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

  • Olivia

    Holy. Shit.

  • Kyra Johnson

    Thanks so much to MCD/FSG Books for this breathtaking novel. All opinions are my own.

    Wow. I adored this book!

    The Mere Wife is a modern retelling of the epic tale, Beowulf, set in the American suburbs at the foot of a mountain. The protagonist Dana Mills is a shell-shocked veteran and lives in a cave in the mountain with her son Gren. Feasting on wildlife and living off the land, Dana demands that Gren stays on the mountain and avoids human interaction because he is not a normal boy and Dana want

  • Chris Roberts

    Suburbia builder of tract homes,

    beware the discerning eye, the proximity thereof,

    to your masterpiece of ordinariness.

    Dear John Cheever,

    You have lived a K-Mart life,

    under the suburban sun and moon,

    you are a soft shell turtle.



    There is a make-believe disease - PTSD

    and some very real pills to take,

    exactly, stub your toe, nightmares, prescription.


    Chris Roberts, God Breathtakingly

  • Leanna Gingras

    Artistically, a really impressive accomplishment. This is a fanciful retelling of Beowulf that feels like magical realism but isn’t, and feels dystopic but isn’t. Really love that the story centers Dana Mills, vet grizzled with PTSD. Her foil is Willa, suburban mom with a heart of ice. I especially love the matriarchs of the mere. Gren? Ben Woolf? Just bit players in the womens’ ancient war.

    Dinged Headley a star because the prose feels a bit overwrought at times, as if it’s a bit too proud of i

  • Valerie

    I just couldn’t get into this story! Enjoyed the intermingling of the lives of the characters but that was about it! My opinion....

  • 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.

  • Ron Charles

    You don’t need to be a Tolkien-level expert in Old English to enjoy “The Mere Wife,” but it helps if you enjoyed Seamus Heaney’s glorious translation of “Beowulf” or endured that bizarre animated version written by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary, starring Angelina Jolie as the least convincing (and most naked) incarnation of Grendel’s mother. Headley borrows, twists and repurposes everything from her source text, sometimes riding parallel to the original and sometimes abandoning it altogether.

    The d

  • Maureen Tumenas

    I know that this is touted as a modern retelling of Beowulf, but aside from some sections, I did not find that it really followed a plot line- aside from the general: mothers rescuing children, warriors and the society they are protecting. The female characters with their flashbacks were both unsympathetic characters although I tried to like Dana. I simply couldn't understand why she was living there with her son.

    Did not appeal to me, picked it up, put it down, over and over, until I forced myse