Friday, January 22, 2010

The Wife’s Tale by Lori Lansens

Mary Gooch has slowly allowed her life to slip away from her. Lulled into complacency, she can’t stop herself from eating to fulfill an unspoken need within her. Stuck in her small rural Canadian town, she finds herself unwilling to try anything new or travel beyond her comfort zone. She has been married for twenty-five years to a wonderful man named Jimmy Gooch. Gooch was once a basketball star with big dreams. Tragedy struck and he found himself stuck in his small town. The novel opens with Gooch disappearing on the eve of their twenty-fifth anniversary. Where is Gooch, and more importantly, will Mary be able to break out of her life of complacency to find him?

The Wife’s Tale started out a bit slow, but it shortly became a tale that I found myself unable to stop reading. The Wife’s Tale is a story of a woman, who has allowed life to take control of her, but finally puts her foot down and takes control of her life. I love how Mary explored her past and then breaks out of her secure shell to search for Gooch and ultimately herself.

SPOILER ALERT: I really like how the novel was about Mary and her search for herself. I didn’t like how Gooch is still MIA in the end. I really wanted to know what happened to him. Will there be The Husband’s Tale? I really felt for Gooch and wonder what happened to him in his journey of self discovery. I mostly wanted Mary to have the opportunity to have a confession of sorts to Gooch. To be able to tell him she was sorry and how she finally really understood him. SPOILER END

Overall, The Wife’s Tale is a powerful story of a woman’s coming of age. It sometimes happens a little later for some people! It is also a great fish out of water and adventure story. I highly recommend it. I think it would make a great book club read for women. There is a lot to discuss in this book!

One last note, one of Mary and Gooch’s marital woes is that they haven’t had sex in over six years because of Mary’s problems with her self image. In other words, this book is considered a horror story by my husband!

This book will be released on February 10, 2010 so keep you eyes out for it next month!

Book Source: Advanced Review Copy from Miriam at Hachette Book Group. Thank-you!


  1. Yours is the second review I've read that makes me think this is a book with reading; particularly for book clubs.

  2. This does sound interesting - the theme sounds a little similar to that in The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve. Its different obviously, but I think it would raise the same questions and conerns in my mind. Sometimes its good to have a reminder that we need to priotoritise ourselves, especially when we have partners and children.

  3. Thanks for another well-written book review, Laura. This does sound like a book worth reading. Have a terrific weekend.

  4. Um, no sex for 6 years? That is a horror story!
    I love stories about mariage so I'll have to look for this one.

  5. I loved this book too. Lori Lansens is a terrific writer - you can't believe Mary Gooch, the cenral character, is fictional. I've read Lansens other two books - they were also very good - but THE WIFE'S TALE is my favorite.