Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

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Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

Buy Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: Alice Buckle is less than satisfied with her life. Her marriage has gone stale, her children are worrying her and she is about to turn the age that her mother was when she died. She can't talk to her husband, William, but when an invitation to participate in some research called 'Marriage in the 21st Century' drops into her inbox, it provides an opportunity for her to examine and talk about her feelings. However, as the study progresses, Alice finds herself confiding more than she should to her caseworker, Researcher 101. She could be in danger of overstepping the mark, and consequently damaging her marriage further rather than healing it as she had set out to do.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 380 Date: June 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780007481774

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Alice and William Buckle have been married for quite a few years and have two teenage children and a dog. With their busy lives, they end up having little time for each other and rarely get the opportunity to talk about the things that matter. In order to do something about her feelings of discontent, Alice googles 'happy marriage?' and although there seem to be no magic secrets for success, a little later she is invited to take part in an online survey about modern marriage. She is given the label, Wife 22, and is assigned to her caseworker, Researcher 101, who sends her questions periodically, and is also available through email to answer any queries. Alice soon enjoys being able to pour her heart out through the questions that she has to answer but also finds that she is becoming more than a little attracted to her faceless caseworker. They start chatting through facebook and Alice finds it quite exciting to mildly flirt with her new friend. However, the more she does so, the more disgruntled she becomes with her own husband. There comes a point though where Alice has to decide whether to take things further and if she does, what will become of her marriage?

I really enjoyed this book which was totally unlike the books that I normally read. I loved the storyline though and enjoyed the fact that it was totally up to date with the wonders of twenty first century technology although I couldn't help wondering how long before it would all start to feel a little outdated! I enjoyed the way that some chapters merely showed Alice's googling history and others showed her facebook conversations whereas others were written as a straightforward narrative. It is the narrative that hold everything together and I soon found myself completely caught up in it. The variety within the different chapters made it a very easy and enjoyable read.

I found Alice's and William's relationship fascinating and it was very easy to identify with both of them. Some of the chapters were solely devoted to Alice's answers to specific survey questions and it was delightful reading about their courtship but then very sad to read how, from her point of view, the marriage was disintegrating. It seemed to be a very modern story and probably not too dissimilar to many marriages these days. It's also quite unexpected in places and there was one moment of revelation that I absolutely loved and was absolutely the best bit of the book for me.

Overall, 'Wife 22' is a wonderfully absorbing and heart warming read and I loved it. It's definitely a book to look out for.

Why not also take a look at The Way We Were by Elizabeth Noble

Buy Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon at Amazon.co.uk

Buy Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon at Amazon.com.


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