The Senator's Wife

by Sue Miller | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 074759483X Global Overview for this book
Registered by lakelady2282 of Lake Macquarie, New South Wales Australia on 11/23/2019
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by lakelady2282 from Lake Macquarie, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, November 23, 2019
I find that some books more than others offer a real escape. And let’s face it with all the bushfires and other awful news unfolding day after day, sometimes the only way a lot of us can escape is into a book.
Why do some books really enfold us more than others? Offer us an alternate landscape that we can almost walk into? With The Senator’s Wife I believe the setting is very strong and draws us in. There is a real sense of the two adjoining houses and how they are two separate worlds.
Meri and Nathan are newlyweds and move from a Midwestern existence to a small college town in New England. “When they find just the right house, Nathan is full of the possibilities of the place and boyishly excited by the fact that their next-door neighbour is the distinguished Senator Tom Naughton, a political hero of his, now in his seventies. The Senator is nowhere to be seen but Meri strikes up an expected friendship with his wife, the elegant patrician - the very antithesis of tomboyish Meri.”
As you read The Senator’s Wife there is the real feeling of being in both houses and both lives. The book is set in the 1990s for the most part and we switch between both women. There is a section from Delia’s point of view set in 1971 and 1972 which is crucial to the whole novel and is probably one of my favourite parts of the book, especially when she is in Paris.
“Delia was trying to master the subjunctive tense. And how fitting, she thought, to be struggling here in this foreign city with the subjunctive, when she was going to have to live her life out, for the foreseeable future, in foreignness, in subjunctivity, in the conditional suspension of everything she’d known as real. She imagined herself campaigning with Tom, standing by side, seeming to be the loving wife. And being, yes, the loving wife. For didn’t she love him? Wasn’t she still his wife? And yet not allowing herself lovingness, or wifeliness. Was there a verb form that could express this experience?”
And here is Meri, wandering around Delia’s house when the older woman is away:
...”She sat in different rooms, she lay on Delia’s bed. Like Goldilocks, she thought, sneaking around where she didn’t belong, trying everything on for size, for her own comfort.
But she couldn’t help it. She liked being in Delia’s house. She liked looking closely at the paintings on the wall, at the family photographs. She loved the old maps here and there, with their absurd guesses about the shape of the world. She loved walking through the spaces, learning the way the light fell at different times of the day.”
About half way through the book I thought I had it all worked out - of what was going to happen between the two women. But, of course, Sue Miller being the calibre of writer that she is, fooled me and I didn’t see the end coming until I was almost upon it. Highly recommended for those who enjoy a slow burn with a kick at the end.

Journal Entry 2 by lakelady2282 at Yarra Ranges Cafe in Yarra Junction, Victoria Australia on Thursday, January 30, 2020

Released 3 yrs ago (1/30/2020 UTC) at Yarra Ranges Cafe in Yarra Junction, Victoria Australia


on a table inside

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