The title alone had me cracking the book spine and delving into it with deadly relish
BOOK REVIEW No. 16: Autopsy of A Boring Wife
by Marie-Renée Lavoie (House of Anansi Press)
The title alone had me cracking the book spine and delving into it with deadly relish.
And oh my….the dialogue! It is a bon mot series of phrases that are stained purple with sardonic wit and wry humour.
When 48-year-old Diane is told by her husband Jacques, “I’m in love with someone else,” the words that stick out in her brain are “dull and bored.”
Jacques, (the cad), moved out the same night he delivered his marriage-shattering news in order to give Diane “some time to calm down and think.”
Shortly thereafter, Jacques asked Diane to show up for their planned 25th wedding anniversary party and pretend everything was hunker dory.
And that is when the delightful romp that defines Autopsy Of A Boring Wife gains steam with bouts of revengeful spending and a series of events that culminates in a newly defined and very un-boring Diane.
With the money she gets from selling her wedding rings, Diane buys a pair of extravagantly expensive and stunning blue Italian boots because she “wanted my feet to eclipse everything else for a moment. I gave the rest to a youth centre, and they used it to buy a foosball and a ping-pong table. It made me happy to know that somewhere kids were whacking balls around on the scraps of my marriage.”
Can you not envision Jacque’s foosball ball-painted face rolling around on the smooth felt of the gaming table?
As the story rolls out, Diane’s dearest and favourite wine-drinking bosom buddy, Claudine, with whom she often shares a bottle or two of “temporary solution,” encourages her to reengage in life, to lose some weight, get fit, and get back out into the world, which prompts Diane to visit an athletic store for some jogging clothes.
Salesperson Karim greets Diane with the “dazzling smile of a non coffee-drinker,” before helping her with both new running shoes and a set of jogging clothes. Entering the store clad in filthy socks, (what happened to her shoes and her awkward encounter with the Tom Brady of accounting is alone worth picking up the book for), Diane states wryly, “In the end, I learned that I suffered from something called “overpronation” I’d come in to buy running shoes and left with a medical condition.”
Karim and Diane move over from shoes to the workout clothes where Karim suggests Diane try on a pair of Shock Absorber leggings and a pair of ‘scientifically proven’ underwear.
“He was basically telling me with a straight face that I needed to aerate my crotch and butt crack to prevent the proliferation of unwanted germs,” Diane opines.
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After spending over $400 on athletic clothing Diane comes to the conclusion that while running might free, it comes at the cost of investing hundreds of dollars.
Autopsy Of A Boring Wife is just what the divorce lawyer argues for on a rainy fall day. The book examines the harsh realities for a woman of a certain age living on her own, the journey around how to tell the kids, family and friends your husband has left you for another woman, and from there, how to survive the experience with great humour and wry observation.
Lavoie’s new book, A Boring Wife Settles The Score is now out.
I can hardly wait to read it because I know one thing’s for sure, I am guaranteed not to be bored with anything this Quebecois author has to say.