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Review & Giveaway: Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

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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:

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.

View Trailer.

Read An Excerpt Here.

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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.

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Follow the Author:

www.melaniegideon.com

https://twitter.com/#!/MelanieGideon

https://www.facebook.com/MelanieGideonAuthor

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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!

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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 25-www.BooksintheBurbs.com

May 29 – www.WellReadWife.com

May 31 – www.AtHomeWithBooks.net

June 5 – www.StilettoStorytime.Wordpress.com

June 7 – www.BookJourney.Blogspot.com

Want to Win This Book?

Simply fill out the form below with your answer. 

By filling out the form, your information will not be displayed on my blog. 

This is for your security and privacy.

Deadline is June 30, 2012.

Great Giveaway & Book Review: Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green

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One (1) winner will receive:

  • $50 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card

·         A copy of Another Piece of My Heart

 

About the Book

From the New York Times bestselling author of JEMIMA J, and THE BEACH HOUSE, comes Jane Green’s most emotional and powerful novel yet: a story that explores the complications of a woman marrying into a ready-made family, and the true meaning of motherhood.

Andi has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she’s finally found him.  Ethan–divorced with two daughters, Emily and Sophia–is a devoted father and even better husband.  Always hoping one day she would be a mother, Andi embraces the girls like they were her own. But in Emily’s eyes, Andi is an obstacle to her father’s love, and Emily will do whatever it takes to break her down. When the dynamics between the two escalate, they threaten everything Andi believes about love, family, and motherhood—leaving both women standing at a crossroad in their lives…and in their hearts.

ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART is a novel that illuminates the nuances and truths about relationships and is Jane Green at her absolute best.

My Review:

I was immediately pulled into the storyline.  Today, it is very common for children to belong to blended families. Providing a glimpse into the story of one familly that is dealing with the effects of alcohol, drugs, teen issues, infertility, adoption, and trying to stay together.  Told through the perspective of the step-mother, biological mother, teenager, and author, the reader is able to get a better understanding behind each character’s thoughts, behaviors, and motivations.

Jane Green does a remarkable job at keeping the storyline authentic, as she covers real life issues, in a fast paced story.  The story doesn’t seem bogged down or too water downed.  There were times where it was difficult to understand and like some of the characters.  However, Jane Green then shows the individual perspective of that particular character, and the reader soon can empathize with her, too.

Reading from Andi’s perspective, the reader is able to truly understand her desire to have children, feel her pain each month that she finds out she isn’t pregnant, and feel her struggles as she tries to make peace with the oldest teen, Emily.  However, Emily appears as this rebellious teen.  As a reader, I could sense the anger and understand her frustration as she tries to keep the family together, be a wife and mother to her husband’s children, and struggles with her own issues of fertility.  However, Emily often argues with her, is dismissive towards her and the family, appears to be a manipulator, and just an overall rebellious teen. Reading from Emily’s perspective gave the reader an opportunity to understand her motives, the struggle she has of dealing with an alcoholic mother, trying to fit in at school, feeling her father doesn’t listen to her, and seeing Andi as fake and wanting her father and younger sister without her being a part of the family.

The family dynamics are truly realistic and it’s a story that gives a well rounded view of a blended family and it’s issues.

I highly suggest this book to those who love contemporary fiction, reading about families, enjoy books told through multiple point of views, and deal with complex issues that aren’t always so black and white.

*This book was provided for free by Big Honcho Media.

No monetary or forms of compensation were given.  The opinions are solely my own.

About the Author

Jane Green is the author of twelve bestselling novels, dealing with real women, real life, and all the things in-between, with her trademark wisdom, wit and warmth. She contributes to various publications, both online and print, including Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, and assorted Anthologies.  Passionate about both food and the home, most weekends see her cooking up a storm in her home in Westport, Connecticut, where she lives by the beach with her husband and their many children.

Link Up!
www.JaneGreen.com

https://twitter.com/janegreen

http://www.facebook.com/authorJaneGreen

Enter the Giveaway:

Begins March 5, ends March 13, 2012.

Simply post a comment with your name and email.  A winner will be chosen randomly and will be notified. 

One (1) winner will receive:

  • $50 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card

·         A copy of Another Piece of My Heart