The Senator’s Wife


Author:  Sue Miller

Title:  The Senator’s Wife

Genre: Women’s Lives & Relationships, Domestic Fiction

Publication Date:  2008

Number of Pages:  305

Geographical Setting:  New England

Time Period:  1994

Series (If applicable):

Plot Summary:  This novel follows the lives of two women who are neighbors in a duplex home.  Meri is 37 and has just moved with her new husband from the Midwest to a small, New England college town.  Delia has lived there for almost thirty years, living separately from her Senator husband; the two have remained married throughout his long political career and numerous extramarital affairs.  Meri and Delia come to know each other well over the course of a year as the two struggle to cope with what life has in store for them.  The narrative alternates between their two perspectives and readers occasionally get a look back at Delia’s earlier life.  The story concludes with a look at their lives in 2007, 13 years after a devastating event shatters Delia and Meri’s friendship.

Subject Headings:  Politics, marriage, women – friendship, men/women relations, extramarital relations

Appeal:  Relaxed pace, moving, dramatic, character-driven, flawed, multiple points of view, compelling, domestic, layered, small-town, sophisticated, simple

3 terms that best describe this book:  Relaxed pace, flawed, domestic

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

–       The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House by John F. Harris – The story is told in the early nineties so Bill Clinton is mentioned several times throughout the book.  Readers may be interested to read more about Bill Clinton and his time in office.

–       My Life by Bill Clinton – Readers may also be interested in reading Bill Clinton’s autobiographical work to learn more about him.

–       The Senator: My Ten Years with Ted Kennedy by Richard E. Burke – Anyone interested in reading about a real senator may want to try this book about Ted Kennedy, written by one his personal assistant of ten years.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

–       Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks – Like The Senator’s Wife, Save Haven also focuses on women’s lives and relationships and has a similarly relaxed pace and compelling story.

–       The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg – This is another character-driven story by another big-name author like Sue Miller.  Both novels feature characters that come from a dysfunctional family, as Meri did in The Senator’s Wife.

–       American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld – This is also a story of a politician’s wife with a similarly character-driven storyline that deals with conflict in marriage and men/women relations.

Name:  Julie F.


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