Out on 08 August 2024


Charlotte Mendelson

08 August 2024
368 pages


Set in the world of London academia, both past and present, Wife by Charlotte Mendelson is heart-breaking and funny, profound and gripping, as it takes the reader from the end of a relationship to its beginning, and back again.

When Zoe moves in with Penny, their relationship looks perfect; after all, everyone wants a wife. But this is the story of how love can become a disaster . . .

Zoe Stamper, junior researcher in Ancient Greek Tragedy, meets fellow academic Dr Penny Cartwright at a faculty flute recital. Dr Cartwright seems impossibly glamorous to Zoe, who is, after all, several rungs down the academic pecking order - and a nervous ingénue as far as Penny’s sophisticated circle is concerned. But Penny leaves Zoe a cryptic note, and a passionate affair ensues.

Once Penny confesses all to her live-in lover, Justine, their happiness seems assured. But there is something else Penny needs as badly in her life as Zoe’s adoration, and thus the beginning of their affair might also have signalled its end.

Praise for Charlotte Mendelson:

'A master at family drama' – The Times

'One of the funniest writers in Britain' – The Guardian

'Mendelson's novels inhabit similar territory to those of Maggie O'Farrell, with the same capacity for extreme noticing, the same profound emotional intelligence' – The Observer

[A] devastating treat of a novel: funny, furious, dark and delicious
A delicious, heartbreaking family snapshot . . . Fabulously written and utterly compelling
It takes the most ferocious intelligence, skill and a deep reservoir of sadness to write a novel as funny as this. I adored it