The Wife’s Tale by Lori Lansens

Author: Lori Lansens

Genre: Fiction

About: (Book blurb) On the eve of their Silver Anniversary, Mary Gooch is waiting for her husband Jimmy–still every inch the handsome star athlete he was in high school–to come home. As night turns to day, it becomes frighteningly clear to Mary that he is gone. Through the years, disappointment and worry have brought Mary’s life to a standstill, and she has let her universe shrink to the well-worn path from the bedroom to the refrigerator. But her husband’s disappearance startles her out of her inertia, and she begins a desperate search.

For the first time in her life, she boards a plane and flies across the country to find her lost husband. So used to hiding from the world, Mary finds that in the bright sun and broad vistas of California, she is forced to look up from the pavement. And what she finds fills her with inner strength she’s never felt before. Through it all, Mary not only finds kindred spirits, but reunites with a more intimate stranger no longer sequestered by fear and habit: herself.

Descriptive Words: One woman’s journey of self-discovery

Thoughts: This is such an intriguing novel.  I loved getting to know Mary Gooch. Lori Lansens gives the reader a lot of back story which I appreciated.  Watching Mary come alive as she set out on her search for her husband was enthralling.  The fact that she’d hardly been anywhere her whole life made me cheer her on all the more as she drove to Toronto, hopped a plane for California, and trusted seemingly kind strangers.  I wasn’t cheering the fact that she was looking for Gooch but more that she was making decisions and seeing them through.

Mary met so many interesting people once she arrived in California: the car service driver,  the Mexican day laborers, a hair stylist, a well-to-do mother of triplets (whose husband had recently left her).  Getting to know them a bit prompted Mary to ask herself questions about her own expectations of life, herself, Gooch.   Answering the questions started change within Mary which in turn led to other changes – much like the butterfly emerging from the cocoon.

Source: Audiobook (giveaway win)

Why I Chose: Selection of the Word Shakers Online Book Club

Recommend? Yes.  It would be a great book club selection.

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

24 thoughts on “The Wife’s Tale by Lori Lansens

    • Hi Vivienne,

      I have just finished reading ‘The Girls’ and thought it was great, so like you, I shall be interested to read ‘The Wife’s Tale’.
      Lori Lansens seems to receive some very mixed reviews for her work, but I think that she writes with great perception and emotion.


  1. I think sometimes the best stories come from when a character’s life gets shaken up and they are forced to take action. This sounds like a good one.


  2. I would be frantic with the disappearance of my soulmate. He’d better be missing with good cause since he’s always a practical joker that way.

    The read sounds intense and will look for this at Indigo.

    Great review Mary.


  3. This has been on my wishlist and I’m glad to hear that you liked it. I like the way you reviewed this book. The wordshakers online book club sounds like fun!


  4. Glad that you liked it! You are right that there was a motley cast of characters; I liked this aspect of the book. My overall impression of the book was less favorable than yours, but I’m still glad that I read it.


  5. I’m glad I found such a great review for this book, now I know I shall definitely be adding it to my TBR pile.

    I have just finished reading ‘The Girls’, which also had mixed reviews, but which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a very emotional, thought provoking read, with just a hint of humour about the situation the characters find themselves in. It was very difficult sometimes to remember that this was not a true autobiography, it was written with such passion.

    The Wife’s Tale, sounds like another of those journey’s of discovery and I look forward to reading it.


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