Finished Book #7 late last night: Single Wife by Nina Solomon. This book was part of Dear Reader quite a while back. The premise intrigued me. A woman, Grace, has a husband that occasionally just leaves with no explanation. She covers for him because, well, he’s told her to. She makes excuses to their very social family and friends. She even leaves “evidence” of his still living at their apartment for the maid to tidy. And for the most part, no one really misses the guy, except for her. And well, eventually, he ends up being gone much too long.
Solomon takes a long while establishing the premise. By the time anything *really* happens plot-wise, it feels like the husband has been gone a year instead of a week or two. This works. She places just enough little oddities that I kept reading to see what was going to happen. And Solomon does a very good job with the sort of fuzzy logic that goes on in this woman’s head to make her husband’s behavior seem logical. Okay, there were occasions when I could have just shaken Grace, but there’s at least one character in the book that feels the same way. Still, the novel requires a healthy suspension of disbelief. The truly impressive thing about Solomon’s writing is the immense amount of detail that she puts forth. I was going to say that it’s almost too much detail about characters and places, but in real life that much detail exists. It’s just not known commonly known to a casual acquaintance or a reader. Again, this works for Solomon and gives everything a sort of strange heightened feel. We know everything Grace knows about every character or place, and that works as a counterpoint about how little she knows about her husband.