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The Good Husbandby Gail Godwin
Synopses & Reviews
"Mates are not always matches, and matches are not always mates," pronounces Magda Danvers, the magnificent central figure in Gail Godwin's wise and affecting new novel. With The Good Husband, one of America's most gifted novelists creates a portrait of two marriages and four unforgettable characters that travels beyond the usual questions of love and domestic comfort to explore the most profound consequences of intimate relationships. It is also, in its deepest sense, a novel about how we influence and transform - and sometimes complete - one another. As a young woman, brilliant, charismatic, and eternally curious, Marsha Danziger transformed herself into Magda Danvers, taking the academic world by storm with her controversial treatise on visionaries, The Book of Hell. She was already a star when she came upon Francis Lake in a midwestern seminary and married him, to everyone's surprise, including their own. It was a mating that seemed perfect: Magda pursued her career, and attentive, caring Francis devoted himself to Magda. Now, Magda's grave illness puts their marriage to its ultimate test. Even as she faces her "Final Examination," Magda's genius does not desert her. From her bed she continues to arouse her visitors with compelling thoughts and questions, which will change the lives of some of them. Into the heady atmosphere of Magda's provocative repartee comes Alice Henry, fresh from her own family tragedy. Magda's room soon becomes a refuge for Alice from her crumbling marriage to brooding Southern novelist Hugo Henry. But is it the incandescence of Magda's ideas that draws Alice, or the secret of "the good marriage" that she is desperate to discover? For Alice, Hugo, Francis, and Magda will learn that the most ideal relationship - even a perfect marriage - doesn't come without a price. Gracefully written, keenly insightful, intimate in its revelations, The Good Husband reverberates with the lives of its characters, their histories, and the most u
"[A] BRILLIANT, WITTY AND PROVOCATIVE NEW NOVEL."
--San Francisco Chronicle
As a young woman, the brilliant and eternally curious Magda Danvers took the academic world by storm. Then, to everyone's surprise, she married Francis Lake, a mild, midwestern seminarian, who has devoted his life to taking care of his charismatic wife. Now, Magda's grave illness puts their marriage to its ultimate test.
Though facing her "Final Examination," Magda continues to arouse her visitors with compelling thoughts and questions. Into this provocative atmosphere comes Alice Henry, retreating from family tragedy and a crumbling marriage to novelist Hugo Henry. But is it the incandescence of Magda's ideas that draws Alice, or the secret of "the good marriage" that she is desperate to discover? For Alice, Hugo, Francis, and Magda will learn that the most ideal relationship--even a perfect marriage--doesn't come without a price....
"COMPELLING WRITING...REMARKABLY SKILLFUL...Gail Godwin shows herself to be at the height of her considerable power as a storyteller and a writer."
--The Boston Globe
"ONE OF HER FINEST BOOKS...It is not only a well-written story, but a mature and wise one, affirmative in its vision of love, unblinking in its portrayal of tragic loss."
--Atlanta Journal & Constitution
"FASCINATING...[A] BIG SUMPTUOUS BOOK...HER BEST NOVEL."
"A BRILLIANTLY CRAFTED NOVEL, full of fun and mischief and resonating with wisdom and moral depth."
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