Litkicks Message Board Archive

nobody's wife

Posted to WritersAndGenres

sharon, your name is familiar to me... are you really one of Joan's kids?

I just read NOBODY'S WIFE and want to write a review of it somewhere, as soon as I find out if any reviews have been written already.

My overarching feeling was of sadness that she didn't "finish" the book. As a friend of David's, I toured the old homesteads in Kittitas and Ellensburg, learning a lot about who Joan was. If only she had been able to write about everything. She was an incredibly interesting woman.

Her writing of events was good, although I felt she suffered the fate of most non-professional writers: weak dialog.

However, the high point of the book, dialog-wise, was her accounting of meeting Neal Cassady. She had his voice down PERFECT, perhaps because he made such an impression on him.

If she had lived, and had allowed anyone to read and assist her with the book, I'm sure her life would have made for fascinating reading among the mainstream, not just those interested in Kerouac.

I write this now on the fifth anniversary of Jan Kerouac's death. Both Jan and Joan were taken far too soon. Both left a gaping hole where their lives used to be.

I wish you the best, and please feel free to write me at if you want to hear more about my impressions or want to be notified if I publish a review anywhere.

diane de rooij