Thursday, February 7, 2013

Review: Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 416
Received: Received a copy from the Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: February 12, 2013 (PB version)
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Goodreads Synopsis:

For fans of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary and Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It comes an irresistible novel of a woman losing herself . . . and finding herself again . . . in the middle of her life.

Maybe it was those extra five pounds I’d gained. Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was when I lost her. Maybe it was because after almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I seemed to be running out of things to say to each other.

But when the anonymous online study called “Marriage in the 21st Century” showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life. It wasn’t long before I was assigned both a pseudonym (Wife 22) and a caseworker (Researcher 101).

And, just like that, I found myself answering questions.

7. Sometimes I tell him he’s snoring when he’s not snoring so he’ll sleep in the guest room and I can have the bed all to myself.

61. Chet Baker on the tape player. He was cutting peppers for the salad. I looked at those hands and thought, I am going to have this man’s children.
67. To not want what you don’t have. What you can’t have. What you shouldn’t have.
32. That if we weren’t careful, it was possible to forget one another.

Before the study, my life was an endless blur of school lunches and doctor’s appointments, family dinners, budgets, and trying to discern the fastest-moving line at the grocery store. I was Alice Buckle: spouse of William and mother to Zoe and Peter, drama teacher and Facebook chatter, downloader of memories and Googler of solutions.

But these days, I’m also Wife 22. And somehow, my anonymous correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpectedly personal turn. Soon, I’ll have to make a decision—one that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life. But at the moment, I’m too busy answering questions. 

As it turns out, confession can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.

My Review:

I always love throwing in a chick-lit novel among all the dystopian and fantasy books I have been reading lately. This book was absolutely adorable and such a fun read. Alice has given up so much in her life and dedicated her life to her family, she works part-time as a drama teacher for younger children but she feels like she is missing out on something. After 20 years of marriage, Alice finds her relationship strained and can't seem to communicate with her husband who is always working late hours. I can tell you that as I got further along in the book I had a good idea as to how it would end, and yet I still loved everything about this story.

This is one of those books that you can really understand where Alice is coming from, she is feeling lonely and as much as she tries to talk to her husband, it feels like there is a wall there. I felt so bad for her character, not only is there a wall with her husband but her daughter is now growing up and  is a teenager, so obviously a wall there (what teenager actually wants to talk about everything with their mother...)

Gideon really brought out how Alice was feeling so alone and how she had turned to the internet to keep her company, readers continually see her checking her FB page and her email over and over again (this is what life is like for a lot of people). There were a lot of great quotes that remind us of how important it is to just step away from technology and spend time with each other. What really stuck out in this book for me was how Gideon added in the different modes of communication through online chats and Facebook updates interspersed among everything else happening in Alice's life.

I loved the questionnaire and how it takes Alice back to when her and William first met and fell in love. The way the story is written slowly takes the readers through this love story and how it got to the point they are at now, feeling lost from one another. The one small issue I had with the story was how Alice answers this questionnaire in little batches but readers are not given the questions, they are in the back as an appendix and I really dislike flipping back and forth.

All in all this brought me back to my days before blogging where I spent a lot of time reading these adorable chick lit books. This was a cute and fun story and I really loved how everything ended, really seeing how two people can grow apart over the years.

1 comment:

  1. I'd almost forgotten about this book! When it first came out I placed it on my mental tbr pile. Too bad my memory stinks ;) I'm going to go request it from my library right now! Thanks for the reminder and the great review!



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