Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's Tuesday morning, mid-February. The sky is blue, it is going to be sunny (at some point), and the daphne at the front door exudes a pink citrus-y scent. I haven't posted to this blog since November. It's been a long, fairly rough winter and I feel as if we are finally coming out of hibernation. I missed the Solstice! I so wanted to notice it and it passed me right by!

I am reading Lori Lansens' new book, The Wife's Tale, and just spent the last hour standing in the kitchen, standing at the sink, turning page after page, hoping to finish before I have to go to work. Nothing like a book that grabs you up and holds you captive until you get to that last page- my feet are cold and I find myself shifting from foot to foot waiting for the heat to rise up out of the vent. I'm not reading every word but I have to find out how it ends. I hope it happens the way I want it to! Although that might change depending on Mary, the main character, and how her personal story morphs.

Mary is a fat woman, unhappy because of it, sure things would be better all the way around if she weren't. While she waits for her very late, trim, handsome husband to come home from work, on the eve of their 25th anniversary, her thoughts about why he isn't home yet throw her into oddly poignant memories of their lives together.

Over the course of the night she becomes certain that he has left her and over the next few days she finds out that he has won a lottery and deposited the money in her account. He needs some time alone and has left her for now, promising that he will be back.

For the first time she has to take control of her life, figure out how to use a cell phone, an ATM card (to retrieve the money he won in a lottery), negotiate with other people, and eventually try to track him down by leaving Canada and traveling across the continent, meeting new people, dealing with family from her past, and accepting that she has something to offer.

It was a very good book. The characters are well developed, details fully rooting them in the storyline, each passing person having an impact on Mary, changing the course of her journey. The adventure Mary was on, a simple trip to California, is much more complex when you realize how brave she had to be to just start it. She had to do things she's never had to do before like book a flight, deal with the government, accept that she can be loved for who she is; she had to meet and deal with people she thought would be disgusted by her and her weight; accept their help when offered, and to offer help when it was needed. The hardest and bravest thing she had to do was to realize that she has as much worth as everyone else, everyone needs forgiveness, and the things you love are worth rescuing.

Yep. It was good. Hopeful. I'm glad it ended the way it did.

(This was a book for grown-ups. Lori Lansens' last book was The Girls. The Wife's Tale is published by Little Brown and was provided as an advanced reading copy.)

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