Synopses & Reviews
From one of Britain's most exciting young writers comes the story of a couple's emotional and complicated relationship ... from the husband's perspective. Novel About My Wife is narrated by Tom Stone as he searches through the mysteries his wife has left him with. The reader is left to discover what dark thing has come between him and his beloved partner.
Tom Stone is, as well as being cheerfully neurotic, madly in love with his wife Ann, an Australian in self-imposed exile in London. Pushing forty and newly pregnant, they buy their first house in Hackney. It seems they are moving into a settled future, despite spiralling money troubles. But Ann is dogged by a local homeless man whose constant presence comes to feel like a terrible omen. As her pregnancy progresses Ann finds solace in her new friendship with Kate, a woman Tom is both repelled by and peculiarly drawn to. Their home is beset with vermin, smells and strange noises. Is this normal for London, or is the measure of normality in this city actually mad?
Novel About My Wife is Tom's effort to understand this woman he has been so blindly in love with, and to peel back the past to see where the real threats in their lives were hiding. It is an investigation of guilt, love, forgiveness, and the perils of forgetting.
She wasn't one of those women who hate their feet, who hate their bodies, the kind who turn the sight of their ass in broad daylight into a state secret. (God, you just find yourself dying for a glimpse, you'll do anything to get it, hover outside the bathroom door, hide under a table, pull back the sheets when she's sleeping. Then because of all the mystery you end up, when you're finally feasting youreyes, thinking, 'hey, maybe she has got something to worry about.') Ann didn't care. Her body was open for viewing. It was one of the ways she distracted you from what was inside her head.
--from Novel About My Wife
"The lives of a London couple about to have their first child unravel in Perkins's haunting third novel. In the wake of surviving a train derailment, pregnant Ann Wells tells her husband, struggling screenwriter Tom Stone, that a man has been following her. With only Ann's vague description, the police can do little and Tom attempts to reassure his wife about her safety. As her due date approaches, Ann turns her attention to scouring the house and molding clay 'guardian' figures, while Tom searches for work. Finally, Tom agrees to approach a popular television writer and fellow train accident survivor, Simon Wright, for work. After the birth of their son, Arlo, Ann's behavior grows more disturbing, and Tom realizes too late the truth behind her fears. Perkins's gamble to reveal Ann's fate in the early pages pays off; the suspense mounts with each added detail, until everything falls into place in an unsettling climax. Throughout, both Tom and the reader struggle to find a moment when everything could have been prevented." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A chilling gothic tale about a gorgeous young wifes descent into madness, from a rising literary star.
When Tom moves with his wife, Ann, from their tiny Camden flat into a large house in Hackney, he feels as if its the start of the rest of their life together. Deeply in love, and with a baby on the way, Tom thinks everything is finally coming together. He and Ann anticipate the arrival of the baby, as Ann, particularly galvanized, spends hours cleaning and reorganizing the house, and sitting up all night talking with a renewed passion about life, love, and art. But there is a darker side to this new fervor, somehow linked with her conviction that someone is lingering threateningly around their new home. Someone who—Tom soon realizes—may not exist at all.
About the Author
Emily Perkins is the author of Not Her Real Name, a collection of short stories that won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the John Lewellyn Rhys Prize, and the novels Leave Before You Go and The New Girl. She lives in New Zealand.