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Fiction Review – The Senator’s Wife

The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller

Review by Mirah Welday (mwelday)

The lives and relationships of women are front and center in The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller.

Meri and Delia are new neighbors.  Meri is young and newly married.  Delia is older and, while married, has lived a life separate from her husband for many years because of his chronic infidelity.  Miller brings these two women together in a way that creates an almost reverential relationship that follows them through a year in their lives.

Miller seems to acknowledge that what society has determined women should or shouldn’t do doesn’t always fit easily into real lives. If a woman has a cheating husband, everyone looking at their relationship knows what her response should be.  She should stay, she should leave, she should get her revenge, or she should take him for everything he is worth….everyone has the answer.

I admit I had a hard time relating to the main characters Meri and Delia. They made decisions I don’t think I would have made in their situations but I don’t know that for sure.  I think Meri wanted to learn how to be a good wife from Delia.  Delia wanted to live her own life and never asked to be Meri’s role model. I was caught up in their lives and relationships but I was found myself asking ‘what?’ and ‘why?’ too often throughout the book.  The ending made me feel disappointment in both of them; yet, it was an appropriate, almost inevitable ending.

Even with my inability to really connect with either character, I still think the book was worth reading.  Miller uses her novel’s structure and character development to tell a complete story and one that the reader could believe would truly happen.

 

 

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