Having loved The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne I really wanted to try another Brian Moore novel and the Doctor’s wife really caught my attention, written in 1976 and a Booker prize short list nominee, its extremely well written and while its not my typical read I really found it quite intriguing. There are no major reveals or twists and turns and yet the story of a married woman who has an affair with a younger man is beautifully written and I just couldn't put this one down.
Sheila Redden, a quiet, middle aged doctor’s wife from Northern Ireland awaits the arrival of her husband to join her for their two week holiday in France. He has been delayed by a couple of days and she finds herself unexpectedly caught up in passionate affair with an American 10 years her junior.
There are flashes of Northern Ireland and the troubles throughout the story and we are transported to a time when women were pretty much seen and not heard, when a woman’s place was in the home and when the little lady did as she was told and yet we see many signs of the changes and while I felt pangs of sympathy for Mrs Reddan, there was times I felt annoyance and anger at her too and for me this had all to do with her son.
There are what were deemed “explicit sex scenes” in the 1970s which I would think by today’s standards are quite mild and are relevant to the story. This is quite a thought provoking novel and I would love to have read it for a book club as I think there is quite a lot to discuss here. The characters are so well portrayed and for a short novel it really packs a punch.