Thank you for Visiting

This book club provided an opportunity to discuss books with authors from 2009 - 2013. I like to think we were a group of daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, well... women finding time to meet while juggling daily life.

I hope you enjoy exploring The Manic Mommies Book Club Archives. We read 46 books over the years, with audio or written author discussions for each book read documented on this blog.

~ with kindness & gratitude, Mari

The Wife's Tale: Discussion Recap

What a night! We were thrilled to discuss The Wife’s Tale with Lori Lansens with about a dozen other women.

At the end of my work day I was able to fit in a quick workout before getting on the call. I know a few mom’s listened with their kids in the background, Heather joined from work, and I believe Kim took the call while on the bus (traveling from NYC to her home). We started our discussion talking about a mom who listened to our January book club while waiting for her children at Karate. We are truly on the move, trying to find time for us!

If you were not able to join us last night you will find a 30 minute clip posted for your listening pleasure (see link on the right column). More importantly, if you haven’t had the chance to read this book yet I encourage you to read it. This is the story of a woman who is lost, paralyzed by life. She has stopped living and when her husband goes missing Mary Gooch is forced to take make some decisions. Along the way she begins to find herself, meeting some wonderful people, discovering that she is a priority and can survive!

I need to give a special thank you to Lori, I was having some computer issues for the first few minutes of the call and had to reboot my laptop (ugh) – while I did this Lori shared a bit about her life. She’s married, with two children and lives in California. Her first three books take place in Canada, where she is from and she is working on an idea for her fourth novel. You can hear all about it when you listen to the audio clip.

We have a few bloggers that are also MMBC readers. Gayle with Everyday I write the Book has posted her review.  Leave a comment with the link to your review, if you are reading/writing with us. I"m aware of two or three others (they haven't posted yet though).

Here are some questions for you, the reader:
- What was your overall view of the book? Did you enjoy it?
- Did you have a favorite part in the book?
- How did your opinion of Mary Gooch change from the beginning of the book to the end?
- Lastly, do you have any questions for the author? If yes, leave them here and I will send a list to Lori.

The following recap is in my own words:

Overcoming fears: We discussed that Mary is fearful to the point of not being able to live her life. Fear is a state of mind, when Mary boards the plane for the first time she overcomes a fear and begins to realize flying isn't so scary.  As the book continues we watch Mary overcome many fears.

Women going through a divorce seem to relate to Mary, they have a great opportunity to recreate themselves

Mary’s voice: This book has little dialog since we are listening to Mary work through her issues. Why? Mary is looking into a mirror in the first paragraph and shes sharing her 'internal landscape'. The story is told with only Mary’s voice so we can understand that she feels cloistered.

Mary’s high school weight loss: Lori shares the dirt story that we were all talking about! It’s an unbelievable story – listen to the clip to hear the complete story. It’s based on tur events.

Author’s weight struggle: Yes, Lori has struggled with her weight over the years; she wants everyone to remember you do not need to be over weight to have issues with food. Mary Gooch is just one woman and this is one woman’s weight loss story.

The Ending: One reader commented on the ending and mentioned it was satisfying. As mentioned before, this is Mary’s story and the truth of Gooch remains a mystery (we never hear from him).

Where to you see Mary today? This is a tough question! Many readers have asked for a sequel and some would like to read Jimmy Gooch's story. Lori has thoughts about Mary but she doesn’t want to spoil her version because it changes as time goes on and she wants the reader to hold onto their vision for Mary.

Writing habits: Lori writes daily and has been known to set her alarm (she doesn’t want to write through the end of the school day - in true manic mommy fashion!).  She treats writing like a job and starts each day editing the previous days work.

What’s next for Lori: She’s thinking about writing setting her next book in Golden Hills (the California location in The Wife’s Tale)

Current reads and favorite authors: Lori is reading The Self Esteem Trap (a parenting book).  She enjoys Phillip Roth, John Irving, Margaret Atwood and many more.

Audio Link: If you were unable to join us, you can listen by clicking on the arrow below (you can also download to your computer/itunes by clicking on the link to the right).

Next month we will be discussing Why is my Mother getting a Tattoo with Jancee Dunn


  1. Thanks Mari!
    I REALLY enjoyed the conversation. I only got to hear about 30 mins. but was quite impressed! I definitely will have to join in on more of these teleconferences!

    Like I probably wrote you earlier, I am only half way through the book. I really have been enjoying Mary Gooch! I am really glad the author went with the obese issue. The "obeast" takes on a character of it's own! Like someone mentioned, everyone can relate to weight issues of some sort!

    I was glad to hear that someone mentioned the type of dialog that the author choose to use. I never thought of that until she mentioned it! It is very unique! I enjoy it! It is so nice to get others perspectives on things.

    Also I found "the eating dirt" thread very fascinating. I am glad that the author was so honest about how/why she incorporated that into the book! Different, but interesting!!
    I will have to listen in on what I missed! I am so happy I got the opportunity to read the book and listen in on the conversation! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!

    I will definitely write a comment on the site! I can't wait to finish the book. (Although I know a little about the ending.) It would be cool to have a book in Gooch's perspective (A Husband's Tale.) I sometimes think about certain favorite characters from past books and wonder, "how are they doing?" or "I wonder how they would handle this situation?" AWHHH, the power of reading and our imaginations! :)

    YOu have a fabulous rest of the week. Thanks again for the wonderful oppurtunity! I am hooked on this type of book discussion!


  2. I enjoyed this book tremendously. I devoured it within a few days, I was so engrossed in Mary’s character. I thought the writing and descriptions were terrific – I can envision Mary’s hurt foot with those winter boots on, walking around in hot and sunny Southern California. I also liked that there was not a reunion scene between Mary and Jimmy – the story was about her, and I liked that the focus remained as such.

  3. I just finished the book and will definitely be on the call. This is my first experience with a book club and I’m really looking forward to hearing from the author. I think it was an excellent choice and it really got me thinking. I actually delayed “The Wife’s Tale” it because I didn’t want it to be over (and I wanted her husband to come back and see her transformation and sensed that wasn’t going to happen).

  4. This one sounds wonderful.Ihope to get this book soon and read it for myself.


  5. Thanks so much! I didn't say much, but I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the discussion.

  6. I LOVED this book! Mary Gooch is such a complete, complex, original character - it's hard to believe she's fictional. I'm also a huge fan of Lansens' other two books, THE GIRLS and RUSH HOME ROAD. After reading THE WIFE'S TALE I've decided Lansens is my new favorite writer!