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"Mates are not always matches, and matches are not always mates, " pronounces Magda Danvers, the magnificent central figure in Gail Godwin's wise and affecting new novel. With The Good Husband, one of America's most gifted novelists creates a portrait of two marriages and four unforgettable characters that travels beyond the usual questions of love and domestic comfort to explore the most profound consequences of intimate relationships. It is also, in its deepest sense, a novel about how we influence and transform - and sometimes complete - one another. As a young woman, brilliant, charismatic, and eternally curious, Marsha Danziger transformed herself into Magda Danvers, taking the academic world by storm with her controversial treatise on visionaries, The Book of Hell. She was already a star when she came upon Francis Lake in a midwestern seminary and married him, to everyone's surprise, including their own. It was a mating that seemed perfect: Magda pursued her career, and attentive, caring Francis devoted himself to Magda. Now, Magda's grave illness puts their marriage to its ultimate test. Even as she faces her "Final Examination, " Magda's genius does not desert her. From her bed she continues to arouse her visitors with compelling thoughts and questions, which will change the lives of some of them. Into the heady atmosphere of Magda's provocative repartee comes Alice Henry, fresh from her own family tragedy. Magda's room soon becomes a refuge for Alice from her crumbling marriage to brooding Southern novelist Hugo Henry. But is it the incandescence of Magda's ideas that draws Alice, or the secret of "the good marriage" that she is desperate to discover? For Alice, Hugo, Francis,and Magda will learn that the most ideal relationship - even a perfect marriage - doesn't come without a price. Gracefully written, keenly insightful, intimate in its revelations, The Good Husband reverberates with the lives of its characters, their histories, and the most urgent l
July 10, 1995
5.52 X 8.14 X 1.1 inches | 1.25 pounds
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About the Author
Gail Godwin is a three-time National Book Award finalist and the bestselling author of twelve critically acclaimed novels, including A Mother and Two Daughters, Violet Clay, Father Melancholy's Daughter, Evensong, The Good Husband, Queen of the Underworld, and Unfinished Desires. She is also the author of The Making of a Writer: Journals, 1961-1963 and The Making of a Writer, Volume 2: Journals, 1963-1969, edited by Rob Neufeld. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grants for both fiction and libretto writing, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has written libretti for ten musical works with the composer Robert Starer. Gail Godwin lives in Woodstock, New York.