Synopses & Reviews
“I love this books deft, fresh take on male-female relationships.”
—Marisa de los Santos, New York Times
bestselling author of Belong to Me
“A vibrant, nuanced novel about marriage, identity, and the moment when we realize that the shimmer of fantasy pales next to the tumultuous reality of ordinary, everyday happiness.”
—Carolyn Parkhurst, author of The Dogs of Babel
In The Ninth Wife by Amy Stolls, Bess Gray has just learned that the man she loves, the man who asked for her hand in marriage, has been married eight times before. This funny, touching, and surprising novel follows Bess on her cross-country odyssey to learn about her oft-wed fiancé from the eight ex-spouses who came before. Stolls, an acclaimed author of Young Adult novels and winner of the Parents Choice Gold Award brilliantly explores the very grown-up world of male-female relationships and family dynamics in the delightful, unforgettable new masterwork of contemporary womens fiction.
"Bess Gray, single and in her thirties, is starting to despair of ever finding a decent man in the Washington D.C. area. But that all changes when she meets Irish musician Rory McMillan. They hit it off immediately and within a few months he asks for her hand. What he doesn't say is that she would be accompanying him on his ninth walk down the aisle. Once he confesses he's been married eight times before, Bess doesn't know what to think or what to do. So she takes a cross country trip with her older neighbor, Cricket, a gay man, and her grandparents, who will move into an assisted care facility when they reach Arizona. Along the way, Bess hunts down Rory's ex-wives and try to figure out what sort of a man could have eight of them, in the process learning a great deal about relationships, love, and trust. Stolls's (Palms to the Ground) first foray into adult fiction offers a nuanced take on relationships. Though the book shines most brightly in Rory's reflections, the contrivance of the road trip mars an otherwise interesting tale. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
What sane woman would consider becoming any man's ninth wife?
Bess Gray is a thirty-five-year-old folklorist and amateur martial artist living in Washington, DC. Just as she's about to give up all hope of marriage, she meets Rory, a charming Irish musician, and they fall in love. But Rory is a man with a secret, which he confesses to Bess when he asks for her hand: He's been married eight times before. Shocked, Bess embarks on a quest she feels she must undertake before she can give him an answer. With her bickering grandparents (married sixty-five years), her gay neighbor (himself a mystery), a shar-pei named Stella, and a mannequin named Peace, Bess sets out on a cross-country journey—unbeknownst to Rory—to seek out and question the wives who came before. What she discovers about her own past is far more than she bargained for.
The Ninth Wife is a smart, funny, eye-opening tale of love, marriage, and the power of stories to unlock the true meaning of home and family.
About the Author
Amy Stolls's young adult novel Palms to the Ground was published in 2005 to critical acclaim and was a Parents' Choice Gold Award winner. A former environmental journalist who covered the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, she is currently a literature program officer for the National Endowment for the Arts. She lived in Washington, DC, with her husband and son.