I just finished reading The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller and I have to say that I was disappointed. I was expecting more, after all Miller’s book While I Was Gone was an Oprah book selection and was on the bestseller list. It took me a long time to read The Senator’s Wife and I think it was due to the fact that I just didn’t like any of the characters in the book.
Meri and Nathan are newlyweds who move into a New England townhome which shares a common wall with Tom Naughton, a retired senator and his wife Delia. Nathan, a real fan of the senator is disappointed to find out that although Tom and Delia are still married, the senator no longer lives next door. The Naughton’s have a very complicated relationship. Over the years, Tom had numerous affairs yet Delia still was by his side duing his campaigns and welcomed him in and out of her life. How sad that Delia never really moved on with her life and never gave up on the idea of reuniting with her husband. And then there was Meri, who was just learning what marriage was all about. Shortly after moving in, Meri finds herself pregnant and very unhappy with the changes to her body due in part to the way her husband treats her. Mothering does not come naturally to Meri and because she does not have a mother to turn to she looks to Delia for advice.
The book was slow and I kept waiting for something to happen, and eventually it did but not until the very end of the book. What happens is strange, disturbing and not very believable. I wish that our book club had read this book, because I really would enjoy hearing what everyone else had to say!