An Inconvenient Wife, Megan Chance

I love books about the Victorians.  It’s Oscar Wilde’s fault for being one.  And I like books about mental illness, as long as they do not do that stream of consciousness thing, which I absolutely can’t stand.  So when I read about this on the other Jenny Claire’s blog, I was pleased as punch to read it; and yes, I did mess up my don’t-check-out-any-more-library-books thing in order to get this book.  And, okay, yes, since I was at the library anyway, I may have gotten a few other books as well.

An Inconvenient Wife is about an upper-class American woman called Lucy who is very depressed and anxious and has been having panic attacks, because she’s unhappy with married life.  Her husband William wants to take care of her.  After a number of failed attempts to fix her, her husband arranges for her to see a neurologist called Victor Seth.  Seth becomes obsessed with trying to make Lucy all strong and independent, and let’s just say that their doctor-patient relationship does not remain entirely a professional one.

This was a thought-provoking book – Lucy is becoming a person who does not depend on her husband and peers to define how she should behave.  On the other hand, you never feel sure that she’s doing what she wants to do and being who she’s supposed to be, because her doctor’s manipulating her, and their relationship is never going to be acceptable because he’s abusing the entire doctor-patient dynamic.  It was disturbing.  I never felt like I had found my footing.

Given the choice, I’d rather read a book that was slightly melodramatic, than one that was so reflective you couldn’t locate a plot.  However, I thought this book could have been better than it was by being just the tiniest smidge more subtle about Lucy’s mindset, and the things that were going to happen.  Towards the end of the book, a number of slightly melodramatic things happened, and they would have been completely fine (you know, more fine) if they had been handled a bit more delicately.

Advertisements

One thought on “An Inconvenient Wife, Megan Chance

  1. I agree that it could have been more subtle, but the fact that this kind of thing went on has always intrigued and bewildered me. Modern women have a difficult time imagining such circumstances.

    When I mentioned “disturbing,” I wasn’t just talking about the doctor/patient relationship, but at Lucy’s inability to do anything for herself initially…and then the drastic change. Or…was the manipulative quality that sublimated?

    The melodrama reminded me of Thaw/White murder and Evelyn Nesbit for some reason.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s