Monday, March 30, 2009

The Women

Taker. T.C. Boyle’s novel about the wives and mistresses of Frank Lloyd Wright titled, The Women, leaves readers with one clear impression: Mr. Wright got what he wanted. Boyle writes the novel from the later to the earlier periods of Wright’s life. He begins with the wife who survived Wright, Olgivanna. He goes on to Miriam, whose drug addiction and narcissism gave Wright heaps of trouble. Mamah is next, Wright’s soulmate, who is murdered at Taliesin. Then there is Kitty, Wright’s devoted first wife and the mother of his children. Boyle uses as the narrator a student and apprentice at Taliesin, and it is that place that becomes the central core of the novel. As with other Boyle novels, his insights into characters is strong, the use of language precise and finely written (although I only learned two or three new words from this offering,) and the setting described with a precision and clarity that places come alive. The fact that Boyle lives in a house in California that Wright designed gave him an extra level of involvement that helped him explore the personality of this larger-than-life character who packed a lot of complicated living into his twentieth century life.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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