Read The Good Wife Strikes Back by Elizabeth Buchan Free Online
Book Title: The Good Wife Strikes Back|
The author of the book: Elizabeth Buchan
Edition: Penguin Books
The size of the: 536 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1141 times
Reader ratings: 4.4
Date of issue: December 28th 2004
ISBN 13: 9780143034490
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books:
Meh. I give the author credit for trying to be a little deep, but somehow she didn't succeed. The plot felt clicheed and predictable to me, simply a longer version of its blurb, with characters who didn't grab me and not much else to offer.
Brief summary (if you read this paragraph, you've basically read the book): Fanny, forty-something and facing the empty nest as her beloved college-aged daughter departs for Australia, is beginning to reevaluate her life of self-sacrifice on the altar of her husband's political career. She has worked hard to be the perfect politician's wife, from painful regular appointments to dye her eyelashes so her mascara won't run in the pictures, to giving up her own career, to dealing with her husband's public and standing in for him periodically, to forgiving her husband's one-time dalliance, to taking in her husband's alcoholic sister to live with them. As the book proceeds, Fanny is growing increasingly irritated with the demands of her Stepford wife role, not to mention with her husband himself and with her intrusive and high-maintenance live-in alcoholic sister-in-law. About halfway through the book, her beloved father's death sends her into a tailspin. She departs for her father's native Italy, where she encounters her pre-husband beau who is still attractive and amorous, and she is faced with the decision of whether or not to return to the husband who has taken her for granted all these years.
The book was slow and annoying to begin with. Brief spates of dialogue would be interrupted by paragraphs of explanation of who the people were and what their relationship was. The following is not a direct quote, but this is what it read like:
"Can you please pass the butter, Sacha?" I asked.
Sacha was my nephew, 23 years old. He was visiting from...and had lived with us since...He was in university...
"Sure," said Sacha. He turned to Chloe and asked...
Although I understood why the author was doing this (it was really too obvious, which I think is what got to me), I've read books which were much more successful at both involving me in the story and clarifying the roles of the characters without getting on my nerves. It was a bad start, and I only got less interested as I read on.
The idea of tracing a woman's trajectory from blissful, blind love to questioning her self-sacrifice to mid-life crisis has been done before, but it still has potential. Unfortunately, although this book tried, it didn't make it. Buchan wanted to make Fanny's life and psyche complicated and, I guess, a little less clicheed -- a mother who abandoned her as a child with whom she still has a relationship, the ambivalence re. the alcoholic live-in sister-in-law whom Fanny would like to kick out of the house but can't, quite -- but somehow, despite these various subplots and complications, I found Fanny and her struggles kind of boring and nothing else in the book compensated.
It did make me wonder why some books manage to be deep or otherwise engaging and some books just don't. I have read books with plots that were similarly typical, but I didn't get as bored. Maybe I liked the characters more, maybe the twists in the circumstances were more interesting or better developed, maybe the writing was better. I don't know what it was, exactly, but whatever it was, this book didn't have it.
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Read information about the authorElizabeth Buchan began her career as a blurb writer at Penguin Books after graduating from the University of Kent with a double degree in English and History. She moved on to become a fiction editor at Random House before leaving to write full time. Her novels include the prizewinning Consider the Lily – reviewed in the Independent as ‘a gorgeously well written tale: funny, sad and sophisticated’. A subsequent novel, Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman became an international bestseller and was made into a CBS Primetime Drama. Later novels included The Second Wife, Separate Beds and Daughters. Her latest, I Can’t Begin to Tell You, a story of resistance in wartime Denmark, was published by Penguin in August 2014.
Elizabeth Buchan’s short stories are broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in magazines. She reviews for the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail, and has chaired the Betty Trask and Desmond Elliot literary prizes, and also been a judge for the Whitbread First Novel Award and for 2014 Costa Novel Award. She is a patron of the Guildford Book Festival and of The National Academy of Writing, and sits on the author committee for The Reading Agency.
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