I read this book for book club. People had tumbled at different times that she had been ‘helping’ write the books. I had my suspicions early on and as I read this theory was strengthened then towards end confirmed. For others it was only revealed to them at the end. A lady who did not like the book knew early on but kept reading as wanted to know how it was revealed.
Of course it seems very unempiwered not to be acknowledged for her contribution to the books. Did she allow the situation because this was 50s-70s and time were different or was there another reason?
Discussion last night and below centres around why she did the writing seemingly on his behalf?
Did she think as as a woman at the time she would not get the acclaim and fame that her husband did. We talked about how there has been a snobbery about books written by women. Would JK Rowling have been as successful if she had published as Joanne Rowling? Therefore was it her way to ensure maximum success for her writing.
Did she do the writing because she was too shy to project the books herself?
Was it out of love? Purely selfless? Some thought of her character as calculating, selfish and driven. Pointed out it meant he relied on her. I did not see her as selfish but do think it was her way of keeping him. Then at the end knowing she had delivered him the prize he wanted did she think she had for filled her obligations and no longer owed him anything and could break free or she had to let him go now that there was nothing more for them to achieve?
Did they need each other to produce the books? Although she was good at putting words together, having lived a sheltered life until meeting him, did she needed him for ideas? Then he edited after she outlined. I heard a talk last year about the couple who write Nikki French books; the name is an amalgamation of their two names. It still leaves question of why, god only acknowledgment of her was ‘the wife’ who supported him rather than co author.
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