Mary and Jimmy Gooch have been married for almost 25 years, living in Leaford, Canada. Once slim and beautiful, Mary now tops the scales at 302 pounds. When her father died – when her mother was placed in a convalescence home – or, really, when she lost her two babies; Mary’s heart grew hungrier and hungrier with loss. She and Gooch, a towering, rangy man have grown farther and farther apart. Gooch wants to travel, to talk politics; to make love, to dance – and Mary only wants to eat. On the eve of their anniversary, Gooch does not come home. He leaves her a note. He has won on a lottery ticket, put $25,000 in their joint account, and left her. To think, he says.
Mary, frantic, begins her search for Gooch. She is no one without him. As she travels to see his sister, Heather, then on to CA to see his mother, Eden, she somehow loses the ability to eat. She encounters kindnesses from strangers, and decides to stay in CA near Eden until Gooch returns.
As Mary searches, she finds herself changing. She sees the ocean for the first time. She learns the constellations. She makes friends with Ronnie, whose husband left her with three year old triplets. She befriends a man, Jesus, and feels a yearning she cannot describe.
As she makes her way out of her inertia, she finds she still cannot eat. The pounds flow off as Mary begins to feels her emotions and takes baby steps to endure Gooch’s abandonment. Eden’s husband, Jack, Gooch’s father, dies. She stays with Eden, waiting for Gooch to call. She maintains some kind of contact with him by watching the bank balance. Gooch makes withdrawals every month or so. She knows he is still alive and out there.
When she sheds her denial and realizes that Gooch is gone, for good, she has transformed herself. She is Mary Gooch and she will survive – and flourish – without Gooch.
In this tender, sometimes sad, always touching tale of connections and lack thereof, we feel Mary’s strength and courage. One step at a time, she cracks open her cocoon. She becomes not a wife, not a childless woman, but a kind and caring person who loves from the inside out.
Touching and enticing Lori Lansens’ “The Wife’s Tale” reminds us that little steps move boulders.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Book Review by Broad “A” – Ava
The Wife’s Tale: A Novel is available for pre-order from Amazon.com for $16.49
Thank you to the Hachette Book Group for providing this title for our book review as well as this giveaway. We were in no way paid or compensated for our opinions.
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