Clara is so beautiful that Jeremy finds it impossible to keep from trying to find a chink in her extraordinary reserve and elegance. He finds himself reflexively flirting to get a reaction—after all, a tease and a wink have always worked before, with women back home. But flirting probably isn't the best way to appeal to a woman who was married to a dumb brute and doesn't want to have anything more to do with men. Jeremy isn't sure how to press his case—but he won't give up.
Wilder's prose is elegant, spare and affecting. But it's his romantic's eye for the intense emotions that animate a real love story that makes The Woman Who Wouldn't an unforgettable book.