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ELIZABETH BRUNDAGE is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she earned an MFA in fiction and a James Michener award. Her short fiction has been published in the Greensboro Review, Witness Magazine, and New Letters, and she contributed to the anthology Thicker Than Blood: I've Always Meant to Tell You, Letters to Our Mothers. Her most recent novel is All Things Cease to Appear.
Annie and Michael have always been well liked in their suburban neighborhood. But when Michael, "the perfect doctor," decides to help an old girlfriend at a local women's health center, the couple begins to receive mysterious threats. Are these from an antiabortion group? Or is it someone who doesn't like the fact that Annie is finding solace with someone else's husband while Michael is working at the clinic? When an accident occurs, and Michael is presumed dead, everything starts to unravel. First novelist Brundage has created strong, multifaceted characters, portraying Annie and Michael as genuine people whose jealousies, insecurities, and annoyances are completely understandable. Unlike the far-fetched resolutions of many suspense novels, the ending here is realistic yet satisfyingly dramatic. A thinking person's thriller, this is a fine debut, full of psychological suspense, plot twists and turns, malice disguised as religion, the taint of incest, and cheating spouses. Recommended for all public libraries.-Marianne Fitzgerald, Anne Arundel Cty. Schs., Annapolis, MD Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Set against the backdrop of the battle for abortion rights, this timely but stilted debut thriller features a perfect yuppie couple. Michael Knowles is a successful OB-GYN and his wife, Annie, is a popular journalism professor; they have two precious kids and a big, airy home in upstate New York. But once Michael accepts a position at the only abortion clinic in town, the already heavy strain that his doctor's schedule puts on their marriage sends Annie into the arms of a colleague, notorious painter Simon Haas. Meanwhile, Michael receives increasingly hostile threats from creepy antiabortion activists, suggesting that one, or both, of the Knowles are targets of a vicious terror campaign. The painter's childlike young wife, Lydia, as a menacing, tormented Bible-thumper scarred by a harsh, loveless upbringing, is the enigma that fuels Brundage's examination of what happens when we are drawn to the very things that promise to destroy us. But the lessons here are heavy-handed and the characterizations mechanical. The bad guys wear mirrored sunglasses as they force Michael off the road; the good guys wear jackets emblazoned with angel's wings; and the dialogue is delivered in short sound bites scripted for a TV cliffhanger. The Knowles' storybook marriage takes a number of dark, twisted turns, but the lack of character nuance and depth blunt Brundage's stab at psychological suspense. Agent, Linda Chester. (June 21) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"Appearances are deceiving in this psychological thriller... a compelling read."--The Boston Globe "An examination of w hat happens when we are drawn to the very thing that promises to destroy us."--Publisher's Weekly "Complex, cleverly constructed narrative provides a slow unfolding of the intricate relationship among the characters... This page-turner will appeal to a broad readership." --Booklist "From the very first paragraph of Elizabeth Brundage's debut... it is evident things will not end neatly. No character inhabiting this story will escape unscathed from the choices they've made... a well-crafted work." --Ms. Magazine "A fine debut, full of psychological suspense, plot twists and turns, malice disguised as religion, the taint of incest, and cheating spouses."--Library Journal "Thrilling page-turner."--Albany Times-Union "A page-turner that will linger in reader's minds long after they finish the book."--Connecticut Post "The Doctor's Wife is certainly a tense and compelling psychological thriller, but it's more than just a page-turner. In her dark depiction of small-town intolerance, Brundage invites us to question our moral assumptions, social responsibilities, in short, our engagement with the world."--Ruth Ozeki, author of My Year of Meats and All Over Creation "Elizabeth Brundage has exquisitely captured the tension that resides at the crossroads of self and society. The Doctor's Wife encapsulates not only our uncertain, conflicted times but the maddening, endearing, fascinating contradictions of the American moral construct. This novel is as politically pertinent as it is a page-turner."--Meghan Daum, author of The Quality of Life Report "Elizabeth Brundage has written a deliciously dark, finely observed, and ultimately thrilling morality tale. The Doctor's Wife is a full meal of sex, danger, and small-town paranoia which I greedily devoured."--Laurie Fox, author of The Lost Girls "Elizabeth Brundage's prose reveals an honesty, clarity and grace uncommon for any novel, let alone a debut, and her insights consistently surprise and astonish. Even more impressively, she tackles a topic currently dividing the American spirit with feverish rancor and brings not just conviction but compassion to her portrayal. The Doctor's Wife is a novel to savor, praise and share."--David Corbett, author of The Devil's Redhead and Done For A Dime