The Other Wife – Facts

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The novel’s setting is the Lake District. This is an area in England that I have not visited but I have been told is really beautiful. The Lake District, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North-West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains (or fells) and its associations with the early 19th century writings of William Wordsworth and the other Lake Poets.The Lake District is now entirely in Cumbria.

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Ambleside is where Libby and her family live. Ambleside is a town in Cumbria, in North West England. Historically within the county of Westmorland, it is situated at the head of Windermere, England’s largest water. The town is within the Lake District National Park.

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Rose first goes to live in Kendal when she first moves to the Lake District. Kendal  is a market town and civil parish within the South Lakeland District of Cumbria.

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When we first hear from Libby, she is already in prison, in Styal. HM Prison Styal is a Closed Category prison for female adults and young offenders in Styal, Cheshire.

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One of key themes in the novel is Rose’s condition. She has ALS, hat is, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.  ALS is a specificdisease that causes the death of neurons which control voluntary muscles.

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I have already read some about Dignitas, the Swiss clinic for those who want assisted suicide. Dignitas is a Swiss nonprofit member’s society providing assisted / accompanied suicide to those members of the organisation who suffer from terminal illness and/or severe physical and/or mental illnesses, supported by (of the organization independent) qualified Swiss doctors. They have helped over 2,100 people die at home within Switzerland and at Dignitas’ house/flat near Zürich.

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The book mentions several people who had assisted suicides. Daniel James was a 23-year-old who played rugby for England as a teenager and committed suicide in a Swiss euthanasia clinic after having become paralysed from the chest down in a training accident.

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