The Wife Tree

The Wife Tree Book Cover“Dorothy Speak is one of our country’s finest writers.”
W.P. Kinsella

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The first novel by an acclaimed short story writer tells the poignant, comic and redemptive story of Morgan Hazzard, caught late in life between a dying husband and the opinions of her rebellious children. Forty years of marriage to a hard, prairie-bred man have frozen Morgan into the semblance of a steadfast wife. But when a stroke silences William Hazzard, Morgan’s feelings and memories begin to thaw. What she learns in the sudden peace and quiet of her own house and in the somewhat rusty and surprising sound of her own voice is her strength and capacity for joy and change.

“October 6” – Excerpt from The Wife Tree

Praise for the Wife Tree:

“Sometimes you pick up a book and you just cannot put it down. The words leap off the page, seemingly written just for you, or even more spookily, written about you. That’s how I felt when I read Margaret Laurence’s The Diviners… I experienced that same thrill of recognition with The Wife Tree… Dorothy Speak has earned a berth in the CanLit hall of fame, right alongside Laurence.” New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal

“Speak stands alongside Margaret Laurence and Constance Beresford-How in portraying indelible older women.” Kitchener-Waterloo Record

“Rooted firmly in the tradition of the Ontario Gothic, the story of Hazzard delivers literary pleasures of the highest order. Weaving together recollection, dreams and letters never sent, the narrative moves with a fluid power through the four seasons, reaching its climax in the depth of winter, and concluding on a triumphant, summery note… Speak is also blessed with a gift for black humour and hardnosed empathy, which resists easy reduction to the maudlin or sentimental.” Ottawa X Press

The Wife Tree is a powerful novel, well worth reading for Speak’s ability to slice through to the ugliness in the human heart.” Victoria Times Colonist

“There’s something fascinating and frightening in reading a writer who is willing to take risks. Because we’re conscious of the dangers lurking at the turn of a page, it’s particularly exhilarating when, as in this first novel, the writer succeeds so brilliantly. With The Wife Tree, Dorothy Speak moves firmly into the first rank of Canadian writers.” Ottawa Citizen

“Dorothy Speak is someone to sit up and take note of… Like Alice Munro and Margaret Laurence, she writes about real, believable people, and makes compelling stories out of the mundane elements of their lives. The writing is deliberate and lyrical, lavish and full of pictures; the sense of character is intimate… Speak’s splendid first novel fills us with sumptuous detail.” Hamilton Spectator

Read all the reviews of The Wife Tree