Lori Lansens is a gifted writer. She can lift the heart out of human emotion and psychological distress and translate it onto paper as if she had a magic wand. That’s a gift. It translates, as well, to her readers as we are kicked full force in our hearts by her “wife” in “The Wife’s Tale.” (Note to Lori–Before you read further, just know I’m a huge fan and I love you!!)
Mary Gooch, the wife in question, is a youngish, married woman….childless…who is obese and not altogether upset about it! She relishes her mounds and crevices. She’s proud of her beautiful face that’s full enough that she doesn’t need a facelift like so many skinny minnies her age and older. Mary is accepting of her weight, though she’s painfully aware that others aren’t. She finds herself apologizing alot. She’s actually sorry for them; sorry they feel the way they do—not sorry for who she is.
One day, though, her beloved husband, Gooch, goes away. (I’m not spoiling things for you, as it happens within the first chapter or so….) The story then takes off as we go with Mary on her mystical journey to find Gooch/or “the Golden Fleece,” whichever you’d prefer to call it after you read it!!
All in all a quick, entertaining and heart-wrenching read with all kinds of hidden meaning and symbolism for those of us who thrive on that, too. As I said to begin with, I really love Lori Lansens (I did say that, didn’t I…implied…) , and I would just be desolate if she didn’t write many more books. However, this is not her best effort. If you really want an example of how fine an author she is, please read her “The Girls.”
Without giving anything away, I have to tell you why I only gave “The Wife’s Tale: A Novel,” 4 1/2 stars. It was somewhat because of the depth of the story, but it was also because of the ending.
This book will not be a disappointment to Lori’s fans by any means, so I do recommend it without any hesitation. As I said, it’s just not her personal best.
Your Bookish Dame