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Yvette - Bookworlder

Just a middle-brow reader who loves a good story, recipe or how-to.


The Liar's Wife, four novellas by Mary Gordon

The Liar's Wife: Four Novellas - Mary Gordon

In the first of the novellas, a prevaricating ex-husband visits after 50 years and transforms the titular wife’s perspectives on her present circumstances. 


In the second, Simone Weil is met by a former student who idolized her as a girl. 


The third concerns a man reminiscing about meeting Thomas Mann, whose signed books he continues to cherish. 


Last is the story of a girl who goes to Italy after a failed affair with her married professor.  


Heavy on reminiscing and contemplating past loves, the four novellas in The Liar’s Wife seem to all say that past loves are not always welcome in the present.  But mostly it is about love and how it is lost. 


Impeccably written, I continually wished they had been edited down to short stories rather than novellas, though in three of the four I have no notion of what should be cut.  In the fourth story, however, the pre-Italy phase is ripe for editing out and being alluded to rather than detailed.


Overall, an interesting and melancholic read. 


This review refers to an uncorrected bound galley won through the Goodreads First Reads program.  Changes may occur prior to the final printing for publication.