to my "to read" list. I'm interested in finding out what changes they made to the plot for the movie, which the library also has available to borrow:

Feb 21, 2019

Well written, this novel grabs you from the first sentence. Wolitzer nicely balances the storyline with the back story of how Joan comes to the decision, 35,000 feet in the air on her way to Helsinki, to leave her husband

Feb 11, 2019

Joe and Joan meet as college creative writing teacher and student. Later they spend long lives as husband and wife. He becomes a noted writer; she is a mother and supportive spouse. The couple arrive in Helsinki for Joe to receive a prestigious award. But, below the surface, something more seems about to happen.

This month’s NYT/PBS NewsHour reading choice and the book used to write the screenplay for actor Glenn Close’s Oscar-nominated role as Joan in the movie of the same name. Kind of a mystery told from Joan’s point of view. Page turner, although ending not as surprising as hyped.

Jan 12, 2019

Seemed like the British type of dry humour.
Wondered how the movie went as most comments were in her head
and not vocal. A quick read.

Jan 03, 2019

For any woman who has or is married to a Type A this is a great laugh out loud story. I read most of it in Glenn Close's voice. Enjoy!

Jan 02, 2019

Unfortunately, I saw the movie first, but reading the book was very worthwhile. Wolitzer’s writing is cracking good – tight, caustically funny and bang-on with her descriptors. It’s an intimate look at marriage from the bitter wife’s perspective and a commentary on gender politics.

ArapahoeJulieH Oct 01, 2018

A review of a woman's marriage to a preeminent novelist and her contributions to his success.
This made for an interesting discussion in our book group. I'm not sure of the author's point of reference time wise as this seemed to be of her mother's generation.

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.

Jan 27, 2018

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

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