Author: Andromeda Romano-Lax. (Author of Behave, Searching for Steinbeck’s Sea of Cortez, & The Detour. Read more about Andromeda in our interview HERE!)
Andromeda Romano Lax’s 3 Favorite Books
I have too many favorites so my best way to focus is by theme, and in this case, my theme will be “wives in the shadows” plus “mother blame,” two topics that are central to my novel, Behave.
In the first category, I absolutely love Meg Wolitzer’s The Wife, which is acerbic, funny, and all-too-real. I’ve read it multiple times, and even once the book’s twists are revealed, it’s no less enjoyable. (By the way, one of my favorite classic male writers is Philip Roth, but what he tends to ignore–the inner lives of women and especially wives–Wolitzer examines with a fabulous, Roth-like wit.)
Also in the category of shadow wives I recommend Curtis Sittenfeld’s American Wife. I loved how she handled a fictionalized version of the Barbara Bush story. Both historical truth and unfettered invention co-exist harmoniously in this empathetic novel.
In the category of “mother blame” I challenge anyone to read Lionel Shriver’s We Need To Talk About Kevin and not feel chills, horror, and that rarer thing–sympathy. This is a book that will stay frighteningly current as long as we have mass shootings, but even without the violent storyline it’s a great look at failed mother-child bonding, guilt, public shaming, and all those things that make being a mom heart-breakingly tough at times.
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