I must admit that at one point I figured out what had happened to piss off Joan Castleman, the narrator, enough for her to leave her award-winning novelist husband, Joe. It’s what kept my nose in the book – to simply find out if I was right. Whether or not I was right didn’t matter too much (even though I was sadly correct); Wolitzer’s writing is so entertaining.
Joan was simply tired and I understood her ground and desire to leave him. I did expect somewhat of a different ending. It felt like a cop-out, a rush to end. In short, it sucked. Yet, it didn’t take away my enjoyment of having read the entire story.
Spanning from the 1940s to present in and among the chauvinistic publishing circles of New York, Wolitzer put me in mind of reading contemporary Rona Jaffe, Mary McCarthy and just a tad of Jacqueline Susann. I felt the tweed and smelled the cigarettes hovering over the literary rage.
Joan was in quite a position. An eye-opening one, full of more than enough sacrifice. Given the era, I understood.
I really loved Wolitzer’s biting wit. Joan’s sardonic air was fitting. She was talking to me, explaining her marriage to me and for the past few days, I only wanted to see what she had to tell me.
Adding the rest of Wolitzer’s books to my list…
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