- Taschenbuch: 320 Seiten
- Verlag: Bloomsbury Publishing; Auflage: 1., Aufl. (16. März 2009)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0747596409
- ISBN-13: 978-0747596400
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 2 x 19,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.310.840 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Senator's Wife (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 16. März 2009
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'I was very moved by this subtle and truthful book' Sadie Jones 'Sue Miller brings unusual skill in the exploration of womens' hopes and regrets ... the careful build-up of detail, and an acute understanding of the facts and feelings which lie behind disguises' Sunday Telegraph 'Fiction so rich, so thoughtful, so absorbing that reading it is like experiencing the passage in our own lives' Los Angeles Times 'Meticulously observed and utterly gripping' Marie Claire
Love came late to Meri, but in a rush: she met Nathan at thirty-six, he moved in a month later, and they married a month after that. Now they are moving to New England and a house of their own - a new life that Meri is not sure she even wants. She loves her husband, but feels there may be trouble ahead. Nathan, however, is boyishly excited that their next-door neighbour is the eminent Senator Tom Naughton, a political hero of his, now in his seventies. The Senator is nowhere to be seen, but Meri strikes up an unexpected friendship with his wife, the elegant Delia, sensing that she has much to learn from her - about marriage, love and motherhood. But soon she comes close to a terrible breach of trust that could ruin everything.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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It's the other heroine of the book, Meri. She starts off seeming ungrounded and unanchored. Midway through the book she turns creepy. By the end of the book she's so self-absorbed she takes part in one of the biggest trainwreck moments I've read in a long, long time. Yet in the epilogue she's happy as a clam, justifying her actions as "an act of love."
I kept hoping that Meri's husband would start cheating on her and we'd have Delia and Meri providing a generational mirror of how women react to infidelity. That would have been a cliche but Miller might have made it interesting. It also would have forced Meri to deal with her marriage in terms of something other than sex and passive-agressive withdrawal.
Weirdly, the most self-aware person in the book seems to be the Senator himself. He admits that he's not capable of staying faithful to his wife even when he wants to be. Delia convinces herself she's faced this about her husband but, tragically, she has not.
But Delia is the centerpiece of Miller's engaging novel, a self-contained woman who has learned at last to make peace with an untrustworthy husband and the shattering of a dream, his peccadilloes finally driving a wedge into their marriage. Delia survives, healing with time and circumstance, the façade of gentility intact. And Delia's natural generosity toward Meri is not significant, at least to the senator's wife, caught up in her own emotions as the ground shifts once more in her relationship with Tom, a long-hoped for contretemps shimmering on the horizon. It is Miller's juxtaposition of the lives of these two women that drives the story, Delia's long journey through a marriage that has challenged her on every level, Meri the unwitting, if randomly destructive catalyst: "It was as if she dropped out of time, out of its press and obligation, out of its failings. Her failings."
The nature of marriage and motherhood, the needs of women at various stages of their lives, the roles of spouses and abrupt, devastating betrayals are themes Miller knows well, describes persuasively. The Naughton's painful marriage is a revelation, an explanation of the generational drift in then and now, women who committed themselves to marriage and children, their husband's careers dominating their lives. In the self-absorbed world of her youth and new motherhood, Meri is shockingly unaware of the consequences of her actions; but even youth is a chimera- Meri is thirty-six, not some naïve young married with a new baby. Meri hasn't earned her curiosity, her intrusiveness and Delia has spent a lifetime protecting her privacy. How can Meri begin to comprehend the dignity of such as Delia, the hard-won rewards of devotion? Marriages are impossible to predict, let alone happy endings. Miller's precise manipulation of human frailty, the small, important counterpoints and misunderstandings that beleaguer her characters are compelling. Luan Gaines/ 2008
For starters, the main character is a woman named Meri, who behaves reprehensibly throughout the book. At the end, though, we're supposed to believe she somehow matured into awonderful, loving mother. There were far too many undotted i's and uncrossed t's for me to join the author in making this leap. And the Senator and his wife behaved as twin orbiting death stars, not as real people making understandable decisions.
At the end of the book, I felt a huge sense of missed opportunity for the novel. Such a great author, but such a frustrating plot line, with main characters that seemed to revel in self-destructive behavior. In the end, I concluded they were stuck in a story where they made a series of implausibly-dumb life decisions, and was glad to put these characters back on the bookshelf.
Alternating chapters from the perspectives of Delia, a grandmother who is the "Senator's Wife," and Meri, a woman in her mid-30s who is fascinated by the quiet glamour of Delia, move the story from 1993 to present day. Meri and her husband Nathan, a college professor, move to the split house. The decision to purchase their portion of the dwelling is based on his fascination with Delia's husband, a notorious senator, now retired. The senator is mysterious and although he is rarely seen, he is very much a part of the story. Delia's excerpts explain their complicated relationship in detail. But the thrust of the story centers on Meri's fascination with Delia, hence the title, and how the relationship between the women leads to the climax.
The Senator's Wife is a fundamental look at life. It's a look at young marriage and an aged marriage lived side-by-side. It's a look at long process of raising children from birth to middle age, and at finding one's place as a caregiver. It's not action-packed or even very exciting, but for fans of Sue Miller and for those readers who appreciate strong character development, I do recommend reading this novel.
Michele Cozzens is the author of It's Not Your Mother's Bridge Club.