Thursday, August 12, 2010


August Book: Novel About my wife
Author: Emily Perkins

"Tom Stone, skinnyish, fortyish, English, is madly in love with his wife Ann, an Australian in self-imposed exile in London. Expecting their first child, they buy a semi-derelict house in Hackney. They believe this their settled future, despite Tom's stalling career and their spiralling money troubles." -from the back cover.

It doesn't take long to work out that the 'novel' refers to the husband's efforts to tell the story of what leads to his wife's death although it seemed to me that he actually didn't always understand her very well. And neither did I. When Ann becomes convinced she is being followed/stalked by a strange man it's never clear whether this is a real person or a vision created by some pyschosis (maybe brought on by her somewhat non-mainstream previous lives). But this is all part of the intrigue of the book.

The only slightly jarring aspect for me was that the book was written in Tom's voice.I kept thinking that Emily Perkins is a woman and wondered how difficult it might be for a woman writer to think/write like a man. This distracted me at times from the story. It seemed like a woman was talking the whole time.

However it was a great read. Ann was complex and compelling character.It moved quickly and the other minor characters were interesting.

Melissa's rating: 7 out of 10


feijoafication said...

I had a similar thing to you re. a woman author writing in a male voice. In fact, the whole time I was reading the book I often thought to myself that if I'd picked it up with no knowledge of the author's name or gender, it was still quite obvious that it was a woman trying to write in a male voice. I don't think she pulled that off so well.

Penny said...

the ending was weird for me. But yeah - it was interesting in a disturbing sort of way. Took me a while to get it out of my head.