Saturday, January 17, 2009

Wife in the North

Wife in the North Wife in the North by Judith O'Reilly

Book 2 of 3 for the Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge
Book 7 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge

rating: 4 of 5 stars

I knew I was going to like this memoir.  There was just so much I could relate to.  I've been there--moving far from home whilst pregnant because my husband asked me to and hanging out with little kids all day long with its ensuing insanity while said husband is MIA and I am left wondering what happened to that great career I was going to have.  But Judith O'Reilly puts all of her thoughts and feelings into words with such raw grace and honesty, I could never express myself as she does.  Plus, Judith lives in England, so you get the advantage of reading a book with decidedly British words like 'whinge' and 'bap' and 'blimey'.

Judith is a journalist who had a great career living in London.  In her mid-30s she married and started having children.  Her husband always loved Northumberland (a county near Scotland) and they had a small cottage home there.  But, Judith's husband wanted to move there on a trial basis for two years to see if they could make it work.  And Judith agreed to give it a go.

The first 113 pages of the book are from Judith's diary.  But in late 2006, Judith decided to start a blog to express her feelings, and her blog entries comprise the last 222 pages.  This book also includes a reading group guide and a discussion with Judith at the end.  I loved it when Judith says:
I have my doubts though whether we will ever really belong.  You decide whether you can live with being on the outside of things.  I have decided we can.
I can see where people might think Judith complains a lot.  But, everyone blogs for different reasons--creative interest, to connect, share, keep memories, or let off steam.  I think Judith's book will strike a chord with a lot of women who change their life course for their husband and children.  Check out her blog here.  (One disclaimer: Judith does use some strong language from time to time.)

Thanks to Julie at FSB Associates for the opportunity to review this book!

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Anonymous said...

I wasn't crazy about this book, but did wonder why her husband wanted to move to the country since he was never there.

Anonymous said...

Interesting...I'll have to look this one up.

Luanne said...

Sounds interesting! Thanks for your review.

Corinne said...

I found that I really related to her too, good review