Wife Goes On by Leslie Lehr
Synopsis (from back cover): After years of plodding through a not-terrible-but-terribly humdrum marriage, all the while feeling that life — real, exciting, satisfying — was out there somewhere, Diane is finally free to explore what’s next, even if it means starting over with a mountain of debt, two kids, and an inexplicable sense of optimism…
First lines:”I hate you,” Diane said. She sat down on the velvet settee her husband had proposed to her on eighteen years earlier. She would miss her grandma’s antique furniture even more than this Brentwood estate, sold on the verge of foreclosure. Steve yanked her white cotton briefs down her unshaven legs and over her feet, then tossed them over his shoulder.”
Review: Wife Goes On was sent to me for review and I jumped at the chance to read something a little lighter and hopefully funnier than most of the “literary” fiction I usually read. And it was a quick, page-turning read that focused on characterization and definitely made me smile at times.
However, I wanted to include the first paragraph, not just the first line, because it does get a little… well, “sexy” is the way one reviewer described it. I’m not much of prude when it comes to sex in fiction, but the sex was definitely focused more on individual gratification than on love or unity or that sort of thing.
The narrative focuses on four characters who are experiencing the world of divorce. They women meet each other and bond over their misfortunes, eventually helping one another heal and move on. In fact, I think a recently divorced woman might really enjoy this and feel vindicated and empowered by it. But notice I specified “women” — the men in the novel are 2-dimensional. A subtle, nuanced portrait of relationships and gender dynamics this is not.
And I think that is why I wasn’t the ideal audience for Wife Goes On. I waited 35 years for my husband, and I’m just crazy about him and am surprised — almost daily — by just how much fun marriage is. So, if the novel had explored the complex dynamics between men and women or addressed why the women had gotten divorced, etc., I might have enjoyed it even more.
On the other hand, when you’re in the midst of a painful chapter, an optimistic “women rule!” novel might be exactly what you need. So, if you are looking for a cute, light read — especially if you are recently divorced — I think you might enjoy this novel!
If you agree, simply leave me a comment, and I’ll put you in the running for the free copy!