Mary Gooch! Oops I Mean The Wife's Tale

wife's taleI was pretty happy when I heard (ages ago it seems) that Lori Lansens had a new book coming out this year. I liked The Girls and I was curious about what she'd do for her next book. So I was really happy when Random House Canada sent me a review copy of The Wife's Tale.

We need to stop and talk about the title of this book for a minute. Personally, I kind of strongly dislike the title. If I didn't know who Lansens was and saw this book I would not be so interested in it. Yes, I can be a title snob. I think it should have been called Mary Gooch, because as one character in the book said you can't forget a name like Mary Gooch. The Wife's Tale? Forgettable. Mary Gooch? Not forgettable. So I've been calling this book Mary Gooch, hence the title of this post.

Mary Gooch is, quite simply, a large woman living a small life. She's scared of change, scared of things being different. She doesn't use a cell phone or even use her bank card. She relies on her husband, who she simply calls Gooch for all of that. She doesn't listen much to other people, she mostly just listens to the call of her Kenmore refrigerator.

Then one day Gooch is just gone and Mary is left alone. I don't mean he died. He just left. Mary suddenly finds herself having to do things for herself. Shockingly (to her) she discovered she can.

I liked Mary Gooch, both the character and the person. I liked it more than The Girls (who happen to get a nod in this book as both are set in the same small town).

I'm not crazy about the cover but the chocolates to play a part in the book. And I was highly amused that someone happened to give me a box of Laura Secord chocolates while I was reading it. And it was nice to read some Canadian fiction again. Sometimes I forget how much I actually do like it.

Disclaimer: Random House Canada provided me with a review copy of this book. This was an uncompensated review.