Monday, August 01, 2011

An Inconvenient Wife by Megan Chance

This is the first novel in a long time that left me wanting something more.  I wanted to identify with one of the main characters in the book, but I found myself just getting angry with them.  The story line itself was interesting and captivating and I couldn't put the book down after reading through the first chapter.  I think the setting itself and the history of what our culture used to be like is what interested me even though the characters angered me.  The book is set in the 1800s and tells the story of Lucy, an upper class housewife who doesn't wish to conform to the "norm".  She is attended to by her seemingly doting husband, William, and a new doctor, Victor. 

For me, the story was an interesting glimpse into what life must have been like for some women in the 1800s.  I found myself angered at the oppression against women and against Lucy for just not fighting for herself (or did she?!).  On the other hand I was angered at her physician, Victor, for using his patient to boost his own career and at Lucy's husband, William, for not only killing his wife's spirit just to conform to the social norm, but for using her wealth to build his own social status.  To him, life was all about keeping up with the Joneses.  At times I was sympathetic to Lucy and her predicament, but I truly feel she had an "out" and was too concerned about pleasing others due to her upbringing that she would rather draw attention to herself in other ways (her fits) then escape to a bigger freedom.

I didn't hate the book, but I didn't love it, either.  I really think it was just because I couldn't sympathisize completely with any of the main characters. 


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