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

  • Robert Blumenthal

    I really enjoyed this novel till about 1/2 way through it, and then I found myself becoming a bit tired of it. I do love mythology (particularly Greek), but I found it hard to immerse myself in the goings on in this one. When younger, one of my early independently chosen novel experiences was the book Grendel by John Gardner. This was the legend from the monster's point of view. I found it quite compelling and fascinating. The Mere Wife is updated to modern day suburbia, and I almost felt that t ...more

  • 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

  • Spencer Orey

    This made me want to read Beowulf, so that's something. The actual story is alright? It's actually a bit sparse, extended and dressed up with interesting and occasionally experimental prose. Some of that didn't land with me, but enough did that I appreciated how the text opened up larger questions around whether we can ever really be safe, what kinds of monsters we imagine in our contemporary world, and what and who gets buried in attempts to build new exclusive communities.

    I love the concept. B
    ...more

  • elizabeth

    Lucky to have read a galley of this incisive retelling of Beowulf. Riffing on a mistranslation from the Old English that deems Grendel's mother a monster rather than a warrior, The Mere Wife sets Beowulf in modern American suburbs, at the foot of a wild mountain. Headley's fierce lyricism tells a tough story of the effects of war, patriarchy, and racism on the American psyche. The literal whiteness of the snowy mountain outside of aggressively manicured Herot Hall proves far less dangerous than ...more

  • Taylor Woods



    If this isn't a good representation of how much I loved this book. SO. MANY. GREAT. PARTS!

  • Edward Lorn

    Headley weaves new cloth into the aged tapestry of BEOWULF, providing enough new material to remake the tale without ruining or so much as stressing the original seams. Everything fits perfectly. THE MERE WIFE is a master class of tailored prose, a stunning achieve that I cannot say anything ill toward. On track to be my book of the year.

  • Marc

    Allow me to let Ron Charles's Totally Hip Video Book Review summarize this novel for you. As his is a tough act to follow, I'll say that what struck me most about the novel was Headley's prose--short, curt, definitive sentences that punctuate a rather frightening tale in which the monsters we need most fear are ourselves. Perhaps its always been this way, but Headley breathes new life into old fears and the violence within which mothers and women survive and fiercely protect home and offspring.

  • Runalong

    One of those books you just pick up and don’t finish until early hours of the next day. Absolutely fantastic

    Full review https://www.runalongtheshelves.net/bl...