Love came late to Meri, but in a rush: she met Nathan at thirty-six, he moved in a month later, and they married a month after that. Now they are exchanging their comfortable mid-western existence for life in a college town in New England, a house of their own, a more responsible teaching job for Nathan - a new life that Meri is not sure she even wants. Though she loves her husband, with an erotic heat that shows no sign of cooling, some rebel force in her struggles with these changes, and she feels there is trouble ahead for their marriage.
When they find just the right house, Meri baulks at the expense, at the sheer adult-ness of it all, but Nathan is full of the possibilities of the place, and boyishly excited by the fact that their next-door neighbour is the distinguished Senator Tom Naughton, a political hero of his, now a man in his seventies. The senator is nowhere to be seen, but Meri strikes up an unexpected friendship with his wife, the elegant, patrician Delia - the very antithesis of Meri, with all her smudgy tomboy sexiness.
The more Meri comes to know about the Naughtons, the more she is drawn to this private, poised woman, sensing that she has much to learn from her - about marriage, love and motherhood. But the closer, too, she comes to a final, terrible breach of trust that could ruin everything...
Beautifully written and alive with telling, truthful detail, The Senator's Wife is a completely absorbing story about the sacrifices love demands of us all.
About the Author
Sue Miller was born in Chicago in 1943. She is the bestselling author of eight previous novels including The Good Mother, While I Was Gone , The Distinguished Guest and Lost in the Forest , and of the acclaimed memoir The Story of My Father. She serves as the chair of PEN, New England. Sue Miller lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
How loyalty and betrayal occur within marriage and within friendship are the central but not the only questions raised in this quietly provocative domestic novel from Miller (Lost in the Forest, 2005, etc.).In 1993, 37-year-old Meri and her new husband Nathan buy half a duplex in the Connecticut college town where he teaches history. Although Nathan and she have definite sexual chemistry, Meri is uncertain about the lasting power of their love. She is painfully aware of their different backgrounds, in particular his mother's continuing affection in contrast to her own lack of maternal love growing up. Their neighbor in the attached house is Delia, the wife of former Senator Tom Naughton. Meri is drawn to Delia as a mother figure, but Delia, while friendly, is slightly aloof. While house-sitting for Delia, newly pregnant Meri reads a stash of Delia's letters from Tom delineating the Naughtons' private marital history. Tom's infidelities made marriage impossible, especially after his fling with their daughter's roommate, but Delia and he have continued to rendezvous since their public separation. Shortly after Meri gives birth to her son, Tom suffers a debilitating stroke and Delia brings him back to Connecticut to care for him. Delia comments that she and Meri are living parallel lives, tending a baby and an invalid husband. Actually, the ever-insecure Meri feels alienated from Nathan, unloving toward the baby and generally ugly and unhappy. Delia, meanwhile, is thrilled to have her husband completely to herself at last. But even semi-paralyzed, Tom carries on a sexually charged flirtation with Meri that destroys Delia's temporary Eden. Years later, happily ensconced in her family life with Nathan and their three sons, Meri has found the capacity for love that Delia represented, but her remorse over betraying Delia remains limited.Despite an overly deliberate pace, Miller brings into stark yet uplifting relief the limitations of morality when confronted with love. (Kirkus Reviews)
Number Of Pages: 306
Published: 3rd March 2008
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.2 x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.424