Tuesday, June 12, 2012

{read: chick lit, less shallow} Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

This was a quick, light read with just a hint of something deeper in it. Many have said this follows in the footsteps of Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding and I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson, and I couldn't agree more. Those books tell the story of a single woman (Fielding) and a woman who's married with young children (Pearson). This novel continues the chronicle of the beleaguered woman searching for love and happiness with the story of Alice Buckle, who's been married for 20 years and has two children in their teens.

In Wife 22, Alice signs up to take a series of surveys about her marriage, anonymously, after she searches for "happy marriage" on Google and then gets an email invitation in her spam folder. She corresponds with the researcher by email and then on Facebook, but she finds that this chance to reflect on her marriage brings up some unsettling questions in her own mind. In the meantime, her husband loses his job, a friend's daughter moves in, and her own two children have some problems, both real and imagined, that she tries to solve. Alice's voice is refreshing and easy to read, and I enjoyed the mix of email and social media with the traditional narrative. As in the Fielding and Pearson books, many women will be able relate to the universal questions she poses about marriage, love, and raising children in today's world.

Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon (Random House Publishing, 2012)
My rating: 4 stars

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