Literary Wives

Welcome to the Literary Wives Online Book Discussion!

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! 
(In case you're wondering, yes, it was indeed "happy dance" time...and I did just that!!)

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:

What does this book say about wives or about the experience of being a wife?

Each of us extends our discussion into more specific areas we can 
personally relate to which makes for enlightening comparisons!
I believe this is more pertinent for me due to my 'longer life experience' 
or perhaps 'advanced age' is a more realistic term!

We read books across genres and hope to generate discussion about each title.

Check out our Facebook page! And PLEASE, if this interests you, 
read with us and at least participate in the discussions, 
or post your own review and link it to the FB page and any or all of our blogs! 

What's coming up next?
Literary Wives will move to 4 books reviewed per year (one every 3 months) 
as of March 2020:
The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler
Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Join us September 6th!

Here is our future review schedule:
December 2021: The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams (Fiction, Historical Fiction, History, Mystery, Romance)
March 2022: I'm Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan (Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, "Chick Lit")

Here is a comprehensive listing of all the books read and reviewed thus far:
(I have read them all, but have not completed reviews for a few of them yet. These are denoted by an asterisk-*)
#48 Monogamy by Sue Miller
        June 2021
#47 Every Note Played by Lisa Genova
        March 2021
#46 *The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
        December 2020
#45 *Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen
       September 2020
#44 *The Dutch House by Ann Patchett 
        June 2020
The War of the Wives by Tamar Cohen
        March 2020
#42 The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher 
        December 2019
#41 *Happenstance by Carol Shields
        October 2019
#40 Ties by Domenico Starnone, translated by Jhumpa Lahiri
        August 2019
#39 *A Separation by Katie Kitamura
       June 2019
#38 *Wait for Me, Jack by Addison Jones
        April 2019
#37 They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple
       February 2019
#36 The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve
       December 2018
#35 An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
       October 2018
#34 First Love by Gwendoline Riley
       August 2018
#33 *Stay With Me by Ayobami Adobayo
       June 2018
#32 The Headmaster's Wife by Thomas Christopher Greene
       April 2018
#31 *The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt
       February 2018
#30 A Lady and Her Husband by Amber Reeves
       December 2017
#29 *Dept. of Speculation by Jennie Offill
       October 2017
#28 *On Beauty by Zadie Smith
       August 2017
#27 *The Awakening by Kate Chopin
       June 2017
#26 *Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Fowler
       April 2017
#25 The Wife by Meg Wolitzer
       February 2017
#24 Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood 
       December 2016
#23 American Housewife by Helen Ellis
       October 2016
#22 How To Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman
       August 2016
#21 The Disobedient Wife by Annika Milisic-Stanley
       June 2016
#20 The Happy Marriage by Tahar Ben Jelloun
       April 2016
#19 A Circle of Wives by Alice LaPlante
       February 2016
#18 The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
        December 2015
#17 The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
        October 2015
#16 The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
        August 2015
#15 My Father's Wives by Mike Greenberg
        June 2015
#14 The Bishop's Wife by Mette Ivie Harrison
        April 2015
#13 The Last Wife of Henry VIII 
       by Carolly Erickson     February 2015
#12 The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
        December 2014
#11 Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

        October 2014
#10 The World's Wife by Carol Ann Duffy
        August 2014
#9  The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness
        June 2014
#8  The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
        April 2014
#7  The Inquisitor's Wife by Jeanne Kalogridis
        February 2014
#6  The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress 
      by Ariel Lawhon       December 2013
      Follow-up on Ariel Lawhon's blog
       January 2015
#5  Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund
       October 2013
#4  The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
       August 2013
#3  A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
       July 2013
#2  The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
       June 2013
#1  American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
       May 2013

Other books describing marriage/husband-wife relationships:
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain 
     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
     born intersex. 
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 
     the marriage?
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!

Naomi of Consumed by Ink

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.

Kay of whatmeread

Kay is a long-time professional technical writer (now retired--yippee!)  who has taught composition and technical-writing courses at the college level. She loves reading all kinds of books. When she recently got an iPad and spent some hours playing games, her husband thought she'd undergone a personality change. But soon she was back to reading. She is the secret author of three (sadly unpublished) trashy romance novels.

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. 

The Literary Wives cohosting bloggers listed below are currently on hiatus, 
but still in our hearts!
Emily of The Bookshelf of Emily J

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


  1. I would recommend The Pocket Wife

    1. Have you read The Pocket Wife? I have it on my TBR list, but it sounds as if it might be even scarier than The Silent Wife! And I'm such a wuss! I think we're due to schedule more LW reads in February or so, and I'll keep this one in mind. Thank you! Feel free to join in our review discussions any time. The more the merrier! :)

  2. Hi Lynn! I'm hosting an Anne of Green Gables Read Along starting this month. I see you completed a similar read along in 2015. But I'd love to have you join or at least link up your reviews! Here's the info post: :)

    1. Well, darn, Jane! I'm just now reading your message...a year and a half later! :( I had both knee joints replaced in 2017 and am just now getting back to blogging! I trust your read-along went well. I really enjoyed those books!