The Wife’s Tale, by Lori Lansens


I love Canlit. If you don’t know this about me, well… where have you been?!? I make a conscious effort in my reading life to read a lot of it. I think it’s important to read about your heritage, and support Canadian authors. I also love the familiarity that comes with reading a novel in a place you recognize, and the references that you can relate to. My collection of Canadian authors is quite big, and Lori Lansens is up there in one of my favs. I read her book The Girls a couple years ago, and it is one of those books that I recommend to everyone. Her writing style has been compared to Alice Munro’s… so you must read it!

The Wife’s Tale is the story of Mary Gooch, who is a morbidly obese, agoraphobic woman approaching her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with her husband. Upon the date of their anniversary, her husband doesn’t come home. And he has left her with no trace of where he might have gone, just the fact that he needs a break. From here Mary decides to embark on a journey to find her husband. She chases the trail of him across the country, and in the process begins to find everything but him.

If you don’t like something about yourself, change it. If you’re OK with it, you gotta own it. There’s nothing in between.

This is a novel of transformation. It starts off very slowly, with a description that makes you feel like you are living within Mary’s skin. Mary is extremely insecure, and scared of the unknown. As this story unfolds, you hear snippets of Mary’s journey with her body throughout her life. You hear her describe painful events with food, and how closely it is tied with painful moments that she’s had with the people she loves. You see that her anxiety and hunger are one. As Mary begins to become vulnerable, her relationship with food starts to shift. She begins to take risks on this adventure to find her husband, and what she truly has found is herself.

I really liked this book. I think that Lori Lansens is a wonderful writer, and I will continue to read through her entire catalogue of books… which I own 🙂 This is the type of book that’s story really propels a reader forward, but also has a depth to it. I really enjoyed it, and think anyone who is looking for something this summer to read would be able to really dig into to it at a pool, lake, or on a patio!

Until next time, happy reading friends!



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