By Sue Miller
320 pages; Knopf

It's not that Sue Miller's The Senator's Wife (Knopf) is a cliff-hanger—though you sense right away there is a dangerous cliff somewhere. Meri—young, recently married, and desperate for something, though she doesn't yet know what—moves next door to Delia, the beguiling, aging wife of a legendary politician and philanderer. How these women circle each other, how Meri's need intersects with Delia's weary, necessary restraint, edges toward a crisis that seems, in retrospect, inevitable. A perfectly paced story of real-life marriage and its costs. — Cathleen Medwick


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