The Wife Tree
Dorothy Speak's long-awaited first novel tells the poignant, comic and redemptive story of Morgan Hazzard, caught late in life between a dying husband and the opinions of her rebellious children. Forty years of marriage to a hard, prairie-bred man have frozen Morgan into the semblance of a steadfast wife. But when a stroke silences William Hazzard, Morgan's feelings and memories begin to thaw. She has always known how to endure: unwanted pregnancy; the deaths of two children; the anger of her husband; the harsh summers and winters of her farm childhood; the indifference of her own mother; decades of lust, lies and betrayals. What she learns in the sudden peace and quiet of her own house and in the somewhat rusty and surprising sound of her own voice is her surprising strength and capacity for joy and change, even on the eve of her seventy-fifth birthday.
More loveable than Margaret Laurence's prickly and obstinate Hagar Shipley, Morgan Hazzard is as fierce and indelible a character. And her journey, unlike Hagar's, takes her toward hope and liberation, not compromise and silence.