'My story begins where most women hope theirs will end - with a big, white wedding. After all, isn't that how every good fairy tale finishes? I thought so. And at 23, in love and engaged, it seemed my happy ever after was secure... That is until the man of my dreams died three weeks after our wedding. Look at me now: a 23-year-old widow. You'd never guess. I've learnt to hide it well. Because the way I saw it, there were only two options:
a) Dress in black, become a recluse and watch my wedding video on a loop
b) Decide falling in love again is out of the questions and choose an easy, uncomplicated alternative - sex.'
This book is amazing. Full stop. Wife, Interrupted is one of those books that stays with you long after closing the last page. When a book manages to bypass your mind and hit you right in your emotions - when you feel pain and sorrow right alongside a grieving widow, you know you are reading something deeply special.
It felt very much as though Amy Molloy was opening the personal journal to her life, and saying 'Here. This is what happened." She is never less than painfully honest about her life with Eoghan - and her life without him. I ran the full gamut of emotions while reading Molloy's stunning account of dealing with bereavement: sadness (yes, I cried - there is a funeral scene where I would defy anyone to keep dry eyes); anger (it seemed so unreasonable that Molloy had to deal with something so painful), and even humour (some of her accounts had me laughing out loud). Ultimately, what you take from this book is hope: that, even if your happy ending does not exist the way you wish it, you can be strong enough to make your own.
The prose is both stark and memorable. Molloy does not mince her words, even when dealing with dark sexual encounters and the horrible events that occur when a loved one is tackling the issues that crop up during cancer treatment. I think it is this bleak honesty that gives the book its sensational impact - if Molloy had softened her account, it would have been less meaningful.
I do think that this book should be read by anyone who recognises Amy Molloy's situation - that of caring for a loved one during the advanced stages of cancer. I genuinely believe it will do good in allowing people to realise that they are not alone in the event that they start resenting their role and feel genuinely relieved when their partner passes on. Molloy has written about her particular way of dealing with grief, which opens up the idea that ANY way of coping with grief is the "right" way for individuals.
I think my only complaint is that some of the men that Molloy turned to for casual sex were represented in a rather stereotypical manner - but I guess that even here Molloy was extremely honest about the fact that she rather picked the losers in order that they didn't become more to her than just a one night stand. Tyler, in particular, defied belief in a number of situations, but I think most women have had their own Tyler to deal with. I was rather pleased by the resolution to the Tyler storyline - once again, it expressed hope for the future.
I could wax lyrical about this book endlessly! I wouldn't say I enjoyed it, but that I absorbed it avidly. The story was sometimes very hard to enjoy, but the messages within the pages were powerful. Wife, Interrupted is as far from the generic fluff written in the chick lit as is possible to imagine, so don't be put off by the pastel cover! I recommend this without hesitation.
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