After taking in the promotional copy for Wife 22 By Melanie Gideon, I thought to myself why not, indulge in a wacky women’s book chic-lit novel, I haven’t read a good one in quite a while (since 2002).
*I hate this cover, it makes it look like a Christian Fiction book.
“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“
What I found surprised me. This book resonated with me and was such an easy, delightful read, I can understand why movie rights have already sold and it’s being published in 30 countries so far.
The protagonist of Wife 22 isn’t perfect. In fact, Alice Buckle is going through a mid-life crisis, her relationship to her husband of 20 years seems non-existent, she thinks her son is gay, her daughter is bulimic, and her life is mostly mundane. She once dreamed of being a successful playwright, and swept her former employer off his feet. Now, she is the same age her mother was when she passed away, and her children are almost ready to fly the coop. And, her husband? Well, the barely speak. And then, she decides to participate in an online study, where she anonymously becomes “Wife 22.”
In the course of taking this survey, we learn all about her dreams, thoughts, regrets and history. And while I won’t tell you the whole story here, it’s not really the plot that sucks you in. I kind of figured out the ending before it happened but… It’s how funny, fresh, and “every woman” Alice is, it’s endearing and enrapturing. It’s a story about how easy to get lost but offers a glimmer of hope.
One of the most pleasant things that stood out to me in the novel is the use of Social Media, the Web, email and texting throughout the story. The abbreviated, clipped linguistic structure that we typically use for Facebook statuses and emails is peppered throughout the book and the even Alice’s bored, random Google searches will make you laugh (because you recognize yourself in her shoes). It makes Alice seem not only very contemporary and genuine but you get her. This isn’t a contrived story featuring social media as cool prop. This is a story about a modern woman doing ordinary things and how banal that sometimes may be.
I think there are lessons to be reaped about love and life in Wife 22 and it’s definitely worth packing into that beach bag this summer for a fun and easy read.
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