THE WIFE’S TALE by Lori Lansens
Little, Brown & Company Hardcover
Don’t forget the tissue because this book will have you shedding some happy tears!
When we travel the hills and valleys of our lives we face those times where we stand at a crossroads and the reality of past challenges butt up against future hopes and expectations. There are moments we decide to go one way or another and once the decision is made our lives are irreversibly altered. During some of these moments dreams can be shattered and hearts broken especially when the results of certain decisions are made for us by others we love and trust that it seems we did not know at all. But when the dust settles are we left heartbroken or maybe heart hopeful.
Mary Gooch is standing at that crossroads in her life when her husband on the eve of their 25 anniversary decides to park his delivery van after winning the lottery and leave her to go “find himself”. Mary had been Jimmy Gooch’s wife since she was 18 years old and has no idea who or what she is if not this person who lives in a small Canadian town going through the motions of day-to-day existence with him. Well that is not completely true because Mary also knows that she is an obese woman who has battled a hunger her entire life that only food could fulfill. Food was her friend when she was lonely, her ally in getting through stress and the one solace that made her feel like she had a purpose in her life. But when her husband disappears she has to move out of the comfort of her relationship with food and find a new way to satisfy the feeling of emptiness this situation has created. Mary questions whether she capable of doing anything alone but decides that regardless of her size, shape or fear of the unknown she has to find her husband regardless of where he has gone.
But when Mary goes in search of her husband and she gets on a plane for the first time in her life figuring out how to fit into the airplane seat is the least of her problems. Her overweight status causes her to battle fatigue, her gentle nature sets her up to be taken advantage of and her fear of change pushes her to a new starvation that even food cannot satisfy. Mary challenges herself to show that she is more than a number on a scale or a sheltered wife. She proves that she is a capable woman regardless of where Gooch may be hiding. Her mother-in-law once an enemy becomes an ally, strangers becomes friends and new situations become invigorating instead of overwhelming.
Mary may have lost her identity when her husband left and possibly her money when her purse goes missing but it turns out that neither of those things defined her and once she starts knocking on doors and tearing down walls she finds out that she is not that person on her passport. Sometimes you have to leave dreams behind to find a reality that is better than anything you thought of imagined.
What an amazing person Mary Gooch is regardless that she has a weight issue but because of it. She is indicative of every one of us as we all have some demon that chases us, some fear we pretend doesn’t exist and issues we try to ignore. But when Mary looks in the mirror she doesn’t see her full figure but instead she sees her beautiful, warm and glowing personality that has been hidden not behind the weight but behind her fear of showing the world how beautiful she really is. No one can teach you this or show you how to love yourself but once you do there is not stopping whatever goal you set for yourself – they are achievable simply by being yours
Mary Gramlich ~ (“The Reading Reviewer”) ~ www.marygramlich.com