The Percussionist’s Wife is a simple story of betrayal. The author turns an all too familiar tale into a fascinating and complex examination of an intelligent woman’s journey through a dark, life altering, episode. By sharing her thoughts and her thought process as she navigates this unbearably painful sojourn in her life, the author reveals the nuances that plague a woman during times of intolerable strife. Put simply, sometimes she’s brilliant and insightful, sometimes she’s into self-blame, sometimes she’s deep into denial and rationalization, almost sounding childlike in her naiveté.
Who among us has not wondered at our own level of intelligence when faced with a painful dilemma that would hurt far less were we to succumb to denial and rationalization? The author’s brutally honest portrayal of her daily mental climate is all too familiar. It is the most honest accounting of the disparity in our thought process as we move in and out of despair, hope, fury, relief and virtually every other emotion that plagues us as we work our way through life situations that make us feel frightened, insecure, self-doubting, angry and often worthless.
The author put herself out there so we could learn from her experience. She put herself out there so that we can feel worthwhile when we’re feeling worthless, and we can feel as though we’re not alone when we’re most alone.
If I were forced to find fault with The Percussionist’s Wife, it would be that the author, and protagonist, is clearly an intelligent and well-balanced individual, yet we only see the paranoid or rationalizing sides of her, and we don’t get very much information about the parts in her life that are working and wonderful. I think the dichotomy would be even more appalling were we to see how truly successful she is in other parts of her life.
Monica Lee is a personal historian, blogger and writer. A former reporter and newspaper copy editor, she also worked for years as a marketing executive with Creative Memories and Homemade Gourmet. A native of Minnesota, she blogs about her everyday life at http://minnesotatransplant.wordpress.com and writes about writing at http://mindfulmonica.wordpress.com. She lives in northern Illinois with her second husband.