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The Wifes Tale Audiobook, by Lori Lansens Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Lori Lansens Narrator: Justine Eyre Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2019 ISBN: 9780735278653
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,233 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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It’s the eve of her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and Mary Gooch is waiting for her husband, Jimmy, to come home. But Mary isn’t just waiting for Jimmy. She is waiting for a mother who accepts her, children she is unable to have, a life beyond the well-worn path from her bedroom to the refrigerator. Mary is waiting for her life to start.
 
As she waits for Jimmy, the night passes into day and it becomes clear that he isn’t coming home. A letter left in the mailbox confirms her worst fears and Mary is left alone to make a difficult decision. Should she break free from her inertia and salvage her marriage? Or is the pull of the familiarity of her home, the predictability of her daily routines, too strong to resist?
 
For the first time in her life, Mary decides to leave and boards a plane to California. She flies across the country in a desperate attempt to find her husband. The clothes, the marriage, the home that had given her a place to hide for so long are all gone. Mary soon finds that the bright sun and broad vistas of California force her to look up from the pavement, stop waiting and start living. What she finds when she does is an 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Like short-story queen Alice Munro, to whom she is often compared, Lansens demonstrates a singular gift for discerning both the ordinary and the extraordinary in small-town life and small-town people. Winnipeg Free Press
  • A persuasive, dynamic storyteller, Lansens leads us through flashbacks into the world of a lonely, always-hungry child, who grows into a dutiful, anxious, hungry adult. The Toronto Star
  • [Lansens’s] gift, and it’s to be cherished, is one of deep engagement with her subject, and empathetic involvement that broadens to draw in the reader. The Globe and Mail
  • Heartwarming. . . . It's the urgency of this quest, along with Lansens's great capacity for humour and insight, especially as pertaining to the complex world of human emotions, that makes this book so riveting and compelling. . . . Lansens's equation of middle age with a second chance is a cheeringly attractive proposition. The Gazette
  • A sensitive but deliciously comic account of Mary’s fight against the ‘obeast’ that has lived inside her since childhood, The Wife’s Tale offers more than self-improvement: there are loving reflections on marriage and family in small-town Ontario, hilarious travelogues about American obsessions . . . of course, there’s plenty of self-discovery too. The New York Times

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kris | 2/18/2014

    " Lori Lansens is one of my favorite writers since I read "Rush Home Road" some time back. This novel is good but (for me) just does not reach the excellence and offer the heart that "Rush Home Road" did. I would certainly recommend this though. She is such a good writer and even though this was not my favorite of hers, it was pretty darn good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rochelle | 2/14/2014

    " I am glad I found this one stuck on my bookshelf. I thoroughly enjoyed this story about Mary and her journey of change and learning to break her obsessive destructive cycle and to love who she is and live her life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sally | 2/11/2014

    " I loved this book! Mary Gooch is the most memorable character I've found in a long time. Morbidly obese, trapped in her own world of obsession and fear, married to wonderful Jimmy "Gooch," the love of her life. Then Gooch up and disappears on the eve of their 25th anniversary, leaving her with $25,000 of lottery winnings and the chance for a life out of her comfort zone. Leaving small town Canada for Los Angeles - on his trail - she finds herself. And it's a joy to see her reborn. And yes, as she gains insight, she loses weight, her huge appetite disappearing along with beloved Gooch. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Eve | 2/10/2014

    " i haaaaaaaaaated it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 2/7/2014

    " It was nice to read a book about a character who is overweight. It was a nice story and I enjoyed reading it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauren | 2/2/2014

    " This book was disappointing. I really enjoyed Lansen's book The Girls and was hoping for the same type of unique story in Mary Gooch. Mary, the main character, goes from being obsessed with eating, to pretty much anorexic after her husband leaves her. I could not relate to her eating, failed marriage, and lack of self confidence. She was a depressed and depressing character. The only happy parts of the story are when Mary starts to find herself at the end. I thought it was unrealistic that Lansens would have Mary solve all her problems with food throughout her whole life, leading to her obesity, and then when presented with a failed marriage she just stops eating. I would recommend Lansens other books before this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Candace | 1/17/2014

    " An obese woman's husband leaves her. In her search to find him, she finds herself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie | 1/5/2014

    " What a great book!!!! I really wanted to give the book 5/5 but I was slightly unsatisfied with the ending, I get why the author ended it the way she did but.........or maybe it's just that I could have kept reading about Mary Gooch's adventure for forever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 1/5/2014

    " 3 1/2 stars. There was some great writing at the beginning, and I thought it was a very thoughtful look at obesity and why it occurs, but it lost a bit of the magic as it went along. I will try to get another one of her books and read it, too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tami | 1/1/2014

    " This was funny and profoundly sad. The title character Mary could be any woman, anywhere. Going to search for her missing husband, she instead finds herself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tonya | 12/31/2013

    " Very good book. You will cheer for Mary the whole entire time, loving her new independence and determination!!!! See whole review on Amazon!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lester | 12/30/2013

    " What a good book! I remember really liking 'The Girls' by Lori Lansens. This book..really about human nature..self doubts..self questioning. Thankx. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandra | 10/31/2013

    " Started slow. Picked up mid way after the transformation, ended much stronger. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 3/16/2013

    " My first e-book! Liked the story but didn't like the Ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Misty | 2/9/2013

    " I really like this book. It is about an obese woman and her struggles in life. I was kind of disappointed with the ending because it just ended and I just wanted to keep going and see how things turned out for her. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 7/23/2012

    " The first three-fourths of this book seemed scattered and contrived. I thought the story picked up a bit at the end of the book, but Lansens seemed to take a popular path and ended her book abruptly without providing any answers. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rein | 7/10/2012

    " I did not enjoy it that much. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Patricia | 6/26/2012

    " This is a book that takes you on a pretty sad path. I cringed while reading it frequently. I felt a lot for the main character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victoria | 4/30/2012

    " Heartbreakingly wrought, yet magical, with a flawed, heroic protagonist. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ana | 3/13/2012

    " I was irritated by the ending. Absolutely nothing was explained or resolved. Iliked the book up to that point. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valria | 10/1/2011

    " Very easy read. Gripping for me perhaps just because of identifying with her food issues. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stacey | 7/2/2011

    " Better than a 3 but not really a 4! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 5/16/2011

    "
    I thought this book was well written. I really felt like I was 302 pounds and going through the same rough times as Mary Gooch. The ending was a little disappointing for me - I like to know how things turn out - and this one left me hanging... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dereth | 4/27/2011

    " Where were we? Where did we go and how did we end? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tabatha | 4/6/2011

    " This was a difficult book to start. But once I got into it, I really enjoyed it. I recommend it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Aimee | 3/24/2011

    " Took me forever to finish because it didn't speak to me on any level. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 CE | 3/5/2011

    " I found it very interesting and a different read. Not a typical love story but a revelation story. If that makes sense :) I of course was not happy with the ending but I rarely am. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gina | 2/28/2011

    " Such a disapointing ending. No closure whatsoever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beadyjan | 2/27/2011

    " Enjoy this authors writing very much however I found this story of an obese woman a little disjointed and in some parts unrealistic, good but not as good as the Girsl and Rush home road. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 2/21/2011

    " Extremely detailed and descriptive book about the main character's transformation. Moves from Canada to Malibu and both places are well-described. She is put in odd situations, but felt believable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 2/20/2011

    " I wasn't sure if I would like this, I hate books where the main character is so completely clueless. But, but, it turns out she's not clueless. She's just a late bloomer and I can totally identify with that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/17/2011

    " It was ok... Wasn't overly impressive but told a nice story. I wish the ending would have given more closure. "

About the Author

Lori Lansens has written several films and is the author of the bestselling novel The Girls, among other books. She lives in California with her family.

About the Narrator

Justine Eyre is a classically trained actress who has narrated many audiobooks, earning the prestigious Audie Award for best narration and numerous Earphones Awards. She is multilingual and known for her great facility with accents. She has appeared on stage, with leading roles in King Lear and The Crucible, and has had starring roles in four films on the indie circuit. Her television credits include Two and a Half Men and Mad Men.