Read The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley Online

The Mere Wife

Two mothersa suburban housewife and a battle-hardened veteranstruggle to protect those they love in this modern retelling of Beowulf. From the perspective of those who live in Herot Hall, the suburb is a paradise. Picket fences divide buildingshigh and gabledand the community is entirely self-sustaining. Each house has its own fireplace, each fireplace is fitted with a container of lighter fluid, and outsidein lawns and on playgroundswildflowers seed themselves in neat rows. But for those who live surreptitiously along Herot Halls periphery, the subdivision is a fortress guarded by an intense network of gates, surveillance cameras, and motion-activated lights. For Willa, the wife of Roger Herot (heir of Herot Hall), life moves at a charmingly slow pace. She flits between mommy groups, playdates, cocktail hour, and dinner parties, always with her son, Dylan, in tow. Meanwhile, in a cave in the mountains just beyond the limits of Herot Hall lives Gren, short for Grendel, as well as his m...

Title : The Mere Wife
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780374208431
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 308 pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Mere Wife Reviews

  • Drew

    A fantastic riff on Beowulf, set on a mountain somewhere up the Hudson (or at least it seemed so to me) -- a look at the warriors of modernity, be they soldiers or police or the wives of powerful men. At times, the novel is ~very~ voicey and that takes a bit of work, especially at the outset, but Headley earns every single flourish by taking the oldest epic poem we have and turning it into a story that resonates immensely with our current moment. I loved this and I can't wait for her translation ...more

  • sylvie

    What an engaging read and such beautiful prose.

    I am not particularly familiar with the literary classic Beowulf, although I did look up a synopsis to get a general idea.

    This story takes us into modern days. The  protagonists Dana and her son Gren make their home in a cave, while Willa and her son Dylan inhabit the modern gated community Herot Hall. Other characters are Roger, husband  to Willa, father of Dylan.

    The story kept me engaged from the very beginning to the very end. As the story progre

  • Lisa Beaulieu

    What the fuck just happened?

    That's all I can think as I turn the last page.

    It cannot have been written without divine intervention.

    Stars and ratings, meaning nothing. This is a thunderstorm, a hurricane, the bottom of the ocean and the end of a galaxy.

    Just read it.

  • Stefanie

    A modern retelling of the Beowulf story, this one is set in the suburbs at the foot of a mountain that has a mere and an old buried train station. It is a story filled with monsters and looks at various ways we make monsters and are made into monsters by ourselves, by others, by society, by war. The writing is fantastic and I was not surprised to read in the acknowledgements that China Mieville is a friend of Headley's and read and commented on several of her drafts. A thoughtful and thought-pro ...more

  • Jessica Woodbury

    Both dream-like and razor sharp, this is technically a retelling of Beowulf but don't worry about remembering it from way back in high school. An avant garde Big Little Lies, looking at mothers and sons and the ways women build power and strength.

  • Nadine

    4 1/2 stars. This is a war novel that takes place in the wealthy planned community of Herot Hall, with a tiny rebel band surviving in the mountain (mother Dana and son Gren), massive occupying forces in the valley (the Herot Hall dwellers), generals plotting strategy in the field (perfectly preserved wealthy matriarchs in pearls and designer handbags), and around it all, a Greek chorus speaking for the mere, the mountain and the souls who’ve lived and died there. There are soldiers who go mad wi ...more

  • Becky


    Rest of the review pending.

    ---- It is October and this is still, easily, the best book I've read this year. It is thought-provoking, layered, delicious, and timely in 2018. If I could inject this book like an IV into everyone I would. I have had hours-long conversations with a dozen people about this book now, because it is dark and riveting. ----

  • Rose

    I've never liked the Beowulf story. It's all boiling over with testosterone and manly heroics, but Beowulf is a dubious hero at best. So the idea of taking this story, pulling it into the 21st century, and making it about motherhood, and the sources of women's power? It seemed a bit far-fetched. But it works. This is a powerful meditation on war, class, women's power and its sources. And motherhood. And relationships, and living for another person. Trying so hard to protect that person you don't ...more