I can’t recall where I heard about this book, but I had been in the queue to get it from the library for about a month when I finally got notified to pick it up. I actually was a little worried about picking up a book while in the midst of the MOOC I help with called ModPo (Shout out to meredith and Nadia!). However, this was a very quick read- I finished it in just a few days.
Let’s start with the good. I did like the set up, and I’d like to check out more of Tuck’s books based on this experience. The book is considered a novel, but is broken up into small vignettes — some pages only have one line, others a paragraph and the maximum length was about 2 sides of one page. So, it made it very easy to pick up and put down throughout the day. I enjoyed this aspect and feel this book is somewhat poetry and perhaps is misbranded as a novel. I’d love to know what people think about such things here.
The book is written from the perspective of a woman who is the 2nd wife of a man. She is sort of obsessed with the ex wife, a concert pianist. She refers to the second wife as she throughout the book so you can easily identify her, though her name is never used. In fact, no names are used throughout.
I can appreciate the sentiment of wondering about the first wife, and asking yourself hard questions– does he love me more than he loved her? And so on. However, enter the son, who evidently starts stealing her pain meds and things got a little strange. On her fortieth birthday, her husband tells her his flight is canceled and he won’t be back until the next day. The son offers to celebrate and they drink and smoke and so on. They opened an expensive bottle of bubbles and the narrator can’t replace it, so she tells her husband it was given to the maid, Margarita.
When the husband comes home he asks if Margarita liked the champagne. She says yes and when he asks if his son and wife were in bed together when she came to clean, she also says yes. What is hard to know here is if she is being genuine, since she did not have the champagne. Regardless, the narrator and husband divorce and the novel ends.
I felt like the ending was a little jarring and perhaps not completely conceived. I don’t know what kind of ending I was looking for, but this felt a little out of left field. It felt too easy to me to just end things like that.
I did enjoy the writing, though.
Overall rating: 3/5