I don't actually remember exactly how I first discovered the Literary Wives, but I immediately started reading the books and participating in the discussions once I had.
I was fascinated by the premise, since I had also noticed that many books
included "wife" or "wives" in the title and already owned quite a few.
Actually, it was this "club" that finally motivated me to establish a real blog!
My first blog posting on June 1, 2013, was the review of the second book in this series,
The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain. (Yep! You can tell it was my first! lol)
I simply linked to my Goodreads review for the first book, American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld and commented on the others' blogs.
Imagine my thrill when later asked to become one of the co-hosting bloggers for this group!
The Literary Wives virtual book club "meets" every third month/once per quarter to discuss a book
with the word "wife" or "wives" in the title or
a book that discusses marriage but whose title lacks either of these words.
We are particularly interested in the way(s) in which wives are portrayed in literature.
We try to answer this question:
Literary Wives will move to 4 books reviewed per year (one every 3 months)
as of March 2020:
The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler
March 2022: I'm Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan (Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, "Chick Lit")
#42 The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
#41 *Happenstance by Carol Shields
#40 Ties by Domenico Starnone, translated by Jhumpa Lahiri
#39 *A Separation by Katie Kitamura
#38 *Wait for Me, Jack by Addison Jones
#37 They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple
#36 The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve
#35 An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
#34 First Love by Gwendoline Riley
#33 *Stay With Me by Ayobami Adobayo
#32 The Headmaster's Wife by Thomas Christopher Greene
#31 *The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt
#30 A Lady and Her Husband by Amber Reeves
#29 *Dept. of Speculation by Jennie Offill
#28 *On Beauty by Zadie Smith
#27 *The Awakening by Kate Chopin
#26 *Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Fowler
#25 The Wife by Meg Wolitzer
#24 Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood
#23 American Housewife by Helen Ellis
#22 How To Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman
#21 The Disobedient Wife by Annika Milisic-Stanley
#20 The Happy Marriage by Tahar Ben Jelloun
#19 A Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante
#18 The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
#17 The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
#16 The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
#15 My Father's Wives by Mike Greenberg
by Carolly Erickson February 2015
#12 The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
#11 Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
#10 The World's Wife by Carol Ann Duffy
#9 The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness
#8 The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
#7 The Inquisitor's Wife by Jeanne Kalogridis
#6 The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress
by Ariel Lawhon December 2013
Follow-up on Ariel Lawhon's blog
#5 Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund
#4 The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
#3 A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
#2 The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
#1 American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
Other books describing marriage/husband-wife relationships:
I admit it took me a bit to accurately place the couples in this book--most all of them who
were actually married to one another were totally unhappy and amazingly dysfunctional,
while those couples who appeared to truly be 'in love' and happy were NOT married, but
simply in 'extramarital' affairs! Seriously, nearly ALL of them! What was fascinating was
to learn how vicious the gossip could become and actually "ruin" people, yet, they were
all doing this! Such hypocrisy! Beryl Markham's life was fascinating, but the couples
described were just as fascinating! At least Beryl was realistic about her love for Denys
and his love...for her...or Karen...or anyone else.
My Son's Story by Nadine Gordimer
A marriage set in Apartheid South Africa. A husband who defies Apartheid laws, loses
his teaching position, and becomes a well-known and sought-after speaker for the
protests in his region. A white female aide worker assigned to his case while in
prison, becomes his lover. What is the impact upon the children? And the marriage?
Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
Add to the usual marriage relationship the additional challenges represented by a child
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
A study of parents imposing their own wants/desires upon children...never a good thing,
in my opinion! It's tough enough being a kid! And how do those unrequited desires affect
Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
An unusual woman in unusual times. Claudia is unique in most every way for the period
of World War I: a war correspondent wandering the fields of battle; loses the unborn
child fathered by the only man she truly loved (other than her brother Gordon); and
having a life-partner (not a spouse) as the father of her only child. She lived life on her
terms and her terms only!
And...the other hosting bloggers!
Please meet our newcomer, Cynthia of I Love Days!
She currently lives in Mexico. She has worked in many roles throughout her life: Peace Corps volunteer, teacher, technical writer, business analyst, and devoted public servant of the state of Texas! We look forward to her reviews!
Once upon a time, Naomi worked as a biologist, math tutor, and early childhood educator. Since then, she has been happily reading bedtime stories to three eager listeners, and hopes this will never change. She loved traveling around the Canadian Maritimes with her family, visiting the used book stores and bakeries.
Eva of The Paperback Princess
Eva spent a lifetime talking to people who weren't listening about books and reading until she realized that she could blog about them with people who did care. She lives on the West Coast of Canada where she continues to learn to love Canadian literature and talk about the weather. She's most happy curled up in her reading chair, a cup of tea balanced on the armrest and her German Shepherd lying at her feet. Eva has no patience for heroines who fit their lives around men.
Note: Emily has completed her Ph.D. and is now working as a faculty member in higher education! Sadly, she does not have time to continue with Literary Wives for now... :(
Emily is a Ph.D. student studying professional communication who has worked as an editor and a composition instructor. She is the mother of two little girls and loves chocolate and ice cream. The thing she wants most right now is a day in bed with a good book, preferably fiction.
Find her on Facebook
Kate of Kate Rae Davis
Kate Rae Davis, MDiv, is a writer, speaker, preacher, and community developer. On her blog, she writes on finding feminist Christian theology in pop culture narratives such as fairy tales and dystopian movies. Offline, Kate works to develop spiritually-engaged communities. She lives in Seattle with her husband, dog, and two white elephant tea pots.
TJ of My Book Strings
TJ grew up in Germany and moved to the U.S. during her college years. Now a working mom of 3, reading is what keeps her sane. She prefers the classics and anything history-related, though books that include nerdy statistics are always welcome. When she's not reading, she likes to travel, get together with friends, and bake.
Ariel of One Little Library
Ariel is an editorial assistant at a Southern California publishing house. A literature enthusiast, she likes heroines full of gumption and conflicts fraught with ethical dilemmas. Her favorite book is and always will be Jane Eyre.
Find her on Twitter and Facebook
Audra of Unabridged Chick
Audra is a 30-something married lesbian with a thing for literary fiction and historical novels, classic noir, and vintage favorites. She lives in Boston with her wife and works for a non-profit. She loves interesting heroines, gorgeous prose, place as character, and the occasional werewolf.
Find her on Twitter and Facebook
Carolyn of Rosemary and Reading Glasses
After five years in graduate school, Carolyn O is on hiatus to be the read-at-home-parent to her small son. She works as an editor, writer, and proofreader on the side, and hopes to return to teaching soon. She loves used bookstores, early modern drama and poetry, feminism, and anything Joss Whedon creates.
Find her on Twitter
Cecilia of Only You
Cecilia teaches writing and self-presentation skills to international professionals by day and night (the curse of time zone differences) and in between squeezes in some reading and writing of her own. Her reading tastes are pretty eclectic, though she loves literary fiction and memoir most of all, and works by women and international writers in particular. The best part of her day is the end-of-the-day book club that she shares with her 9-year-old son.
Find her on Twitter and Facebook