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The Good Wife by Stewart O'Nan

The Good Wife of Stewart O'Nan's novel is Patty Dickerson. While pregnant with her son, her husband, Tommy, gets involved in a drunken episode that leads to murder. He's sentenced to prison for 25 years to life, and Patty stands by him the whole time. She knows no other way than to be Tommy's wife, taking her son on weekly visits to the prison, even after Tommy is transferred to prisons farther and farther away. She lives a mostly isolated life, as if Tommy's crime extends to her also, and she works menial jobs that leave her constantly in poverty. Tommy steadfastly maintains his innocence, and Patty lives a life of endurance waiting for her family to be together again. The Good Wife has received positive reviews with the Washington Post saying, "The title has an ironic sheen to it, for who could possibly be as good as Patty, as even-keeled and patient? But there's another level on which O'Nan is being completely earnest. Patty Dickerson is a wonderful character, and this novel is astonishing."
Buy The Good Wife by Stewart O'Nan

Washington Post review by Meg Wolitzer

New York Times review by Nell Freudenberger

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel review by Whitney Gould

San Francisco Chronicle review by June Sawyers

Stewart O'Nan
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