It’s no secret that book lovers love to read books about books. Reading a book about books means getting comfortable with an acute awareness of the page, often watching characters react to a second set of fictional characters and, in turn, a dimension of themselves. For that reason, I find the plot device a captivating one, a chance to push boundaries of established genres and tropes encapsulating the essence of fiction with fiction.
Imbued with the characteristic wit and intelligence that Meg Wolitzer brought to The Interestings, The Wife raises big questions about voice, marriage, power, and gender in literature. Slim but smart, this provocative story can be read in a day, but it will remain on your mind for much longer. A film adaptation starring Glenn Close and Frances McDormand is in the works and we would watch those two titans of acting in just about anything.
What do you do with an “eccentric” child whose personal style recalls 1930s Hollywood? What do you do with his mother, a J. D. Salinger–type author who, after falling prey to a Ponzi scheme, must hire someone to take care of her son while she finishes her long-awaited second book? In short, BE FRANK WITH ME is a sweet story of a family, born and made, in all its unconventionality.