Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Good Wife, Stewart O'Nan

I think of all O'Nan missed out on in this novel. The idea of Patty being just as caged as Tommy. If not more caged than Tommy. Is one able to lock themselves to someone based solely on an idea of what might have been? The past has a way of trapping us, but Patty is too quickly suffocated.

O'Nan never focuses away from Patty. The story suffers from a single point of view. We are told of opinions of friends, of the mother, of Tommy... but, what if we had been able to hear another voice? In such a stifling history of a woman, one feels forced to create a judgment against Patty.

The characters appear shallow due to Patty's inability to think beyond the surface level of her life. This is effective in helping us to understand Patty, but is ineffective in the way the reader is unable to feel connected to the living.


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