The Wife – Book Review

After finishing “The Husband’s Secret” by Liane Morarty, I was really looking forward to a book that would hold on to its own. You know how sometimes you read a book so amazing, that anything you read after that does not match up. I wanted to pick up something that wouldn’t disappoint me. And so, I went to the library searching for my next one. Since March is being celebrated as Women’s month at the library, they are showcasing some of the better women writers and their books. And that’s how I chanced upon the book, “The Wife” by Meg Wolitzer. Also, let me confess, I didn’t find the blurb as exciting, and solely picked up the book because I loved the cover. It’s a simple cover, and yet I was drawn to it. And for once, I have to say, I am glad I judged the book by its cover. 

“The moment I decided to leave him, the moment I thought, enough, we were thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean, hurtling forward but giving the illusion of stillness and tranquility. Just like our marriage.” And that’s how the book starts in the words of Joan Castleman who is on her way with her husband Joseph Castleman to receive the Helsinki Literature Award., one of the highest literary awards The book then transports you back to 1950s when Joan was a student in one of Joe’s class.

 

Joan takes you on her journey and her marriage of 40 years, back and forth in the book. The secret that she reveals at the end of the book is not really a secret because she drops enough hints through the narrative, and yet I found it difficult to come to terms with it. There were times when I could not connect to Joan or her character until she delves deeper in the crevice that existed between male and female writers back in the 50s and 60s, and how the feminism movement had not yet started.  I loved her take on marriage and how she subtly defines some of the characteristics of husbands, without sounding like a cliché. Her writing is sharp and satirical. It’s also funny, but in a very empathy arousing kind of way. There were times when I thought she was weak, and sometimes she would just turn that opinion on its head. The characters are complex and very well written.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. And even though the book is set in a time different from today, yet you could find it touching a chord with something in your marriage. Like this one passage from the book that reads,” Everyone knows how women soldier on, how women dream up blueprints, recipes, ideas for a better world, and then sometimes lose them on the way to the crib in the middle of the night, on the way to Stop and Shop, or the bath. They lose them on the way to greasing the path on which their husband and children will ride serenely through life”.

My rating: 4 stars

 

 

I invites Inspiration

Inspiration to do something that benefits our own self, someone else or the society is always welcome. But as we grow older, and may I add, cynical, inspiration is difficult to come by. We don’t trust anyone with good intentions because he is, of course, trying to fool us. A person with bad intentions needs no excuse. And for people like me, who are huge procrastinators, sometimes inspiration strikes and even leaves before the likes of us move a muscle.

In more than 3 years of blogging, I have not participated in any blogging challenges or writing prompts. I have always gony by the “I will write when I have something to say” principle. But I know that somewhere deep inside, I didn’t believe in the challenges or writing prompts. I didn’t think they would give me anything in return. But as usual, we learn our lessons hard.

After the birth of my little one, I had very little time left for myself and that time was needed to bathe, eat, poop and get some sleep. And, oh yes, blogging too. My head buzzing with ideas and rants and things to say, but no time or inspiration to write. And that’s why the cynical me, very hesistantly, signed up for the A to Z blogging challenge. I had no idea how I would do it.

But this has got to be one of my best decisions ever. All you guys writing everyday and visiting the blog and giving your precious feedback has been such a catalyst and morale booster. I have discovered so many new and wonderful blogs and people. Everyday I look forward to the next day’s letter and think about what to write. It has not only gotten me excited and happy, but has also brought on a little discipline in my life as far as writing is concerned. I know that even if I don’t have time for anything else, I have time to write my post for the day because I love it.
Thank you guys for all the love and importantly, the inspiration 🙂

 

A Successful Failure?

I have read and heard a lot about how people change once they achieve success in their lives. And the one thought that always came back was Why? Why couldn’t people go on working with the same grit and enthusiasm as before? Why did they have to become arrogant and over-confident? Wasn’t all the adulation and fame coming their way enough to keep their morale up? Can we really call it Success when it’s actually the first step towards a disaster?

 

I started blogging when I knew nothing about it and wrote just because I loved doing it. In the past one and a half years, a lot of people came back and said they enjoyed my writing. I couldn’t have been happier that what I thought was crap or something that was special only to me did ring a bell with other people too. I continued to do this till some time ago. Sorry if I sound like I am gloating, but believe me, right now that’s the last thing I am up to. My horizons expanded after I took up blogging – I have met some amazing like minded people, got opportunities to do things that I hadn’t ever done before like book reviews, product reviews, going to blogger meets, participating in online contests and actually winning stuff – you know…lots of new things in a short span of time. It kind of became a vicious circle. People liking my work and myself getting opportunities for new stuff, in turn making newer people to contact me for their pleasantries and acknowledgement. I wouldn’t say I am not happy with this arrangement. In fact it has instilled a lot of confidence in me to go ahead and follow my dream of being a writer and the best one at that! But you know, success, however small, does go to your head.

I have taken up so much work that a procrastinator like me can ever hope to finish. And that’s because I thought I could do everything. Not that I doubt my capabilities, but I did kind of overestimate myself. I also started writing less on the blog, concentrating more on the other opportunities I was getting. I would be too judgmental if I said I was lured by money, but it was just the beginning of what could be something in that direction. But today I was thinking about the umpteen number of things that I have experienced in these past few weeks and that I never wrote on the blog about. Because I never got the time. Or I was too busy pursuing other opportunities. And it was then that I realized why only a few people in this world can keep a sane head and not let their success go to their head or affect their work negatively. Sometimes I really wish I blogged anonymously :-

 I never thought I would ever sideline my love for blogging for anything. But apparently I did. And I feel worse for it. And then it dawned on me that people who do behave weird after getting famous don’t really ask for it. Maybe the change comes over so gradually they don’t even notice. And by the time they do, it’s really late. So may be all that’s required to be successful in life, apart from a little talent and sincerity, is the ability to realize when the change starts coming over and preparing yourself to not let it affect you. And now that I have decided to return to my first love with a vengeance, be ready to be mesmerized all over again! 🙂 And some days later, if you do find an anonymous blogger who sounds like me, humor me ;-))

*Picture courtesy Google