His Lovely Wife
Harcourt, 2006 (2006)
Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet
henever Ellen Baxter is introduced she is always referred to as her famous physicist husband's
. She has little identity beyond his. Then in August 1997, while accompanying her husband to a conference, tall blonde Ellen is mistaken for Princess Diana, who is also staying at the Paris Ritz hotel. A photographer helps her escape the fray of paparazzi and photographs her anyway.
hen Princess Diana dies the following day, Ellen again encounters the photographer who helped her. He has left a fierce, uncharacteristic portrait of Diana at the site of her death. Intrigued, Ellen pockets the photo, and begins to hear Diana's voice narrating events. Like the rest of the world, Ellen is shocked by Diana's death, but more so when she realizes how parallel their lives were. Through the photographer, Ellen examines her life, exploring issues with her emotionally distant husband, her
former Miss Alabama
mother, and her remote stepson.
n this book, Elizabeth Dewberry creates a modern-day fairy tale, complete with the pitfalls of savior
. As Ellen realizes that she has never felt quite good enough, she also comes to grips with the fact that she alone can create her identity. She has always allowed others to define her. Dewberry's characters are rich, quirky, and ultimately human in this moving, funny, and suspenseful book.
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