Sunday, April 1, 2018

Literary Wives #32

Perhaps, just perhaps, I will actually have this book read 
AND a review posted by Monday, April 2nd! 
It is now Monday, March 5th and I am starting to read the book...so fingers crossed
that I can finally make enough time to rejoin the other Literary Wives reviewers in April!
Be sure to check their reviews:
Naomi at Consumed By Ink
Kay at whatmeread
TJ at My Book Strings
Eva at The Paperback Princess
Kate at Kate Rae Davis
Here are my past Literary Wives reviews.

I have literally been interested in reading this book 
since I first saw mention of it. 
I believe I am always a bit fascinated by the idea of 
"boarding school," having never attended such an 
institution myself. Though I did attend summer 
residential  camps. But those were only 
one to two weeks in duration.
Perhaps those are somewhat the same? 
Camp just doesn't last nearly as long...

Here is an excerpt to read... That is the opening scene of this rather sad and depressing story. Maybe it's just me, or perhaps it is my mood at the moment, but while I found this to be a 'realistic' piece of fiction, I definitely felt it to be depressing overall. 

The first section (one half) of the book is entitled "Acrimony" and is narrated by Arthur, the second section "Expectations" is narrated by Elizabeth, and the third section containing the last 18 pages is entitled "After" and is narrated by Russell. And...here comes my rant! I was angry during those first 137 pages of this book! Sooooo angry! Yet again, here I am reading about a middle-aged male in a position of power over female students who is not only fantasizing about one of those female student's bodies and how it would feel to have sex with her, but actually acting upon such inappropriate, unethical, and to my mind immoral thoughts! Ugh! (I was reminded of On Beauty by Zadie Smith. I did read it, but have yet to review it.)
She walks by our table...I contemplate the shape of her beneath her clothes. 
She is full-breasted, but otherwise unremarkable. This is her peak, I think, rather ungenerously. 
She will never be this beautiful again. (14)
To which I mentally respond..."and neither will you be as handsome again, asshole!"  Sheesh! And to top it all off, he is married! Has been for many years... Yuck! Why can't  authors tackle complications other than this when describing long-term committed/marital relationships?!? But...there was an end to this theme...and the narrator's reliability was unverified, so that was a relief to me! Whew! I didn't have to continue my anger throughout  the remaining 136 pages. At this point I thought I should probably reconsider my pledge to NEVER read Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov. Not because I have somehow learned to condone an adult male being "in love with" or sexually drawn to a 12-year-old female, but because I have already read of similar relationships in modern-day fiction, so why not read a classic version? Yikes! :( Though in Nabakov's book this man is also the child's step-father. Even worse!!! Okay, rant aside...

In immediate follow-up to the opening scene, one of the cops who discovers Arthur begins a conversation with him at the police station:
...you were in the park. Naked. Twenty-degree weather. Snow on the ground. 
Walking in Central Park naked.

Is that a crime?

Yes. It is, in fact.

In Vermont it's not.

Seriously?

Yes. You can be naked. You just can't be obscene.

What's the difference? (7)
Admittedly, I had to kinda chuckle at this point. Is there a difference between appearing nude in public and acting 'obscene'? I guess it might be a matter of personal belief and comfort level. After all, aren't there still "nudist colonies"? I assume people in such communities would not consider nakedness obscene, but perhaps to the general population an overwhelming majority would? I can only assume so...

This book is set mainly in Vermont, as is Lancaster School, with other settings also in the northeastern U.S.There are several instances when characters are walking barefoot in the snow. This helps to conceive of the weather and landscape as a character in and of itself. At the very least it makes for an interactive 'background'. Back to the opening scene: 
Soon he is naked, and he sets off again, leaving his clothes in a neat pile on the path, 
and he moves up and over the hilly terrain, his eyes straight ahead, 
oblivious to the people who gasp when they come around a corner to find him
marching toward them. All that matters to him is the feel of his bare feet 
crunching wonderfully on the crusty snow beneath him. (5)
And Elizabeth as she is walking toward the river:
She steps onto the lawn and grins again, this time from the cold and squish 
of the soft lawn on her bare feet, surprisingly pleasant, 
and then the feel of the slightly crunchy snow at the edges as she begins to walk. (253)

The river is a recurrent theme: 
Lancaster moves forward with the force of a river and...
once someone is gone it's as if he were never there. (206)
That was her thought in referring to Russell's absence...
She wanted to belong to Lancaster more than anything, to feel the old school run through
her like a river, and who better to give her that than Arthur? (165)
At one point Arthur contemplates what it would feel like to purposefully fall into the river when it is icy cold, but Elizabeth actually does...
She raises her arms to her side and holds them out and then she closes her eyes.
Falling is the easy part, she tells herself. We think it's not, but it is. 
We are just not taught to do it...She goes up on her tippy toes. She leans foward. 
She opens her eyes and gravity does its work, and the last thing she sees is the blue sky, 
and the brown of the fields, and the water rushing toward her. She closes her eyes 
as she tumbles underneath it, instinctively holding her breath for the smallest of moments 
before allowing the river to fill her, suspend her, take her and not let go. (255)
Now that is some excellent writing, is it not? I felt as if I was falling into the river! 

It was easy for me to feel empathy for Betsy. She was definitely between a rock and a hard place, in my opinion, as she realized her true feelings for Russell and Arthur. But I admired her 'balls' in choosing and being totally honest and open with Arthur. Another reason I could relate to her is her comment, "I'm just not good at being a girl." IMHO I believe Betsy (like me) tends to communicate in a very direct and blunt manner, similar to what many might consider to be more of a 'male' way of communicating. Arthur asks her the first time they meet, "Are you always this tough?" That made me smile since my husband has expressed his amazement at the way I communicate openly and honestly, unlike most females he's known.  

Greene depicts the stereotypical political advantages associated with those students whose parents/families are large donors to private institutions. An ounce of marijuana is uncovered in a male student's room. Though drug cases "are normally a swift exit from the school," this boy happens to be "a Mellon, of the Pennsylvania Mellons," making an "easy decision complicated." Arthur admits:
When I was younger, I might have just gone by the book, but with age you come to terms 
with the fact that not everyone arrives into this world on an equal footing. 
There is no real equity at boarding school...Justice is not blind at Lancaster. 
I call the boy's father and let him know I will make an exception to the normal policy, 
but that if it happens again I will not be able to be so generous. 
The father says he understands and will have a difficult talk with Junior. 
It goes without saying that a check will arrive in the coming week. 
History says it will be significant. (22)
Yet when small bottles of liquor are discovered hidden under another male student's bed, he is expelled. The headmaster is particularly frustrated when he persists in declaring his innocence! He refuses to lie and confess to something he didn't do to supposedly remain at Lancaster school with only a punishment rather than expulsion. As you might suspect, this student happens to be the son of a plumber and secretary! No big donation to be had there in repayment for letting their son 'off the hook' for his crime. In reality both of these incidents could have been handled by the police, but that would not prevent those with money being able to 'buy' their  way 'off the hook'! In fact, the U.S. judicial system is simply an elaborate extension of such discrimination. 

In discussing parenthood with the cop, Arthur states: 
What is the only thing a parent needs to do?

I don't know.

Think about it.

I am.

The answer is an easy one. It's the only answer. 
Make sure your children live longer than you do. 
Do that and you've really done something, okay? The rest is filler. (107)
This definitely made me stop. And gasp. Really? Is it really that simple? I think not. I think there is so much more that a parent owes to his/her child. And as we see in the U.S. currently, simply sending your child to school can seal her or his death warrant. A parent cannot be held liable for that. But...if your child has died, I can easily imagine feeling as if you did not fulfill the most basic of parental responsibilities--keeping your child safe and alive. However, once they turn 18 (at least in the state of Indiana), s/he is considered an independent adult in legal terms. So, when Ethan enlists at the age of 18 there is nothing either parent can do about that. It was his decision alone to make. Did Arthur's expectations for his son help to alienate Ethan? Perhaps and most probably. I have always contended that family relationships are so complicated because we have so many "expectations" for the other(s). 

There is much irony contained within this novel. Not the least of which involves Russell and Arthur. While Arthur frames Russell and forces him out of Lancaster, it is Russell who ends up rescuing Arthur... Russell has proven his mettle as both an honest man and a man of honor and has become a success in that, as far as we know, he has lived his life from this philosophical base of doing what is 'right'. And as it should be, Arthur ends up losing in the end...losing virtually everything he has ever achieved or accomplished.
...sometimes the only path to immortality, paradoxically, is to die. (127)
Perhaps the ultimate irony. It was at this point I was convinced Arthur had killed Betsy. 

Now the Literary Wives question: 
What does this book say about wives or about the experience of being a wife?

At one point, Betsy realizes she and Arthur are more alike than she had imagined:
Like her, he is broken. And she thinks perhaps this is what love is: 
letting someone else see that part of you that shatters like glass. 
All of us are broken in our own way. 
And in that moment...she knows she will marry Arthur. 
They will grow old together, broken together, and as long as 
they both don't completely shatter at the same time, 
they might find a way to pick each other off the ground. (215)
Now that, I believe, is true. A good relationship requires give and take, supporting and accepting support when needed. 

Per Arthur:
But if you learn anything in a marriage it is when to give up.
I used to think that all marriages ran the same trajectory.
They start with wanting to climb inside the other person and wear her skin as your own. 
They end with thinking that if the person across from you says another word, 
you will put a fork in her neck. 
That sounds darker than I mean it to, for it is joke. The truth usually lies in between, 
and the most one can hope for is accommodation, that you learn to move around each other, 
and that when the shit hits the fan, there is someone to suffer with... 
There are few things in this life we are equipped to do alone is all I'm trying to say. (111)
There is so much nuance contained within this one quote! Having remained in a marriage way beyond the point at which I was anywhere close to "happy" for over 12 of the 22 years, I have my own interpretation of the first line, though I am uncertain that is exactly what Arthur means. All marriages are NOT the same since all people are NOT the same. Each relationship is different and runs a different course. But...is the most for which we can hope simply "accommodation"? Honestly, my goal is to achieve much more--a true partnership where each person contributes to the relationship. I believe it is impossible for each partner to contribute equally, as one person is typically doing more at any one time than the other, but there should be a semblance of 'balance' in my opinion. I believe that is different for each two people and they must work together to determine what makes each and both of them happiest. With that said, I believe it is totally unrealistic to expect to be "happy" in a relationship with another human being every single second of every single day. If that is your expectation, I can predict that you will never feel totally satisfied with another person--perhaps you should adopt some pets with which to share your daily life instead! 

The line about "someone to suffer with" certainly brings back some memories. There was a tragic event with one of my children, and I called my best friend who immediately said, "I'm on my way!" But I hadn't called expecting her to be there with me, only to talk with her, and I replied, "Oh, you don't have to do that!" To which she said, "I don't want you to be alone." I looked up and my (now-ex, thankfully) husband was in my line of vision, and I suddenly realized that she was so right! I was actually (emotionally) "alone" although I was technically married and my 'partner' (I use that term loosely!) was 'with me', I was indeed all alone... I will never forget just how abandoned and bewildered I felt as that realization hit me... And thank goodness for her! (That was some 22 years ago and we are STILL best friends!) 

Unfortunately, Arthur was a manipulator and manipulated himself right into Betsy's life and offered her the financial security and status she desired in adult life--being a "faculty wife" and then "Headmaster's wife." 
It is obvious what she saw in Arthur. She wanted to belong to Lancaster more than anything, 
to feel the old school run through her like a river, and who better to give her that than Arthur?
The school was not only in his blood, it was his blood...
There is a silly immortality to the boarding school life..
Teaching- even running a boarding school-is another form of arrested adolescence.
Even in their responsibilities, they are all playing Peter Pan, 
the real world something that happens outside these ivy-covered walls. (165)
She admits to being "grateful" to Arthur for giving her a pass on the mandatory swimming test to enable her to graduate from Lancaster, and this 'favor' is what brings him back into her life and allows her to overlook the wrongs he has wrought upon Russell... I couldn't resist wondering just who else he had manipulated in his lifetime. Though, heading a private institution demands manipulative skills as a fund-raiser, does it not? :)

Elizabeth felt she had
A perfectly scripted life, in other words, with regimented days and seasons defined as much 
by the rhythms of school as by the weather. It was beautiful to be a part of something bigger 
than she. Something that stretched both backward, to generations that came before, 
and forward, purposefully, to generations that had not yet arrived. 
Her life had both symmetry and meaning and sometimes 
Elizabeth thought that was all one could possibly ask for. (233)
She realizes that a large reason for her ambivalence regarding having a baby and starting a family is the fact that she has none of the typical concerns of other wives, 
...cooking and cleaning house and paying bills--all of that is taken care of for you at Lancaster. 
It is as if you had all the trappings of adulthood with none of the responsibility. (197)

When Arthur was at Yale and she at Wellesley, she spent many weekends with him and would always get upset when leaving. This is when Arthur 
invariably commits the one mistake he will compound throughout their lives: 
a failure to leave her alone. If he just let her be sad, just let her dwell in it for a moment, 
she would come out the other side and be fine. 
But he is a man and he wants to fix her. 
She tells him not to, she tells him he cannot, but he doesn't stop. (212)
This particularly struck me because this is something I have been working on lately--recognizing an emotion for what it is and the underlying source and accepting it, just being with it for awhile. Then moving on. And I feel sometimes as if we want to "fix" our partners when perhaps both would benefit from the other just "being there" and not trying to fix whatever seems to be wrong. I thought this was a beneficial insight. 

But was Elizabeth truly happy? At least in the way I view happiness--fulfilled emotionally... At one point she admits she may have been happy. However, she tells Russell when they meet many years later, she and Arthur "were done a long time ago." I felt the best relationship depicted was that between Betsy and Russell and I grieved for their loss... I did not feel that Arthur was a genuinely caring person in many ways. I believed him to be a male who was definitely not in touch with his feelings, and that typically makes such a person rather cold-hearted and unable to truly "connect" with others at an emotional level. I believed him to be all about the routines and regimen.




What is the next Literary Wives review?


It is Stay With Me 
by Ayobami Adebayo


Join us on June 4th!


I am excited about this one!



Happy Reading!
--Lynn

Friday, January 5, 2018

Book Challenge by Erin 8.0
Uhm...so although I did register for Erin's Book Challenge 4.0
I did not complete reading the 10 books I had selected. 
But...that doesn't mean I can't try again, does it? :) Of course I can!
So here goes!

The current challenge begins at 12AM on January 1, 2018 and 
runs through 11:59PM on April 30, 2018!

There is also a 24in48Readathon scheduled for January 27-28, 2018!
Bonus! Perhaps that will help me read all 10 of these books!

RULES:
(1) Each book must be at least 200 pages long.
(2) Audio books count.
(3) Books can be read in any order of your choice.
(4) A reread can only be used once.
(5) There will be a photo album for each category with links to the books chosen. 
Comment on each photo for each of your books when you have read them.
(I will plan to link to my review.)

There are 10 categories:



(1) FREEBIE--Read any book that is at least 200 pages long.
(5 points)
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

I am already scheduled to read this 
for a book club discussion in January! 




(2) Read a book that starts with "L." (10 points)
Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice by Willie Parker, Lisa Miller

My own pediatrician, for whom I had the utmost respect 
co-sponsored the Abortion Bill in Indiana way back when. 
I am anxious to read Dr. Parker's take on this issue.



(3) Read a book that has a (mostly) red cover. 
(10 points)
The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt

I am already scheduled to read this one 
for the next Literary Wives review 
on Monday, February 5th!





(4) Read a book with a character's name in the title. 
(15 points)
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

This was just gifted to me by a friend! Perfect!





(5) Read a book from Book Riot's 100 Must-Read Books with Plot Twists. (20 points)

I was initially undecided
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling),
or The Secret History by Donna Tartt (I loved The Goldfinch!),
or The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton, 
or Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, 
or We Were Liars by E. Lockhart,
or I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (I loved The Book Thief!), 
or The Cutting Season by Attica Locke (I loved Black Water Rising!), 
or Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (2017 Nobel prize winner), 
or Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee.
I have been wanting to read ALL of these and own almost all of them...
Decisions, decisions!

Okay, okay, I decided! 

Since this one is currently in a pile 
I see at least several times a day,
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)





(6) Read a book with the words "house" or "home" in the title. (20 points)
by Tsh Oxenreider

I am fascinated since I raised three children. 
How exciting this must have been!! 
And just as challenging!



(7) Read a book by an author whose first and last name 
begin with the same letter. 
(25 points)
loved Little Bee!





(8) Read a book that was originally published 
in a language other than your own. 
(30 points)
Bear Town by Fredrik Backman

I have loved all his books thus far!





(9) Read a book where most of the action occurs 
on a form of transportation. (30 points)
Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter

This will be my one reread. First read it when I was 13... :)
Needless to say, I am sure I will have 
a bit different understanding almost 50 years later!






(10) Read a book with a character who 
suffers from a debilitating physical illness. 
(35 points)
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

I have wanted to read this forever!




Once you have a preliminary list, post that on the Facebook group page asap! 

There are prizes available! 

But mostly, you are to have fun!

DUH!! I will be reading! Of course I will have fun! :)

What are some books you have read and/or might recommend 
for any of these categories?

Happy Reading
--Lynn

Monday, January 1, 2018

Literary Wives #30

A Lady and Her Husband
by Amber Reeves
One of the first things that struck me as I began reading this novel 
was to note that the original publication date was 1914! 
And seemingly still so pertinent today in certain ways...

If you wish to read this book, 
I would strongly suggest you access it (for free) through Google Books
Though this was easy and convenient, after seeing others' comments regarding 
the Persephone reprint, that would probably be a better choice!
I gather the introduction alone makes this version worthwhile!
Though I am no fan of reading books in eformat, I did it for this one. (Yuck!)

Please check the other Literary Wives reviews:
Naomi at Consumed By Ink
Kay at whatmeread
TJ at My Book Strings
Eva at The Paperback Princess (on break this month)
Kate at Kate Rae Davis (on break this month)

I know, I know, you all thought I was also on break this month!
I've been "on break" for quite a few months now. 
I am blaming the fact that I had both knee joints replaced this summer.
Though I've not quit reading, I am just now getting back into blogging reviews...
at least for the Literary Wives! :)


I did enjoy reading this. It is, in my opinion, truly classical writing. Plenty of description along with characters' thoughts and actions... Remember, it was published in 1914, so their is some language based upon a character's preconceived ideas that we would now consider unacceptable. Mary, Mrs. Heyham, has just been informed by her younger daughter, Rosemary, that she plans to be married--soon! This news greatly upsets Mary, who has never done anything beyond managing the servants and household, and overseeing her three children's upbringing. We learn that the older daughter is already married and expecting a child, and Mary's only son, Trent, works with his father, James, running the family business consisting of a chain of "teashops." 

Mary's husband, James, is extremely worried about his wife in the wake of losing her remaining daughter from the household. I admit to cringing when I read James calling his wife "little mother." Oohh! Ugh! That term just implied so much...that Mary was "little," as in she did "little," had "little" else in her life beyond her children about which she cared or could manage... So Mary is experiencing what we might now call "empty nest syndrome," when the children have all moved out of the house and are independent self-supporting adults. Though in 1914 children still would expect financial support from their family, if the family had money, which this family did. (I should be so lucky. :)) So, I believe I have revealed in the past that I did not experience such "emptiness" when my children were out on their own. Perhaps because I had been mentally preparing myself from the time of their birth: my job as a parent is to do my best to make then self-sufficient independent adults, NOT to try to hang on to them forever...as my own mother tried to do with me. (Yes, she did drive me crazy with her obsessive behavior...) I love my children, their partners, and my grandchildren, but I do my best not to make a nuisance of myself in their lives. 

I had to chuckle as there was discussion about Rosemary's "socialistic" beliefs and opinions. See? Still pertinent today, huh. Oh, my. I just sigh... Rosemary suggests that her mother involve herself in the family business by investigating the working conditions and wages of the "girls" hired to work in the family-owned teashops. These "girls" were screened to determine that they were from relatively financially secure homes and still living with their families. After all, they wouldn't want any "rough" females who may be truly self-supporting! I had to laugh at this. To think that only about 100 years ago these attitudes were still ever-present in U.S. society. Any woman who was trying to support herself was evidently a 'hussy', a woman of ill repute! Thank goodness times have changed! 

Women were still very much dependent upon their husbands, with little to no self-agency in general society. They were simply known as Mrs. Heyham, or Mrs. whatever her husband's last name happened to be. And so it was when James married Mary that he ended up taking over her family's business and successfully expanding it. However, Mary still retained legal ownership of half the business, which proves to be quite pertinent in the end. Mary learns first hand of the living situation of one of the teashop girls and is appalled by the depressing and cramped living conditions as well as the extreme poverty. Additionally, she learns of the very limited breaks allowed the girls during their work shifts and of the physical discomfort of their working environments and conditions. However, rather predictably, once Mary addresses these issues with James, she is rebuked as having no experience or knowledge to realize her requests are simply impossible to seriously consider. 

Mary accepts his refusal, until she learns of his plans to take the business "public" and expand into a new business realm of movie production and theaters. At the same time, James confesses to Mary that he had cheated on her with a red-headed woman in the past, stating that he has never lost his love or respect for Mary, and that it was simply a "mistake." (Isn't that always the case?) Mary is so appalled that she moves out and is gone for 10 days, after writing to James that she refuses to approve his new business venture and make a public offering of the family teashop business.

In true "typical male" form, her son, Trent, was only worried that he would lose the adoration of his own mother, or that he would no longer have a "charming woman" as his mother, by whom to be received. Upon reading this my thought was, "What a spoiled brat!" Though at one point Mary states that it was her duty to "adore" Trent since he was her son. Additionally, she comes to the realization during her time alone that she has simply pandered to James during their whole marriage and never truly interacted with him as anything even close to an equal or even as another rational human being. She does her research and reads library books regarding business and economics to better educate herself about James's proposed new business and the "teashop" business. She does come to a decision regarding her forgiveness of James for his affair--that he has treated her kindly and generously during their whole married life, it did not affect his behaviors toward her in any way. 

Once Mary returns home, determined to take a more active role in the business and assert herself as an advocate for the employees, she is struck by a new realization: it was tough for women to realize that they were no longer "protected" by a man/their husband from the outside world. I had never fully considered that perspective before, but I'm sure it was true for many females who became 'enlightened' and more involved in everyday life. For Mary, it was a specific grief:
What she hoped...was impossible. 
She had hoped for her old blind worship back again in answer to James's love. 
She could not have it back, it was gone, and she was afraid. 
She had covered herself from the world with James's strength, 
with his assurance and his love for her. 
His kindness had been her shelter from suffering, from truth, from life. 
Now these gifts of his protected her no longer; she stood alone. (378-379)
Mary was, finally, an independent agent within society. And while it might be scary for her now, I venture to say that it was enlightening and uplifting for the remainder of her life.

Oh, and how did James handle this news of her determination not to endorse his new business? He decides to use this newfound advocacy of employee rights as a bully pulpit to stand for political office. He has, of course, convinced himself that this will be just the thing for his future...

And now for the Literary Wives question: 
What does this book say about wives 
or about the experience of being a wife?

Wives are considered their husband's possessions for the most part. At least that is definitely how James views "little mother"/Mary. He is shocked, appalled, and extremely angry upon learning she has simply moved out and left him with no forwarding address, except through the bank. In effect, he thinks, "How dare she?" Well, she did certainly dare...and to her credit, it seems once she returns as if she is determined to be more of her own person, especially with regard to her marriage and with her husband. 

Perhaps the role of wife is best typified by Rosemary's fear of marriage. As she states, she always felt her older sister, Laura, believed much as she did,
I've always thought that however much I loved anyone I should love them proudly, 
as a free person, as an equal. 
However, she notes that Laura is now just a simpering fool to her husband, and Rosemary fears she will become the same type of "wife." Reeves discusses the differences between raising daughters and sons several times throughout the book. As Laura is discussing Russian authors with her mother, she admits her husband has no interest in such writing,
But then I suppose we're trained to sympathise with their experiences, 
and they're not trained to be interested in ours. (174)
Mary realizes that girls are typically not raised to do any more than learn to "chatter at tea parties," rather than to identify and/or follow their interests. Females are only there to serve their male spouses...period! They are trained to be 'simpering fools' in hopes they will attract a rich husband. 

What I truly appreciated about this book was Mary's further development as an independent adult. Though in the end she realizes she has thrown off the protective cloak of her husband's social status and reputation, and must now deal with the real world directly...and as she has recently learned, it is not pretty... I was gratified by Mary's evolution and hopeful that she would find the rest of her life to be fulfilling in a way she had not before. 

Interestingly, Amber Reeves was HG Wells's mistress! 
Here is an article in the Guardian discussing Reeves.

There is a book published about Amber and her mother in 1992: 
Maud and Amber by Ruth Fry
It's relatively short and looks to also be available on Google Books.



What's next for Literary Wives?


The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt


Join us February 5, 2018




Happy Reading
--Lynn