The Wife

By Meg Wolitzer,

Book cover of The Wife

Book description

THE WIFE is the story of the long and stormy marriage between a world-famous novelist, Joe Castleman, and his wife Joan and the secret they've kept for decades. The novel opens just as Joe is about to receive a prestigious international award, The Helsinki Prize, to honour his career as…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked The Wife as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This novel, by Meg Wolitzer, offers such a twist at the end, I’m not sure how to write about it as an example of a woman writer finding her voice without giving too much away.
The Wife is the story of a Noble Prize-winning author, Joe Castelman, and his wife, Joan, who have kept a terrible secret for all the years of their marriage. Because you know the topic of my selections here, you can surmise that Joan is also a writer, though she hides that fact. Her character tells the story, and we only slowly see the facets of…

From Virginia's list on a woman writer finding her own voice.

Few novels exemplify the woman behind the successful man as powerfully as this one.

She’s the dutiful devoted wife to the successful writer-husband, and mother to a struggling son. You will sit on the edge of your seat as the history of their relationship unfolds, and with a surprise, but not unrealistic ending.

As a lifelong feminist, I was rooting for her, but I also understand what it means to want the best for those you love. No matter our age, women struggle with the balance. 

From Randy's list on aging friends and lovers.

This novel is razor-sharp, as infuriating as it is funny. Adapted into an award-winning 2017 film with Glenn Close, the original source material is actually much more satirical, suspenseful, and insightful. Joan Castleman is the long-suffering wife of a revered novelist, who is soon to be honored with a lifetime achievement award (think: the Nobel Prize). They journey to Helsinki for the ceremony, but Joan has more than a few resentments building inside her. And how much exactly does Joe Castleman owe his successful career to his wife? Was she more than just supportive spouse and homemaker to him? An…

From Winnie's list on stories to fuel your feminist fire.

You may have heard of the movie with Glen Close or even seen it, but trust me, the book is a thousand times better, funnier, and more biting. (I picked up the paperback while on vacation with my two toddler sons and locked myself in the bathroom at one point just to get through another chapter uninterrupted.) In short, The Wife is the story of a marriage between a world-famous novelist, Joe Castleman, and his wife Joan, and the secret they’ve kept for decades. Wolitzer’s humor and pointed observations about gender inequality make you nod in recognition while laughing so…

From Joanne's list on the truth about love and marriage.

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