Book Buzz: The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin

In The Charmed Wife, Olga Grushin turns the fairy-tale romance on its head, and then just keeps turning it, playfully, subversively, brilliantly: a feat of fierce imagination. ―Jess Walter



Cinderella married the man of her dreams--the perfect ending she deserved after diligently following all the fairy-tale rules. Yet now, thirteen and a half years later, things have gone badly wrong, and her life is far from perfect.


One night, fed up and exhausted, she sneaks out of the palace to get help from the Witch who, for a price, offers love potions to disgruntled housewives. But as the old hag flings the last ingredients into the cauldron, Cinderella doesn't ask for a love spell to win back her Prince Charming. Instead, she wants him dead.


Endlessly surprising, wildly inventive, and decidedly modern, The Charmed Wife weaves together time and place, fantasy and reality, to conjure a world unlike any other. Nothing in it is quite what it seems--the twists and turns of its magical, dark, and swiftly shifting paths take us deep into the heart of what makes us unique, of romance and marriage, and of the very nature of storytelling.

“The comedy is devastating in this autopsy of a marriage that dies of 'happily ever after' syndrome. Seldom has such emotional realism been spied in the precincts of wild magic. This alumna of the Cinderella marriage is overwhelmed, overenchanted, and so over it. Fall under its charms, I dare you.”
―Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked

The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin

288 Pages

ISBN 9780593085509


Olga Grushin was born in Moscow and moved to the United States at eighteen. She is the author of three previous novels, Forty Rooms, The Line, and The Dream Life of Sukhanov. Her debut, The Dream Life of Sukhanov, won the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, earned her a place on Granta's once-a-decade Best Young American Novelists list, and was one of The New York Times' Notable Books of the Year. Both it and The Line were among The Washington Post's Ten Best Books of the Year, and Forty Rooms was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction of the Year. Grushin writes in English, and her work has been translated into sixteen languages. She lives outside Washington, DC, with her two children.