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.
This is a very easy read, in that the writing is very smooth and seamless. However, the subject matter is not easy by any means. This is about a woman, who discovers that she desires more from herself, her marriage, and by answering questions, realizes that she is the author of her life. While there were many moments I was uncomfortable with the relationship Wife 22 and Researcher 101 had developed, by the end of the story, it all made sense. So, for those of you who are like me and don’t like blurring of the lines when it comes to ethical/moral issues between a person of high influence and their subject, it is a book that is worth reading. Because the ending was a huge surprise (for me), I was squeamish when reading the book. As a therapist, I just kept seeing huge red flags and didn’t know when and if the storyline would change. I can say, it does….however by then I had already developed a sense of dislike for relationship between both Wife 22 and Researcher 101. I did love the questions, though and think every couple should have an inventory of their relationship from time to time. Overall, communication is key! I enjoyed the story and the way Melanie weaves both couple’s view on marriage, their partnership, and family together.
About the Author:
Melanie Gideon is the author of the memoir The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After, an NPR and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2009, and a New York Times bestseller, as well as three young adult novels. Her novel, Wife 22 (to be published in 30 countries and translated into 26 languages and currently in development with Working Title Films) is forthcoming from Ballantine in May 2012. She has written for the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, More, Shape, Marie Claire, the London Times, the Daily Mail and other publications. She was born and raised in Rhode Island and now lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son. Wife 22 is her first novel for adults.
Follow the Author:
Melanie Gideon has taken her book, Wife 22, on a virtual blog tour. At each stop, she has taken time to submit a question and answers it, as well as the hosting blogger. Each question is from “Marriage in the 21st Century” survey, which is featured in the book, Wife 22.
Books in the Burbs question:
Describe a cliché of parenthood that took you by surprise.
Melanie Gideon’s answer:
I never knew I could love somebody like I love my son.
Books in the Burbs (Lisa’s) answer:
Having 3 children, it is amazing how much I love all 3 of them equally and with just as much as enthusiasm, intensity of love, and commitment. Your heart does expand!
Please stop by to visit the blog on this tour to find out what the next question will be, and read Melanie and the blog host’s answer.
May 21 – www.MomsTreehouse.com
May 23 – www.SheScribes.com
May 29 – www.WellReadWife.com
May 31 – www.AtHomeWithBooks.net
June 7 – www.BookJourney.Blogspot.com
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Deadline is June 30, 2012.
- Janel’s #CBR4 Review #20 Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon (cannonballread4.wordpress.com)
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- Review: Wife 22: A Novel (spangster.wordpress.com)
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- Question: Doesn’t Anybody Stay Together Anymore? Why Do We Make Vows and Then Not Keep Them? (verticalviewer.wordpress.com)
- Review: Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding (thesolitarybookworm.wordpress.com)