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Mrs. Kimble

Mrs. Kimble

Написано Jennifer Haigh

Озвучено Martha Plimpton


Mrs. Kimble

Написано Jennifer Haigh

Озвучено Martha Plimpton

оценки:
4/5 (29 оценки)
Длина:
10 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Oct 13, 2004
ISBN:
9780060798482
Формат:
Аудиокнига

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Описание

“Beautiful, devastating and complex.” —Chicago Tribune

The award-winning debut novel from Jennifer Haigh, author of BakerTowers, The Condition, and Faith, tells the story of Birdie, Joan, and Dinah, three women who marry the same charismatic, predatory, and enigmatic opportunist: Ken Kimble. Resonating with emotional intensity and narrative innovation reminiscent of Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible, and Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Haigh’s Mrs. Kimble is a timeless story of grief, passion, heartache, deception, and the complex riddle of love.
Издатель:
Издано:
Oct 13, 2004
ISBN:
9780060798482
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Также доступно как...

Также доступно как книгеКниге


Об авторе

Jennifer Haigh is the author of the short-story collection News from Heaven and four critically acclaimed novels: Faith, The Condition, Baker Towers, and Mrs. Kimble. Her books have won both the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction and the PEN/L.L. Winship Award for work by a New England writer. Her short fiction has been published widely, in The Atlantic, Granta, The Best American Short Stories, and many other places. She lives in Boston.

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29 оценки / 28 Обзоры
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  • (3/5)
    Nicely worked
  • (4/5)
    The debut novel by a terrific writer I've followed ever since reading "The Condition", which I still see as her best work. This one is about the three women who in turn married Ken Kimble, an emotional con-man with an empty desert of a soul. Most of this book struck me with its bleakness, as Ken Kimble comes into the life of the next Mrs. Kimble, remakes himself to fit into her venue and seduces her. This threatens to overwhelm the reader, but the final pages are redemptive in the comfort and joy that can exist even in damaged families. I think the book would have been improved by a look inside Ken Kimble, but maybe the author doesn't do this because there's just nothing there.
  • (2/5)
    Readable but boring. Forgettable.
  • (4/5)
    These were the stories of the three successive Mrs Kimbles, married to the one inscrutable Mr Kimble.
    Somehow Ken Kimble was able to charm and seduce and marry these women, but the marriages quickly revealed there was nothing beneath his thin veneer. Really nothing. The wives learned they never knew their husband, and we the readers will never know him either. We are just as mystified as they are as to who this man is, where he came from, and why he was like he was. It was a nice maneuver that enhanced our appreciation of the imbalance.
    This is the first book I've read by Jennifer Haigh. I like her writing style. It flows smoothly and easily, without clumsy intrusions. This was her first novel yet it was amazingly polished and well crafted, a deserving winner of the PEN/Hemingway award for debut fiction. I will look for another of hers.
  • (5/5)
    Another 5 star read for Jennifer Haigh. I can't explain it. I have read three of her books and each although totally different, has been a five star read. I guess I enjoy her writing. A guy who seems to be a chameleon marries three very different women. He woos them and then loses interest. Each woman seems to have a flaw that makes them drawn to his charms.
  • (5/5)
    This is the 3rd novel by Jennifer Haigh I've read. She's such a good writer. I find I'm quickly immersed in the people and worlds she creates.
  • (4/5)
    These were the stories of the three successive Mrs Kimbles, married to the one inscrutable Mr Kimble.
    Somehow Ken Kimble was able to charm and seduce and marry these women, but the marriages quickly revealed there was nothing beneath his thin veneer. Really nothing. The wives learned they never knew their husband, and we the readers will never know him either. We are just as mystified as they are as to who this man is, where he came from, and why he was like he was. It was a nice maneuver that enhanced our appreciation of the imbalance.
    This is the first book I've read by Jennifer Haigh. I like her writing style. It flows smoothly and easily, without clumsy intrusions. This was her first novel yet it was amazingly polished and well crafted, a deserving winner of the PEN/Hemingway award for debut fiction. I will look for another of hers.
  • (4/5)
    Jennifer Haigh's debut novel features the three distinctive stories of women who are wooed by and marry the same man. We meet Ken's first wife, Birdie, just as he has abandoned her for a love affair with a student at the college where he is a dean. Birdie herself fell for the Reverend Kimble when she sang in the choir he directed at her bible college, and was pregnant before he married her. When he leaves, all she can think to do is drink, and her children go hungry as she crumbles under the crushing weight of a life lived alone. Next, Ken marries Joan, a woman who would have been Birdie's polar opposite when she was in her prime, making a living as a journalist, the only woman reporter in her bureau at the Times, unencumbered by society's ideas of a stereotypical female, uninterested in keeping house and having babies, that is, until breast cancer makes an appearance in her life. The cancer spares her life but robs her of more than one breast. When Ken shows up in her life, she's desperate for companionship and to have the children and the life that she never wanted, but as they marry and Ken begins to excel in his real estate career, things don't turn out anything like she was expecting. Finally, there is Dinah. Dinah babysat for Ken and Birdie's kids when she was a girl and chances to meet Ken again years later in Washington, DC, where she works as a chef, when he hits her with his car. Having suffered a broken ankle that keeps her from working and makes living in her dangerous neighborhood even more dangerous, and with the promise of the possibility of surgery to erase an ugly birthmark that has marred not just her face, but her whole life, Dinah feels she has no choice but to accept the help Ken has to offer. One thing leads to another until Dinah becomes elderly Ken's final bride.Mr. Kimble is, by all accounts, a selfish jerk, a pervy guy with a taste for younger women who should be forbidden territory. He is that guy that charms a bit at first but soon reveals himself to be a liar, a cheat, and worse. Readers will hate Ken Kimble, and they should, because it's in their eagerness to be seduced by and married to Ken Kimble, that his wives' characters are most revealed. In the three wives, Haigh has created three memorable characters whose frailties are revealed and badly exploited by the husband they choose. Each character is both irritating and sympathetic as Haigh draws out their respective pasts and their relationships with Kimble. A vulnerability is displayed in each of the three characters that every woman should find as relatable as it is frustrating. If you're anything like me, you'll find the voice in your head crying out at these women not to get involved with this guy, just like it cries out at those boneheads in horror movies who hear that sketchy noise and venture to the basement to investigate while the power is out on a dark stormy night only to be brutally murdered. The women in Haigh's book aren't about to be murdered, but their respective marriages to Kimble are certainly poisonous. Mrs. Kimble has something profound to say about women and perhaps even about feminism. It makes it altogether apparent that there is a line to be walked between being a woman who chooses to be a housewife who lets her husband stand between her and the world and being the woman who puts aside home and family to chase after a career that may or my not fulfill her. Haigh seems to be drawing out the possibility that erring too much in either direction can leave a woman dangerously vulnerable.Mrs. Kimble is an interesting read, but not a quick one. The stories of Mr. Kimble's three wives bear a lot of contemplation. I would hardily recommend Mrs. Kimble as a great book group read and wish that I had read it in a book group. The books is good and stands up on its own, but the possibility it opens up for conversations about women's lives in the past and in the future is much more tantalizing.
  • (4/5)
    There are three Mrs. Kimbles. The first-Birdie became drunk-ended with a black neighbor. With Birdie Ken was a minister. With Joan, who died of breast cancer, he went into real estate and ended up with the estates of both Joan's father and her uncle. The third wife was Dinah, who was the wisest and strongest. He got caught using government money--selling reconditioned houses to the poor. The houses were not reconditioned and someone died in one--how he got caught. Dinah becomes a caterer. Things to consider==the change in female thinking--impact of the different eras? Which of the Mrs. Kimble's did you like best? least? With Ken, what is the line between sociopath and normal male selfishness--what is he?
  • (3/5)
    This novel asks the questions why good women are drawn to bad men and about love and loss. Haigh developes her characters well ken kimble is not a nice man and one wonders why these women are drawn to him.
  • (3/5)
    While this book is not an edge of your seat thrill read, the character development is strong. I enjoyed it enough to finish the story. It had a very "real life" feel about it, almost like a memoir, but without a true hero.
  • (4/5)
    This book is eerie in the fact that it highlights the psychological elements of relationships. Does anyone completely know the person they married? This highlights the victim mentality and is chilling in how three different women are caught up in relationships with one deceitful man. A great debut novel.
  • (4/5)
    The tale of a womanizing schemer named Ken Kimble is told through the perspective of the three women he married, as well as the eldest son he left behind, Charlie.We are first introduced to Ken through Birdie, who is dealing, terribly, with the aftermath of Ken's abrupt departure. Back when divorce was spoken about in hushed tones, Birdie had to soldier on with no money and no support. She is left a barely-functioning alcoholic shell, with her children picking up the pieces.The next wife is Joan, a wealthy, never-married career woman who feels regret and mortality surround her at the sunny poolside barbecues that have become her life. As a lonely cancer survivor, she is ripe to be enamoured by Ken, ever the smooth talker, despite him being engaged to the daughter of a friend.After Joan, Ken chooses a trophy wife, another damaged and vulnerable woman. Dinah, once the babysitter for Ken's kids and with a bright birthmark covering half her face, is drawn to Ken over a childhood crush and he steps in like a savior to pay for surgery to remove the birthmark.Weaved throughout the stories of the three marriages are the stories of the kids from Ken's first marriage, Charlie and (to a lesser extent) Jodie. We see them deal with an absent father, get whisked away under duplicitous circumstances to Joan's home in Florida, then get invited for a reunion with their uninterested father by Dinah. Ken's path of hurt extends into the adult lives of his kids and affects the choices they make.The story we don't hear is from Ken himself. Author says this omission was deliberate in notes that are in the back of the P.S. edition. But it is still a glaring hole that makes us wonder how this guy got to be the way he was, and if he ever felt a shred of guilt over it (probably not.) Though well-written, it certainly is a depressing novel. We see the women pick up the pieces and carry on as best as they can. While very human, we don't get an opportunity to emphasize with them beyond what Ken has done to them. Each of them reluctantly explores their own personhood outside Ken, and it's always he who must force them into that situation. Another criticism is that if this is the story of the Mrs. Kimbles, why does Charlie get such a big voice? It is interesting tosee how he deelops, but why choose him over Jodie, whose desire for love from a married man is achingly affected by her dysfunctional upbringing? It might have rounded out the novel better to show her as another female Kimble devastated by Ken, but she is reduced to the character of a needy, simple girl.Much like Ken comes and goes suddenly in each of the Mrs. Kimbles' lives, so does he come and go in the story: always barely in the scene, just waiting to run away or go for a jog (a symbol of his restlessness). Like the women in his life, we are left wondering about his true nature.
  • (4/5)
    Mrs. Kimble refers to three different women, the serial wives of philanderer, Ken Kimble. The book begins with Ken's death, then jumps back to the beginning of the story of his first abandoned wife, Birdie. Birdie has been left alone in Richmond, Va. to raise two small children with no means of supporting the three of them. Ken is defined by his absence in the life of this small family as Birdie's despair descends into alcoholism. In this part of the story we come to know Charlie, Ken and Birdie's young son whose character is a thread through out the book.As we come to know the second Mrs. Kimble, Joan, Ken appears and is ready to swing into the 1970's, and into Joan's life as well, at a Florida pool party. The fact that he is engaged to his former student doesn't prevent him from noticing Joan's vulnerability post-mastectomy and death of her father. Nor can he help but notice Joan's wealth.Fast forward to 1979 and Ken is back in Washington, D.C. having acquired the successful real estate development business of Joan's uncle and wealth from Joan's estate. He runs into the facially disfigured former babysitter of Birdie's children, Dinah, and so another Mrs. Kimble is made. And ultimately Ken's house of cards collapses.The author does an excellent job of locating the story of these three women in time and place. The writing is clear and concise, the female characters are well developed, and the story arc is well defined. She explores the inner lives of the three women in an almost surgical manner while Ken remains a shell (schill) of a character. There are occasional flashes of whit and humor as when Dinah, after dressing in the clothes that Ken has selected for her describes herself as "a punchline in a dirty joke."Charlie's character is the one who sees his father for what he is. And it is the adult Charlie who picks up the pieces. It's not clear to me if the author is making a feminist statement about the vulnerability of women in love and marriage relationships. There is certainly a cynical view of love and romance as it appears in this novel.
  • (4/5)
    This was a good book, once I got into the story. It took me a while to warm up to the first character, Birdie, indeed I never got to really like her, but as the story progressed, I became more and more engrossed. The various characters are interesting, the plot is good, and it is a book I would recommend to anyone who likes good fiction.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this book about three women who all married the same men -- Ken Kimble. We get each of their stories one at a time. This would be a good beach read.
  • (4/5)
    Mrs. Kimble is actually three people: the first, second, and third wives of Ken Kimble. I was intrigued by the structure of the novel, the way the author revealed Ken Kimble's character through his relationships with his various wives. A good read.
  • (4/5)
    Ken Kimble is a bit of a ladies' man. His story is told over a number of years through his three wives - Birdie, a woman who mistakenly believes he will return to her, Joan, an heiress with a devastating secret, and Dinah, a woman who has too often been relegated to "behind-the- scenes". Each woman loves Ken for a different reason but his effect on all three will be equally important. And alongside Ken's story is the story of his son, Charlie, whose life is forever defined by the man his father is.This was a really well-written story, especially for a debut novel. It is clear that Haigh has immense talent. I loved learning the story of Ken through his wives and, in fact, didn't like the parts where he actually appeared as much as those that were simply about him. All the women are wonderfully constructed and very real; I could easily imagine them. Charlie is an interesting character as well, but not quite what I hoped he'd be. I liked the ending as well - not what I expected but a fitting end, I believe. Will definitely read Haigh's other books.
  • (4/5)
    I don't consider that I'm giving anything away to say that the title, Mrs. Kimble, refers to three women to whom Ken Kimble is married over a span of almost thirty years. This book is a MUST READ for any woman who has been "married to Ken Kimble," that is, a man who at best has intimacy and borderline personality issues, at worst is narcissistic and a sociopath. In her notes, Jennifer Haigh states that Ken is "in many ways a very ordinary person...he simply takes what is given to him." Call me naive but I hope after reading this book, most people would vehemently disagree that his is "ordinary behavior." Don't misunderstand me, in order for a man like Ken Kimble to thrive, you have to have a vulnerable woman (or women). I thank God I'm more Dinah than Birdie or Joan. Great book. Lots of food for thought.
  • (4/5)
    This story turned out to be better than I first expected, much more substantial and well written.The story centers around the lives of three women, who all, at different times, have given their love and trust to the same man. The man, who remains rather enigmatic throughout the book, seems to only care for them until they make a commitment to him. Then, his affection ebbs away and the relationship between him and his current wife becomes distant and cool.Each woman.....Birdie, Joan and Dinah, are all different in their own unique way. Each one has their own way of relating to Ken. Eventually, Ken disappears from their lives and leaves behind a pile of emotional rubble for each woman to deal with.I found this book to be a satisfying read, but was a little disappointed in the abrupt and rather sudden ending.Overall, I enjoyed it and I'd recommend this book to others.
  • (4/5)
    This is an engrossing first novel by a very promising author. The plot and character development are well done. It was difficult to put down this book once I'd begun reading it. I had hoped to learn more about the reasons behind Ken Kimble's behavior, but this was the only flaw in an otherwise excellent novel.
  • (4/5)
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There were a couple of places where I felt like the author gave short shrift to the story but it's a first novel and very enthralling.
  • (4/5)
    Good story..easy read...quick read...perfect vacation read! Also liked Baker Towers by same author.
  • (5/5)
    I went to the Hotel Marlowe in Boston for a reading and book signing by Jennifer Haigh and purchased this book. She was so young, I wistfully thought. At the book signing, she said she finished the book in one year and at that point it looked like the ultrasound of a baby. It took two more years of editing before she was ready to send it to a publisher.The book starts with Mr. Kimble dying alone in a car and then goes back thirty years and recounts his three marriages. Very intriguing as the reader is left asking, "Who really was Mr. Kimble?Great book.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed it very much. Kept me interested. Sometimes got confused w/the timeline & who was who.
  • (4/5)
    Good book club read, I was surprised i liked it. Its not the best book I've ever read, not in the top 10...but enjoyable.
  • (5/5)
    A tale of three women who all marry the same man. Ken Kimble is an unforgettable character who preys on damaged women. Haigh is gifted in her ability to create memorable characters.
  • (4/5)
    When I choose books that I buy - and I buy more than I ever used to due to not having a public library in easy access - there is almost always a process. I'm interested in the cover (and yes don't judge a book by its cover so clearly, I look at the next item which is...), the brief synopsis of the book. If I have not at this point been turned off - and occassionally I am turned off this easily because the book, although it had a fascinating cover, will be more cliche than a book of cliches. I usually open up to the first page. If the first sentence grabs me so well that I'm half way down the page or turning the page before I stop, the book is usually under consideration. If not for purchase, for getting later on through interlibrary loan.This book had the interesting cover, the interesting story blurb, and a truly interesting beginning. It was, in fact, the beginning that made me purchase it even though I hadn't been planning on buying anything that day... The book itself is an interesting book that follows the lives of the Three Mrs Kimbles. They are the stars of this story in a way that Mr Kimble although he one of the only characters that actually weaves consistently through the narrative, cannot be. After all, Mr Kimble is, in fact, a scoundrel.This is not a light story and in fact in some places is rather depressing. However, what I think I enjoyed about this book was the way the author was able to take these three women and describe real women with real fears and flaws and the very real reasons they might have been attracted to this man who was rarely what he claimed to be and in fact often was directly opposite of what he claimed to be. In the case of each woman it was personal insecurities that drew them to him and he was very good at preying on those insecurities to his advantage.Of course, the other character that weaves consistently through the narrative is Mr Kimble's son. This boy, the son of the first Mrs Kimble, is another constant in the story. The story of his mother is often told through his eyes, as are the stories of some of the other women as well. He moves from Mrs Kimble to Mrs Kimble until the end of the story when he is the only person who truly understands who or what his father is - although he never spent time around his father getting to know him. He concludes with the idea that perhaps to understand the man, you had to be his son - that no one else ever really knew him.