Elizabeth Brundage | Fiction
Imagine you are about to make a sandwich with your favorite bread ... sourdough? 16 grain? Brioche? Wonder bread? Whatever your choice, is it luscious! Then imagine that you smear peanut butter and grape jelly (nah, no one uses grape jelly anymore, do they?) make that strawberry preserves, on the two pieces of bread, in just the right quantity. Now, add a second layer of PB&P. Now add a third layer of PB&P. You now have a lovely sandwich with so much goo in the middle that your mouth gets stuck trying to chew it.
That’s what The Doctor’s Wife is like. The two pierces of bread are the meat (sorry for the reverse pun) of the story. They are about Michael Knowles, an OB-GYN doctor who is passionately committed to providing safe abortions as part of his work. In the beginning, and in the end, the story is compelling. It is about his kidnapping by Lydia, a member of a radicalized right-to-life organization. These pages are spell-binding; true mystery genre.
But the middle – the long and drawn out middle is about the affair between Michael’s wife Annie and Lydia’s husband Simon. It’s a little bit like a romance novel plopped into the center of a crime novel.
Now romance isn’t all bad. There are intriguing and interesting pieces in the center of this book. And it is important for the complex relationships among these four characters to be visible for us to see all the angles. Lydia and Simon especially have a somewhat astounding relationship.
With that preamble, I think you may enjoy The Doctor’s Wife. I did. I simply thought the author overdid one story line, to the detriment of the other.