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The Discontent of Mary Wenger by Robert Tucker
Emotionally torn between the conflicting historical social forces of feminism and the traditional roles of women in post-World War II society, Mary Wenger struggles with a deep sense of despair. Spanning the continent during the decades of the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s to the turn of the century, her compulsive lifelong odyssey in search of an acceptable house in which to realize her personal and economic goals throws her out of balance with her family.
A master wordsmith tells Mary’s story with a subtle touch of humor only an actual descendant could wield with success. Her fictional memoir is based on historical facts and bravely reveals Mary’s discovery and fear of separation from her children. The existential examination allows Mary to finally understand how her personal discontent, obsessions, internal demons, and depression affect her husband and children, as they mature and independently react to her attempts to mold them to her vision of how they all should be as a family. The life of every character is determined by his or her delusions and how they clash or compromise with one another.
The Discontent of Mary Wenger by Robert Tucker is an extraordinary epic tale of one woman and the struggles she faces living through some of the greatest changes in the history of the Twentieth Century. The author has set out to create an intimate and detailed look at her life, as he explores the complexities of modern life and the far too often challenging needs many women faced during this time in history.
Our story begins before Mary, our main character, is born on a hellish night when an abandoned newborn illustrates the terrible plight of many pregnant women. The story moves on from there and Mary and her siblings are soon growing up in a strict home.
Mary loved school and was a wonderful student. However, college was never an option, and like so many women of her time, she was forced to work until she found a suitable husband, got married and started a family.
Inwardly Mary is no conformist. She knows the life society has set out for her is missing something crucial and that creates an emptiness deep within her. She begins to understand that her dream of becoming a perfect American housewife is tainted with many sacrifices and compromises.
Undeterred, and socially moving upward, an example of her rise to be socially better and, as she erroneously believes, happier, is represented by the purchase of a beautiful piano; a sure sign she was providing artistically and spiritually for her children. But, like many other instances, Mary is faced with challenges and disappointments.
Her ex-brother-in-law, Charles, stalks and torments her life. However, she is determined to stand up to him, but after a series of bad events and with health complications she jumps at the chance to move to sunny California. Can the move improve Mary’s health and her lot in life?
Written in first person and covering an entire lifetime, The Discontent of Mary Wenger, reveals a complex and intricate lie woven around some individual people by society. Mary cannot find happiness or peace even when she is living in a perfect home and has a near perfect thriving family.
Robert Tucker has published several remarkable books and novels that have been well received, highly praised and garnered rave reviews. He is an extraordinary writer and an imaginative, brilliant storyteller. Therefore, we are certain that readers of historical fiction are going to love his epic novel, The Discontent of Mary Wenger.
The details are powerfully presented, well thought out and comprehensive. This is surely going to be a favorite among fans of excellent historical fiction novels – especially as it has helpful questions at the end for book club members. Read it soon, you won’t be disappointed. The Discontent of Mary Wenger by Robert Tucker comes highly recommended by Artisan Book Reviews. Book read and reviewed by Sue Day for Artisan Book Reviews.
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