One of Mary’s first memories is of going to the doctor and being told that she is obese. In her young mind this sounds like a terrible word, like a monster in a fairy tale. She calls it the “obeast” and it controls her life for many years to come.
The Wife’s Tale by Lori Lansens was in some ways a very good book, but in other ways it let me down as well. It is the tale of Mary Gooch, morbidly obese and depressed, who’s husband leaves her suddenly right before their 25th anniversary.
In some ways, you might think that her husband left her because she is fat, but really that is rarely the case. Often the weight is merely a symptom of larger problems. Mary’s husband was very popular in high school, and they are married shot-gun style although they later lose the baby. Mary is incapable of dealing with this or any loss and turns to the fridge for comfort. She was only ever able to become thin through unhealthy ways, and never learns how to properly nourish herself.