The Good Wife by Stewart O'Nan
A Novel

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From a writer who reveals 'the plainness of everyday life with straightforward lyricism' (The New York Times Book Review), the story of one remarkable, average woman.

On a clear winter night in upstate New York, two young men break in to a house they believe is empty. It isn't, and within minutes an old woman is dead and the house is in flames. Soon after, the men are caught by the police. Across the county, a phone rings in a darkened bedroom, waking a pregnant woman. It's her husband. He wants her to know that he and his friend have gotten themselves into a little trouble. So Patty Dickerson's old life ends and a strange new one begins.

At once a love story and a portrait of a woman discovering her own strength, The Good Wife follows Patty through the twenty-eight years of her husband's incarceration, as she raises her son, navigates a system that has no place for her, and braves the scorn of her community. Compassionate and unflinching, The Good Wife illuminates a marriage and a family tested to the limits of endurance.


About Stewart O'Nan

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STEWART O'NAN is the author of twelve previous novels, including Songs for the Missing, A Prayer for the Dying, and Snow Angels. In Faithful, he and Stephen King chronicled the 2004 Boston Red Sox. He was born, raised, and lives in Pittsburgh with his family.
Published April 1, 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 325 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance, Education & Reference. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Good Wife

Kirkus Reviews

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Patty simply lives her commitment to her marriage every day for 28 years, and we believe in it because we believe in the fully dimensional, ordinary but extraordinary character O’Nan has created.

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The New York Times

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Stewart O'Nan's heroine is young and pregnant, and her husband is in jail for murder.

May 08 2005 | Read Full Review of The Good Wife: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

Patty Dickerson is pregnant with her first child when her hubby, Tommy, is arrested on murder charges after he and a pal break into a house in upstate New York they mistakenly, drunkenly think is abandoned.

Mar 21 2005 | Read Full Review of The Good Wife: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

… This is a story of love and loyalty, duty and determination, beautifully told and steadily unfolding …" Carole Goldberg Los Angeles Times 4 of 5 Stars "The Good Wife is a quietly devastating, thought-provoking examination of love and loyalty—old-fashioned family values—that can’t be locked...

Jan 08 2008 | Read Full Review of The Good Wife: A Novel

With Tommy away, she has to raise a baby alone, take a job with the county road crew, and move in with a mother who didn’t believe she should marry Tommy in the first place.

May 04 2005 | Read Full Review of The Good Wife: A Novel

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