The Doctor's Wife


Read by Kirsten Wever

(4.1 stars; 184 reviews)

This is one of the Victorian “Sensationist” Mary Elizabeth Braddon's many novels (best known among them: “Lady Audley’s Secret”). It is extremely well written, fluid, humorous and, in places, self-mocking: one of the main characters is a Sensation Author. The motifs of the-woman-with-a-secret, adultery, and death are classic “sensationist” material. Yet this is also a self-consciously serious work of literature, taking on various social themes of the day. Specifically, Braddon presents the psychological struggle and cognitive dissonance which are the inevitable plight of the married middle-class woman with a strong sense of self, who is essentially constrained to live the life of her husband. In this, it echoes Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary.”

The heroine, Isabel Sleaford, was driven early in her childhood to bury herself in, and develop her sense of self through, romantic novels and poetry. She is thus ill-adapted to the conventional, provincial structures and strictures laid upon her when she marries the very good and adoring, but also boring and unimaginative, Dr. George Gilbert. Isabel forms friendships with men (including her husband's best friend) who are more amenable to her romantic inclinations, and inevitably encounters social condemnation as a result. The book shows how life’s tragedies and the world’s cruel judgments shape Isabel, as she grows more mature, somewhat embittered, but also – true to her nature – beautifully resilient. (Summary by Kirsten Wever) (17 hr 59 min)

Chapters

Chapter 1 16:49 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 2 30:57 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 3 45:38 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 4 29:25 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 5 35:05 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 6 34:05 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter7 43:58 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 8 14:22 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 9 20:10 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 10 18:56 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 11 25:23 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 12 46:26 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 13 33:56 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 14 31:02 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 15 13:48 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 16 29:37 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 17 48:48 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 18 33:17 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 19 17:35 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 20 32:32 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 21 26:19 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 22 19:41 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 23 23:42 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 24 23:35 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 25 31:01 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 26 31:56 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 27 25:14 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 28 21:00 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 29 14:33 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 30 30:16 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 31 28:44 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 32 28:59 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 33 35:44 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 34 20:26 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 35 17:26 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 36 Part 1 30:33 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 36 Part 2 41:00 Read by Kirsten Wever
Chapter 37 27:53 Read by Kirsten Wever

Reviews


(3.5 stars)

This book is very well written and well read but the story itself as a work of romantic fiction and not a biograph is not very exciting. I ended up skipping a few chapters at the end. They is no obsticles to overcome, only a rather boring heroine and the only eventfullness is the dying of characters.

The Doctor's Wife


(4.5 stars)

Loved the narraration. The twists and turns left me guessing until the unforeseen end. One character had a propensity to whine. I'll admit to forwarding through bits of that annoyance. All came round right at the last.


(4 stars)

Compelling narrator greatly assists an at times tedious, wordy story. I did care about these characters and their lives.

Wonderful!!


(5 stars)

Initially I want too sure of this book but it turned out to be perfect for over who is intrigued by human relationships. While reading it I experienced wonderment, confusion, anger, sentimentality, etc., -- never once indifference. I ended up holding emotions for so many of the characters as I envisioned (and recalled) the naivite of my young years and how easily, even during this modern age, it might have been for me to stumble into a like situation. (That was just one example.) I'm so glad I listened to this book. It proceed to be a work of innocence, various (types of) loves and repentance. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

OK


(3 stars)

I did not care for the voice - she seemed bored with the story herself. Her pronunciations seemed good though. The story goes slow. Though the description were long and flowery, the style grew on me and I enjoyed much of that. The only character I really found myself liking was Sigsmund Smith who was such a very small character in the book. They all had likable moments though and you did find yourself understanding each of their points of view. I just found it bit slow overall.

Doctor's Wife


(5 stars)

Although Braddon is sometimes dismissed as a mere sensation writer, she was much more than that. I can't honestly compare her to Austin or Trollope but she tackles a serious subject (you decide what it is) with honesty and sensitivity. And with humour, for one of her principal characters is... a successful penny dreadful author! (no spoilers!) Many thanks to Kristin Wever for her excellent, well-paced reading of this tragic-romantic novel. TheBookworm (Manchester, UK)


(5 stars)

This is another jewel that deserves to be better known. Isabel Gilbery is a far more interesting character than Anna Karenina & Mme Bovary, to whom the comparison is inevitable. There is keen insight and observation, wit, and as far as the melodrama, coincidence and prosiness are concerned this is, after all, a Victorian novel. Kirsten Wever is a beautiful reader who never gets in the way of the story.

Loved it


(5 stars)

Im a romantic so loved the story few Parks made me cry and totally disagree with people calling it boring and quite upset that somebody has but comments about the ending but overall a good book but very sad in relation to the house of Mirth