Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon: A review

Although this book may be classed as chick lit, it is so much more than that. It depicts the underlying issues common in many of today’s marriages and relationships. It raises serious points about how much technology has changed how we live and conduct our relationships.

Alice Buckle is a forty something part time drama teacher with a failed playwright career behind her while her husband William is a hot shot marketing exec. Until he loses his job that is. Alice, already unhappy in her marriage, is in a very vulnerable place when she receives an email from a research centre saying they’d pay her $1,000 if she took part in their marriage survey. She agrees. What follows is a series of conversations and chats between Wife 22 and Researcher 101.

Alice finds herself able to open up to the Researcher in the survey and as her marriage unravels around her, she starts to fall for the guy she’s never met.

The book, although lengthy, is very easy to read as most pages contain the Facebook chat between Alice (Wife 22) and the Researcher or her answers to the survey. The author does a great job of weaving together the different characters of the book. There’s Peter (who wants to be called Pedro) – the son who Alice thinks is gay. Zoe – the daughter who Alice thinks has an eating disorder, William – the husband, Nedra – the best friend, Jude – Nedra’s son who is also in love with Zoe and Caroline – Alice’s old friends daughter who is staying at their house until she finds a job.

This book makes for compulsive reading and the author throws in some fab one liners that give the reader a lot to think about. Although I suspected the ending about half way through the book, the author did a great job of hiding it.

The only negative thing I’d say is that it could have been shortened slightly. While you start off really feeling for Alice and her state of affairs, her quirky nature begins to get annoying about 3/4 of the way through the book and you want to shake some sense into her.

But don’t be put off, it’s a warm and light hearted read that I couldn’t put down!


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