My Wife's Affair


"Woodruff (Someone Else's Child) leaves not a dry eye in the house in this gripping ode to theater and the love it can command—and crush. Former actress turned restless suburban New Jersey mom-of-three Georgie and her journalist husband, Peter, transplant to London for Peter's new job. There, Georgie finds her way back to the theater and lands a role in a small one-woman production of "Shakespeare's Woman," playing famous 18th-century British stage actress Dora Jordan. It's a part that consumes Georgie from the start, notes Peter, who achingly chronicles his wife's affair with her part and, eventually, with playwright Piers. Georgie's tour de force as Dora comes from her total recognition of the character—"Two hundred years later and it's exactly the same thing," Georgie tells Piers—and her life as Dora and as Piers's lover begin to take precedence over her husband and children. Peter's excruciating autopsy of his crumbling marriage is unsparing and relentlessly punishing, but the kicker at the novel's end makes the adultery feel like a cozy little tea party. It's brutal and lovely."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Woodruff, author of Someone Else's Child (2000), soars in this searing chronicle of the dissolution of a marriage and a family. . .Woodruff takes the unusual step of narrating the affair from Peter's point of view, a choice that makes reading about it even more heartrending. The shocking twist at the conclusion of the book will leave stunned readers gasping for air."
Margaret Flanagan, Booklist

"I was at once heartbroken and mesmerized by the raw beauty of My Wife's Affair. Nancy Woodruff looks at love in its various incarnations—the carnal, the romantic, and perhaps most poignantly, the maternal—as she follows the marriage of Peter and Georgie to the most devastating of outcomes. The story unfolds as it must, while nothing escapes the author's honest gaze."
— Jean Reynolds Page, author of The Last Summer of her Other Life

"My Wife's Affair has that rare appeal of a classic novel: The luminous, specific beauty of the writing and the story itself, which is powerful and heartbreaking. Nancy Woodruff is a wise and wild-hearted chronicler of family life."
— Mary O'Connell, author of Living With Saints



"Honest, introspective. . .harrowing. . .This effect can only be attributed to the strong writing, with Woodruff helping to bring the story to life."
Kirkus Reviews

". . . a brave feat and formidable to grasp."
Publishers Weekly

"Shards is a straight up, gut wrenching account of one woman’s fierce battle with her demons. Honest and moving, it is a testament to ultimately choosing to save your own life, and proof that anything is survivable."
— Wendy Lawless, author of Chanel Bonfire