FTC Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review.
Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
Summary from the back of the book: 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.
Some people have compared this book to Bridget Jones’ Diary. I must confess I’ve never read that book, but what I do know is this is a great chick lit, summer beach read. Actually, I think it’s just an all around good read.
What I liked about the book: It’s a quick entertaining read. If I hadn’t had to work I could have read this book in one day. In fact this morning, my husband had to remind me that if I didn’t stop reading and head to school, I was going to be late. I liked that Alice seemed very real – very believable. I didn’t always like her choices. There was a while that I was worried about what her ultimate choices would be. The book takes a twist that might be surprising for some. I actually figured it out and was very pleased with the ending. I don’t want to give any spoilers so I won’t go into details about the twist. I liked how we see Alice’s answers to the survey before we see what the questions are. The questions are actually included at the end of the book, but I didn’t realize that until I got to the very end. I recommend that you don’t skip to the end to read the questions. It’s rather fun trying to guess them based on Alice’s answers.
What I didn’t like about the book: I have to admit that books about marital trouble usually don’t appeal to me, but I’m glad I read this book. It was an engaging read – a very refreshing debut novel. I look forward to seeing more of Gideon’s work.