Novel About My Wife – Emily Perkins

novel about my wifeREAD FOR BOOKCLUB

Chosen by Jo

The lives of a London couple unravel after the wife survives a train derailment and notices a man following her. 

☁ “Novel About My Wife is the story of a couple’s complicated relationship from the husband’s perspective. It’s a meander through his mind; his recollections with no chapter breaks. Tom, he tells us, is madly in love with his wife Ann, an Australian, who is nearing forty and newly pregnant.

“They buy their first house in Hackney and it seems they are moving into a settled future but Ann is dogged by a homeless man whose constant presence feels like a terrible omen. As her pregnancy progresses Ann finds solace in her new friendship with Kate, a woman Tom is both repelled by and peculiarly drawn to.

Novel About My Wife is Tom’s effort to understand this woman he has been so blindly in love with, and to peel back the past to see where the real threats in their lives are hiding.”

That first pregnancy is a long sea journey to a country where you don’t know the language, where land is in sight for such a long time that after a while it’s just the horizon – and then one day birds wheel over that dark shape and it’s suddenly close, and all you can do is hope like hell that you’ve had the right shots.

☁ “The tension builds slowly in this well-written, thought-provoking novel.  Can we really rely on our narrator? There are many gaps and questions left unanswered in this book which adds to the mysterious allure for me. The worsening mental stability of Ann tightens the tension even more and the unexplained ending had me pondering for days – proof to me of a good book!” – Jo

☁ “The story of an unhappy man and his even unhappier wife – dismal but beautiful. Cleverly written and full of simple detail that I wanted to question or second guess on every page. Characters are expertly drawn and evoked much care and sympathy from me, but also a little bit of suspicion. There are clearly a few things going on and I wanted to examine every piece of new information. Loved the twists and turns along the way, too.” – Rachel

☁ “I felt uncomfortable reading this book. I found some characters’ behaviours yuckily relatable. But it does pull you into the story beautifully and despite reading it years ago I can still easily conjure up many mental images from the pages. Emily Perkins you are a treasure and FYI I miss The Good Word a lot.” – Suzy

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Published 2008
Bloomsbury
288 pages

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