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The Obedient Wife

Julia O’Faolain
Date Published
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Temporarily abandoned by her overbearing husband amidst the chaos and decay of Los Angeles, Carla Verdi tries to run her home and bring up her son along traditional Italian lines.

She finds solace in the friendship of Leo, a Catholic priest. ‘Obedience’, he teaches her, ‘was the prime virtue taught in seminaries.’ Thus armed with their private loyalties – he to his church, she to her marriage – they are swept towards temptation.

‘A writer of stunning quality, a novelist of irony and compassion who observes her American scene with a refreshingly European detachment.’ Daily Telegraph

‘A novel of writhing ironies . . . a ruthless, penetrating and desolately funny book.’ Guardian

‘High-class, serious fun.’ Sunday Telegraph


Julia O’Faolain was born in London in 1932. Her novel No Country for Young Men was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She was brought up in Cork and Dublin, educated in Paris and Rome and married an American historian in Florence. She lived for many years in the US, and now lives in London.

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