Wife in the North

Judith O'Reilly, Author PublicAffairs $14.95 (352p) ISBN 978-1-58648-639-6
Remembering I Don't Know How She Does It, O'Reilly does her best impression, via blog, of Allison Pearson's overworked working mom in this collection of posts from the last three years of her life. As with Pearson's book, it has its charms and demerits. In a book too long by 100 pages, O'Reilly again and again makes the point that she did not wish to leave her London home to live in rural Northumberland, but her husband did: ""He thinks it is spiritual home; I think it beautiful but bleak and chill and nowhere that I want to be."" This whiny refrain quickly becomes irritating, and the short-entry format keeps the reasons behind that move (and O'Reilly's resentment) from ever being fully explored. O'Reilly's husband is a cipher, whose motives are never satisfactorily explored (after moving his family far away, he promptly goes back to work in London for weeks at a time). Much better, especially for Anglophile Americans, is when the author steps out with her new country neighbors, going on hunts and shearing sheep; O'Reilly's three children and, especially, her aging mother, also burst forth vibrantly, the product of loving examination.
Reviewed on: 08/04/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-14-103343-3
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-7867-4948-5
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