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Cose che mio marito non sa di me

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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 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. From the Hardcover edition.

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30 review for Cose che mio marito non sa di me

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elyse

    I'm a big fan of "Valley of the Moon", .....a favorite book from last year by Melanie Gideon..... So, I was happy to see "Wife 22", an earlier book by Melanie Gideon as a $1.99 Kindle special. Alice is "Wife 22"..... an anonymous participant in an online survey about marriage. She's been married twenty years - has two kids - and is monogamous... fitting the requirements to be part of the study. Alice worries.... ......About her marriage, ( does she and William even talk about anything interesting I'm a big fan of "Valley of the Moon", .....a favorite book from last year by Melanie Gideon..... So, I was happy to see "Wife 22", an earlier book by Melanie Gideon as a $1.99 Kindle special. Alice is "Wife 22"..... an anonymous participant in an online survey about marriage. She's been married twenty years - has two kids - and is monogamous... fitting the requirements to be part of the study. Alice worries.... ......About her marriage, ( does she and William even talk about anything interesting and intimate together anymore- let alone feel turned on?) ......About her kids, (one might be gay, the other might have an eating disorder), ......Her personal self worth, ( after all, she was once accepted at BROWN and a playwright), ......Her responsibilities (demands of boring routine necessities), ......Her job, ( great elementary drama school teacher but parents tend to take advantage of her kindness and show up late picking up their kids), ......Her husband's demotion, ( affects their entire family - his self worth - decrease in salary - his distance and moodiness), ......Her friends, (loyalty tested), ......New worries develop as the story moves along, ( secrets, withholds) A type of online therapy and communication.... The survey questions that Alice receives comes from her personal sponsor named "Researcher 101". Soon, Alice discovers the questions she answers calm her more than anything else. Her new private life becomes seductive and addicting. Many laugh out loud moments. Alice might be a little annoying at times - hell - who isn't - but she is also endearing!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    This book had me at the first paragraph, an authentic-looking Google search page on eyelid drooping, with humorous result entries. I’m sure this will send some serious literature people running, but I was glued to the page. Droopy eyelid is a worthy topic in my eyes, though no, this isn’t what the book—or this review—is about (lol, you can just guess I have a lot to say about droopy eyelids). Alice is 45 and bored with her marriage. She has a couple of teenagers, who are interesting and well-draw This book had me at the first paragraph, an authentic-looking Google search page on eyelid drooping, with humorous result entries. I’m sure this will send some serious literature people running, but I was glued to the page. Droopy eyelid is a worthy topic in my eyes, though no, this isn’t what the book—or this review—is about (lol, you can just guess I have a lot to say about droopy eyelids). Alice is 45 and bored with her marriage. She has a couple of teenagers, who are interesting and well-drawn. Alice decides to take part in an online survey on marriage and doesn’t tell her family. The survey is run by Researcher 101, and through survey questions Alice (whom the survey has labeled Wife 22) ends up gradually blurting out the life story of her marriage. Eventually the communication between Alice and the researcher leads to a sort of tentative and restrained online affair (without any sex stuff, thank god). Despite its leper label, “chick lit”, I actually think this book shows some real genius. The author uses a bunch of formats (emails, Google searches, Twitter, Facebook, texts, play format, and a questionnaire) to tell her story, and she combines them beautifully. What a brilliant way to get a glimpse of what a character is thinking—even if it is about something mundane. So many times that’s just what we ARE thinking about. The Google entries were especially entertaining. It made me think about how many weird things I google every day. Two of my highlights yesterday: “Do noodles make you sleepy?” and “Do plums explode in the microwave?” I’ve thought of writing down all the things I’ve searched for in one day, just for kicks. Social media has also knocked some of the grammar Nazi out of me. I can now comfortably use google as a verb and even lowercase it sometimes—no small feat. The downside of Google is how many diseases I am absolutely positive I have. I’ve seen some scathing reviews, where people thought the book was light and dumb (full of clichés and gimmicks), and the characters annoyed them. That was not my experience. I loved the way she skillfully plugged into the present culture. And the switch between formats was a clever plot device. The author has my sense of humor, which kept me laughing. However, when I figured out the ending, my smile went crooked and it made me crazy. It also affected my reading speed and comfort. I suddenly wanted to race to the end, Indy 500 style. Mostly this was to say obnoxiously, “Ha, I knew it!,” but also to see if I'd be lucky enough to get another, real surprise. I had been cheated out of the first one, damn it, which had been like a firecracker that exploded prematurely. Once a surprise is gone, it’s really gone. The story became uninteresting, the funny became deflated, and I wasn’t hot to pick up the book and continue reading. Therein lies the paradox: The desire to get to the finish line versus the involuntary stalling out. I so wanted to speed ahead but I kept slowing down. I was tempted to skip sections, but I read every word because the format and conversations were fun and lively and clear, and I was trying to have a little hope that I'd be wrong. A couple of minor nits: -At the end, I didn’t buy the husband’s attitude toward Alice. -The questionnaire only showed Alice’s answers, not the questions. Sometimes I could deduce the question, but more often than not, I couldn’t—so the answer made no sense. At the end of the book, all the numbered questions appear in a list! Huh? What good did that do me? No way was I going back to the numbered answers and match them with the correct question. That’s worse than homework! There is a way the author could have avoided the predictability, which would have made it such a better read. She would have had to change the premise, though—no small task. Considering the way she wrote it, she obviously assumed people wouldn’t figure out the twist early on. Although I hated the predictability of this book, I loved its cleverness. And it made me think about how easy it is today to learn stuff, how it’s perfectly normal for us to click just one or two keys and find instant information on any weirdo topic. I also thought about the role that social media plays in our lives, about how our new avenue of staccato yet telling communication affects the psychology of both the online writers and readers. I’m so torn about how to rate this. I originally thought this would be an easy 4.5, but the discomfort and disappointment that came with the predictability make me rate it a 3.8. Oh, hell, I’ll bump it to a 4. The fact that it opened with a google search on droopy eyelids warrants at least half a point.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Beaulieu

    So cute! So clever! So nauseating! She spends too much time online. Can she reconnect with her husband? Can she recover her creative spark and become the playwright she once wanted to be? What about her children? Is her son gay - not that there's anything wrong with that! - her best friend is a hip lesbian. Is her daughter bulimic, or is it something much more ridiculous and twee? Oh the handwringing! And look, here comes another man ... who likes pina coladas. But does he like getting caught in So cute! So clever! So nauseating! She spends too much time online. Can she reconnect with her husband? Can she recover her creative spark and become the playwright she once wanted to be? What about her children? Is her son gay - not that there's anything wrong with that! - her best friend is a hip lesbian. Is her daughter bulimic, or is it something much more ridiculous and twee? Oh the handwringing! And look, here comes another man ... who likes pina coladas. But does he like getting caught in the rain? Meanwhile, she shops at 4th street in Berkeley which is so chic, just right for her age group. And guess where her teenaged daughter shops? How did you know it was the Goodwill?!? The movie won't come out for a few years, as they will have to wait for the ever-annoying Zoe Deschanel to age into the role. And perhaps she'll have a daughter by then who can play the adorable little teen daughter character. Make sure you buy popcorn and save the container, because you're gonna need it when you throw up in the theater.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    Have you ever picked up a book you've had for a few years, read it and then think, "why didn't I read this the first day I got it?" Summed up, that is this book for me, at least in my opinion. This book was witty, sarcastic, comical, and downright real to life. These characters were true to form people that reminded me of a lot of people that I know. This is an easy to read novel that makes you want to see how things pan out for all involved. Alice, a mid-40s woman is going through a type of brea Have you ever picked up a book you've had for a few years, read it and then think, "why didn't I read this the first day I got it?" Summed up, that is this book for me, at least in my opinion. This book was witty, sarcastic, comical, and downright real to life. These characters were true to form people that reminded me of a lot of people that I know. This is an easy to read novel that makes you want to see how things pan out for all involved. Alice, a mid-40s woman is going through a type of breakdown and she thinks her son is gay and her daughter has an eating disorder. Her husband, William doesn't seem to know who she is anymore and they have drifted. That's when Alice decides to participate in an online study about marriage. Assigned to her is Researcher 101, her personal marriage counselor of sorts. From the beginning, Alice and Researcher 101 have a bond with one another and over the course of several months, she delves into her marriage in a way that only she can remember. Meanwhile, her best friend (who is a lesbian) and her partner become engaged and another couple they spend time with, end up getting twin suites to spice up their marriage. Alice is struggling with her job on top of everything else when her husband announces to her that he has lost his. Things seem to be hitting rock bottom. However, Melanie Gideon enlightens the reader with comical everyday experiences and real life situations. This book truly holds true the "online" sensation that many people seem to be in love with. Highly recommend! (I'm not usually a big fiction person but this book was well worth it) go pick it up at your library and you won't be sorry :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christelle

    CUTE. So cute. I was looking for a light non-teen perfect-for-summer read and I decided to pick up Wife 22. I hadn't heard anything about it. UNFORTUNATE. I don't know how this book hasn't gotten more buzz. It's just the perfect choice for Chick Lit lovers. One thing that surprised me about this light and sweet read is that it had a lot of depth. Do not confuse it for a mindless read. The characters were complex and each one was dealing with real, difficult, life-changing choices and handling the CUTE. So cute. I was looking for a light non-teen perfect-for-summer read and I decided to pick up Wife 22. I hadn't heard anything about it. UNFORTUNATE. I don't know how this book hasn't gotten more buzz. It's just the perfect choice for Chick Lit lovers. One thing that surprised me about this light and sweet read is that it had a lot of depth. Do not confuse it for a mindless read. The characters were complex and each one was dealing with real, difficult, life-changing choices and handling them with plenty of true, human emotion. Let me just say, it's ADORABLE. The AHA moment will make you tear up and say wow, love is so wonderful. I would have to say I did identify it as a very, very, very, modern Pride and Prejudice, which the book often alludes to. Also, it did remind me a little of You've Got Mail, which is also referenced in the book. I find that sometimes in Chick Lit, the MCs are dumbed down way too much but in Wife, the MC was smart, and realistically imperfect. She's someone you really cheer for. I also like how the issues in the relationship between the MC and her husband were not the fault of oone or the other, but rather a mutual disconnect. I appreciated how they both showed frustration over their relationship and yet had no idea how to fix it. Just sounds like a real relationship. Funny. Sweet. Nostalgic. Romantic. I wish more Chick Lit was like this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette "Astute Crabbist"

    The title conjures images of polygamy, but this is very much a novel of modern monogamy. Along with traditional narration, the story unfolds in a series of Facebook and Twitter updates, text messages, e-mails, Google searches, and even playwriting scenes. This can be disorienting at times, but it effectively mimics the minute-by-minute, need-to-know lifestyle of the typical plugged-in American. For an atypical, mostly unplugged American like me, this was quite a revelation. Alice Buckle is a war The title conjures images of polygamy, but this is very much a novel of modern monogamy. Along with traditional narration, the story unfolds in a series of Facebook and Twitter updates, text messages, e-mails, Google searches, and even playwriting scenes. This can be disorienting at times, but it effectively mimics the minute-by-minute, need-to-know lifestyle of the typical plugged-in American. For an atypical, mostly unplugged American like me, this was quite a revelation. Alice Buckle is a warm-hearted worrier. She worries that her son Peter might be gay and afraid to come out. She worries that her daughter Zoe might have an eating disorder. She worries about her drooping eyelids. And she worries that her relationship with her husband William has lost its pizzazz after 20 years. Alice agrees to participate in an online study of marriage in the 21st century. Anonymity guaranteed. She is now "Wife 22," assigned to "Researcher 101." Being anonymous allows Alice to reveal herself more deeply to the researcher than she would to anyone IRL, and a strange intimacy builds between them. Meanwhile, she's trying to manage a household full of people so connected to their electronic devices that they've almost forgotten how to connect face to face. This is not my usual fare, but I found it entertaining and even touching. There are a lot of true laugh-out-loud moments, funny because they're realistic rather than contrived. Definitely fun light reading. And if you can relate to Alice, so much the better. She might inspire you to put some zing back in your own long-term relationship. Review copy provided by the publisher. For those to whom it matters, the story is told entirely in the present tense. Update: I have now seen complaints from two readers stating that they were frustrated at not knowing what questions Alice was answering in the survey. There is an appendix at the back of the book listing all the questions. When you start seeing numbered responses, just look in the back for the correspondingly numbered questions.

  7. 4 out of 5

    M

    3.8???? Really Goodreads?? REALLY? Maybe it's all about from whence you approached this book. Maybe you've been reading a lot of (even) dumber chick lit books and you now think you have in your hand our answer to Bridget Jones (you do not) whereas I was hoping for something actually clever and found myself with a work that was more along the lines of the colossally disappointing Weird Sisters - which is to say, yet another pretentious book endeavoring to be more than what it is and falling so ter 3.8???? Really Goodreads?? REALLY? Maybe it's all about from whence you approached this book. Maybe you've been reading a lot of (even) dumber chick lit books and you now think you have in your hand our answer to Bridget Jones (you do not) whereas I was hoping for something actually clever and found myself with a work that was more along the lines of the colossally disappointing Weird Sisters - which is to say, yet another pretentious book endeavoring to be more than what it is and falling so terribly short. Wife 22's title, as the author makes sure to call your attention to, is a reference to Catch 22, as in the idea that in marriage the qualities you fall for are often the ones you end up resenting. Well this is an interesting concept but the protagonist is an absolute wash cloth - in being courted - somewhat barbarically - by a seemingly already taken man, she never quite becomes the girl he supposedly fell for, at least not for this reader. She is awkward, wimpy, weak, and checks her facebook page far too much. Her husband is increasingly unlikable until we are supposed to like him again. I want to ask the GR world another question - were ANY of you actually surprised by the stupid and predictable "twist" of this wretched book? It was not only obvious and poorly executed but so puke worthy it made me hate the stupid woman and her dumb stupid husband all the more. I also want to say that the crisis of this literary generation, in my mind, is that YOU PEOPLE NEED TO STOP WATCHING SO MANY FREAKING ROMANTIC COMEDIES. I am so sick of reading snappy not true to life dialogue and fabulous exit lines and sweeping flirtations and random coincidences and cue the music moments. GAG. Books are NOT movies. Movie charm does not translate into the written world, nor should it. If you're going to write a book then I prefer my time not be wasted; otherwise I would pop in some Sleepless in Seattle and call it a day. This goes for the precocious, never true to their age children who act like adults (because that is just so endearing) as well as the smart talking better dressed best friend and cliche after cliche after cliche. Here's a tip: referencing a quasi classic in your title, first line, or otherwise does NOT make your work literary. Try just writing it well.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    A novel about Alice Buckle, a failed playwright now teaching drama to 3rd graders, whose looming 45th birthday, anniversary of her mother's death, and 20th wedding anniversary throw her into a midlife crisis, so she takes part in a marriage survey and ends up having an emotional, online affair with the researcher. Since the affair takes place via email and Facebook, much of the book is also written in the style of emails, Facebook posts, chats, texts, tweets, and Google searches—which was gimmic A novel about Alice Buckle, a failed playwright now teaching drama to 3rd graders, whose looming 45th birthday, anniversary of her mother's death, and 20th wedding anniversary throw her into a midlife crisis, so she takes part in a marriage survey and ends up having an emotional, online affair with the researcher. Since the affair takes place via email and Facebook, much of the book is also written in the style of emails, Facebook posts, chats, texts, tweets, and Google searches—which was gimmicky and a good way to avoid creating characters with any depth. Alice Buckle is a self-centered neurotic, and a terrible wife and friend. The last thing I want is to be reading her Facebook page. Also a gimmick: chapters written in Alice's survey answers, but without the questions to match. So we get to read things like, "49. Sometimes; 50. Eggs and cream; 51. When she says I do." How cute and quirky! (Just kidding.) Even worse, then we reach the end of the book only to find the entire list of questions in an appendix, by which point, I could not have cared less and there was NO way I was going to read the questions now that the book was over! Such a dumb, irritating...gimmick. And the plot twist? I guessed it halfway through. Bet you will, too. Lots of zippy one-liners clearly written by someone with talent, but those in no way made up for the lack of character development or the Facebook format of the book, which will be outdated in, oh, oops—it already is.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This was a quirky, fun, but a little far fetched, read. Entertaining for the most part and I did laugh out loud quite a few times. Alice Buckle has been married for 20 years and is feeling lonely when she decides to participate in an online marriage survey. She takes on the pseudonym 'Wife22' as she completes the survey over the course of several weeks. She answers her questions upon reflection of her life with her husband and begins to engage in an online conversation with 'Researcher 101', who This was a quirky, fun, but a little far fetched, read. Entertaining for the most part and I did laugh out loud quite a few times. Alice Buckle has been married for 20 years and is feeling lonely when she decides to participate in an online marriage survey. She takes on the pseudonym 'Wife22' as she completes the survey over the course of several weeks. She answers her questions upon reflection of her life with her husband and begins to engage in an online conversation with 'Researcher 101', who is evaluating and scoring her answers. They begin to flirt and an online courting begins. There was a surprise twist ending which was a delightful surprise, however, the structure of the book I disliked - some chapters written in texting format; the quiz questions were at the back of the book and had I not read some reviews, I would not have known - that made it distracting to be flipping back and forth and not sure why it wasn't built into the structure of the novel. Overall, 3.5 ☆.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ☮Karen

    Liane  Moriarty  meets Sophie Kinsella in Oakland, CA, and the result is this book.  I would have liked it to be more Moriarty-like and less Kinsella-ish, although the elements of both were definitely there.   Alice  (the name is just one thing that reminded me of Moriarty) is a modern wife with her Facebook addiction leading her to take part in an anonymous  survey about her  marriage, which she thinks needs a boost.  She is code named Wife 22; the guy she sends her answers to and chats with is Liane  Moriarty  meets Sophie Kinsella in Oakland, CA, and the result is this book.  I would have liked it to be more Moriarty-like and less Kinsella-ish, although the elements of both were definitely there.   Alice  (the name is just one thing that reminded me of Moriarty) is a modern wife with her Facebook addiction leading her to take part in an anonymous  survey about her  marriage, which she thinks needs a boost.  She is code named Wife 22; the guy she sends her answers to and chats with is Researcher 101.  Listening  to their email exchanges on audiobook grew tedious real fast, since every one included recitation of the To and From names and email addresses in full, along with the subject lines, date, and time. In reading, you could easily scan over this information overload, but not so on audio. So instead I upped the speed; it was that or quit it altogether. Alice was immature and naive for her 44 years, but she was also fun, clever, and free spirited, in the midst of her marital issues and midlife crisis.  I laughed out loud a couple times, and probably rolled my eyes an equal number of times. Be forewarned ... at the bottom of the Wife 22 Goodreads page are some discussion groups, and the topic of one of them tells you straight  out what the twist  at the end of the book  is.  Can't flag it as a spoiler either because it isn't  a post, it's the name of the discussion. So that ruined the end for me, thank you very much, since I'm always nosing around to see what others' opinions are. 3 stars might have been 3.5 if not for the spoiler below, hard to say.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Rochelle

    I'm a sucker for good chick lit. Or women's fiction. Or domestic fiction. Whatever it's called these days. This is the story of Alice Buckle. Alice signs up for a study about marriage in the 21st century and realizes she isn't as happy as she thought. Alice isn't perfect, her husband and kids aren't either, but this book is pretty close. The ending is fantastic with a bit of a twist I didn't expect. A great read for a summer day.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. ***SPOILERS*** Sometimes you read a book and wonder if it was calculated to annoy you. How did the author of Wife 22 know all the tricks to make me roll my eyes, shout "oh, come on!", and eventually toss the book away from me in disgust? I guess I should give her mad props for knowing me so well, but instead I'm just going to complain about her trite, cliched, and ultimately offensive novel. It's a bad sign when a writer includes Facebook statuses, message boards, and text messages in her book. I ***SPOILERS*** Sometimes you read a book and wonder if it was calculated to annoy you. How did the author of Wife 22 know all the tricks to make me roll my eyes, shout "oh, come on!", and eventually toss the book away from me in disgust? I guess I should give her mad props for knowing me so well, but instead I'm just going to complain about her trite, cliched, and ultimately offensive novel. It's a bad sign when a writer includes Facebook statuses, message boards, and text messages in her book. I can see the temptation: these forms of communication are pervasive in our lives, and it seems like a fun way of expressing all the thoughts and interactions of the heroine. But the writer tries to be so cute with everything! The screen names, the teenager-style texts, the Google search results - I couldn't stop imagining the author smiling to herself at her cleverness. And so many cliches! The scene where Alice fumbles through a wedding toast until she gathers herself thanks to the whispered encouragement of her mentor, to be greeted with thunderous applause from the audience? Oh, COME ON! I couldn't figure out what she had said that was in any way thoughtful or remarkable, or really, even coherent. I read through the scene several times and only came up with a bad, cliched speech. But getting to the weightier issues of the novel, I can't understand why I'm supposed to support a character that routinely makes such asinine decisions. I know I'm supposed to think that she's more relatable because she's flawed, but I couldn't believe a grown woman would constantly make such bad choices. I did think that her retreat into an online world seemed very realistic for a woman feeling unfulfilled in her marriage, but her decision to seek a more personal relationship with her researcher made me want to shake her. (And what scientific researcher would ever agree to personal e-mails and Facebook correspondence with a subject???) If the choices had only been in relation to the affair, I could have understood it as the point of the book, but so many aspects of her career and family life were marked by poor choices that were intended to make her funny and quirky that I couldn't see why I would root for her. And, then, in the end, we find out that the entire time, she was having an online affair with her husband, who knew that she was unhappy and wanted to remind her why they fell in love - wah wahhhhhh! I'm supposed to think this was romantic? She had an emotional affair with someone, even to the point of scheduling a meet-up! I had been starting to feel like she was learning from her mistakes, that although she made bad choices, she realized that she needed to let go of the fantasy and work on her marriage. And then the author pulls this stunt? I had wondered if the husband would be behind it from the beginning, but I was still appalled that it would be portrayed as this grand romantic gesture on his part and that all would be forgiven since it brought them back together, EVEN THOUGH SHE THOUGHT IT WAS ANOTHER MAN. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I'm giving this two stars because I was entertained, and being annoyed AND bored is a the kiss of death for a book to me, but seriously, everything this book promotes is completely wretched.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gerri Leen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Read the book before you read this because I'm going to spoil things. First off, let me say that it pains me to give this one star. Because the book, other than the bigggg problem I have with it, deserves five stars. It's fun, fast-paced, with fun characters who are well fleshed out (with one glaring exception), snappy dialogue, creative use of multiple types of media (social media, survey answers, chat, traditional prose, scene outlining), all in all a joy to read. Except for the ending. Now, no Read the book before you read this because I'm going to spoil things. First off, let me say that it pains me to give this one star. Because the book, other than the bigggg problem I have with it, deserves five stars. It's fun, fast-paced, with fun characters who are well fleshed out (with one glaring exception), snappy dialogue, creative use of multiple types of media (social media, survey answers, chat, traditional prose, scene outlining), all in all a joy to read. Except for the ending. Now, normally a shitty ending would only merit dropping a book to about three stars. But see, the ending in this case isn't just an ending, it's the premise that ties this book together. The whole concept of Wife22. The marriage survey she signs up to take, who sent it, and why. It starts the book off, and it ends the book, and therefore it is not just the end of the book: it IS the book. So, what's the problem? Well, it's like this. We have Alice, a wife who is flawed, yes, but mostly charming and real. She's a failed playwright, a part-time drama teacher at an elementary school. She seems pretty normal to me. Other than her (understandable) angst over reaching the age (45) that her own mother died at. Her daughter (who she adores) doesn't seem to like her anymore. Her son may be gay and she's very supportive in trying to help him come out (even if he's not really gay, which he's not spilling one way or the other when we start). She has friends. She has support groups. And she has William. Her cipher of a husband. He doesn't really talk to her. He runs and likes to cook. He needs his space. And oh yeah, he acts badly at his advertising job and gets demoted from creative directive and then shitcanned. He basically comes off as a dick. While this is going on, Alice signs up to take a marriage survey, at the end of which she'll get $1,000. She gets assigned Researcher101 and is renamed Wife22 for anonymity's sake and is given many questions in random order. We don't see the questions, only the answers. And through the rather colorful scenes (playwright, see above) we get to see why she fell in love with William. She and Researcher101 also begin to chat more than they should. By more than they should, I mean about 20 sentences, which is probably 18 more than she gets from her husband, so of course she falls for him. And he falls for her. She gives him tons of info about herself and about her feelings about William. Researcher101 gives her jack. Have you figured it out yet? Cuz I did roughly 1/3 of the way in and was pissed off. William is Researcher101. But I thought there was still a way for Gideon to turn this around and give it some meat. If Researcher101 actually started sharing too, if William could use this proxy to actually COMMUNICATE and not just STEAL info from her, then it would be okay. Uh no. They almost have an affair. They don't cuz he doesn't show up for their first meeting at a coffee shop. Finally she figures out it's him. Her friends all think it's the most ROMANTIC THING EVUH!!! Angels sing. Roses rain down. Harps play. She realizes she loves him. Their marriage is saved. Oh and best of all, she gets him a great new job from the woman she stole him from when they first met--cuz that's the way the world works!! Wacky music plays. End montage with how things turn out a few years later with them and all the fun supporting characters. Seriously????? Stop the romantic Rom-Com music and pull your heads out. In what world is this romantic? Her husband, in a unilateral move and a complete betrayal of trust, tricks her into telling him how she feels while sharing NOTHING of how he feels. She convinces herself that she loves him and he has to do NOTHING. No thing. No gesture. No apologies for being a whiny ass baby. He never knows she got him out of the job he found for himself (post it note ordering guy at a family run office supply store) for the VIP catering manager at a really big firm cuz, you know, she doesn't want to hurt his fragile pride and all that--plus again, guys don't have to DO ANYTHING to get what they want and need. I was simply appalled that with all these strong female characters in this book, this would be the ending we landed on. That this unilateral, betrayal of trust was going to be the ending of choice and deemed ROMANTIC. In my world, Alice told him to shove his fake research company where the sun don't shine and then broke it to him that she got him his cool new job, and he could use the big paycheck for her alimony and the child support. Buh bye.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carolina Morales

    I wish there was -2 stars to rate this novel, because it is so well written and at the same time has a heroin who drives any sensible person mad. Basically, the plot describes the middle age crisis of teacher/housewife/mom Alice, struggling to live with her almost 20 years together husband and two kids, of 12 and 15. It also troubles Alice the fact she is becoming of the same age her mom died, 45. It is easy to get fond of Alice, as she is easy to relate, funny, messy and human. But no, don't do I wish there was -2 stars to rate this novel, because it is so well written and at the same time has a heroin who drives any sensible person mad. Basically, the plot describes the middle age crisis of teacher/housewife/mom Alice, struggling to live with her almost 20 years together husband and two kids, of 12 and 15. It also troubles Alice the fact she is becoming of the same age her mom died, 45. It is easy to get fond of Alice, as she is easy to relate, funny, messy and human. But no, don't do it. I'll tell you why. Sad with some words her husband had said unthoughtfully, Alice decides to take part in a huge poll about marriage answering questions some "researcher" sends her from time to time. She starts to describe her earlier life, how she met him, how they did get married. That's when you see the reason # 1 you must not admire Alice. She's stolen someone else's fiancé. I'm sorry, Mrs. Buckle, but to run during lunchtime with another girl's boyfriend to whom you are openly attracted, without her acknolwedge, wearing either perfume or baby powder, IS THE SAME AS CHEATING; and the way you begin things is always a big part of how things end. The reason # 2 why you must not like Alice is she is a stalker. She is needy and sticky with her husband and teenager kids. She begs her husband's co-worker to send her a video of a dramatic situation he had at work. She enters he son's schoolbus in order to watch his behaviour with friends, as to check out whether he is gay or not. She searches for donuts in her 15 years old daughter closet supposing she has a eating disorder, nevertheless the teen never gave the smallest reason for that. Even though bulimia is the classic reaction to pressure, and when you recall Alice's reaction to her husband's being fired, it could be at least possible. Communication, in Alice's mind, may occur only through e-mail or Facebook. To look into her own family's eyes and actually TALK, ask them what's happening is never on the Menu. By the way, Alice is not good on paying attention to anyone except herself. She is absurdly selfish, self centered and egotic, and the indulgence of her family and friends some times has given me nausea. She must not be treated like a poor orphan child, she needs to be shaken and even slapped to get out the passive comfort zone she has put herself in. A very strong scene of that happens when she is having lunch with her daughter at some place whose sympathetic waitress is the same for the last 15 years. Does she even know the name of the poor waitress? No, to her daughter's mortification and shame. By the way, this is one of the most impressive screw-ups Alice does along the plot - she is so over worried about her son being 'gay' and thinking about how stepping him out of the close by (her) own will that does not pay proper attention to Zoe, who does not have a disorder, but has a blog with double meaning and sexual connotation spicy posts. Alice also attends weekly to a dinner at her best friend's house. The order is not to buy anything, only home cooked meals. Who's the only one who disrespects this single rule? Even when her friend gives her the entire recipe and step-to-step, Alice finds a creative way to screw everything up by adding lavender to the lemon spiced lamb. As to say, "Don't make me cook again, there is a reason I keep bringing bought stuff". The reason # 3 contains a spoiler. Don´t read it untill you have survived this nonsense. At some point, Alice finds helself in love and flirting on a daily basis with researcher # 101. I'm sorry, but that is double cheating because, 1) She is married and 2)He tells her he IS also married. At the end of the book you find out, Tah-dah, researcher 101 is her own husband! So, everything is perfectly well, isn't it? No, it's not. I could have been a real research. It could have been some poor girl´s husband. It could have happened a traumatic divorce to a poor husband who did not have a CLUE of what was going on. I'm sorry Alice, two wrongs do not count as one right.I don't think you deserve a second chance, as you've learnt nothing during the ride. Get out of this Rabbit's Hole, because it will lead us readers to no good.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. Thank goodness for a sick day!! I am Alice Buckle...minus the friends. :) I was hooked from the beginning. I related to Alice and needed to see where the journey took her, her husband and her family. Do they make it? Do they succumb and become another statistic? Do they beat the odds which in todays society are all too often stacked against us, or so it seems. Maybe it just speaks to those of us in the middle-aged doldrums of parenting and marriage but I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. Thank goodness for a sick day!! I am Alice Buckle...minus the friends. :) I was hooked from the beginning. I related to Alice and needed to see where the journey took her, her husband and her family. Do they make it? Do they succumb and become another statistic? Do they beat the odds which in todays society are all too often stacked against us, or so it seems. Maybe it just speaks to those of us in the middle-aged doldrums of parenting and marriage but I'd like to think it speaks to anyone who has gotten caught up in the day-to-day "living" and lost themselves in the process. I'd like to buy this one for my Nook so I can make notes, highlight my favorite passages and re-read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I was really enjoying this book, but about three-quarters in I started to worry that the author would use the most predictable plot twist in the world. Then, BAM! the most predictable plot twist in the world turned a solid 4-star book into a 1-star "I had to force myself to finish it" book. So disappointing. I wish the author had been brave enough to not go there.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Rounding up to 4 Stars This started off with a bang, with the completely relatable, self-deprecating humor of marching toward middle age. I adored the main character, until... Why must people make such crappy, predictably bad decisions? First I'm shaking my head, then I'm chanting, "No, No, No," and finally I'm just loudly sighing with exasperation. And yet....I still really liked this book. It's fun & clever & I was happy to go along for the ride.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Neeter

    This novel is about a women caught in mid-life and marriage boredom, who starts filling out an online marriage survey. First of all, I would advise anyone who has a Kindle/eBook reader NOT to buy this book because it doesn't show you the survey questions as the book goes along-- only her answers to the questions, most of which are entirely useless without context. If you have a hard copy of the book you can bookmark the survey and flip back to it each time she answers a question (but even that i This novel is about a women caught in mid-life and marriage boredom, who starts filling out an online marriage survey. First of all, I would advise anyone who has a Kindle/eBook reader NOT to buy this book because it doesn't show you the survey questions as the book goes along-- only her answers to the questions, most of which are entirely useless without context. If you have a hard copy of the book you can bookmark the survey and flip back to it each time she answers a question (but even that is annoying, I would imagine-- as was electronically bookmarking the survey questions page and having to go back and forth all the time while reading). In my opinion this choice downgraded the book from 3 stars to 2.5 stars for me, because it was horribly inconvenient for me as the reader and I don't know why the author couldn't have just included the questions before the answers. It was very stupid and frustrating, to say the least. Anyway, I read this novel for a book club I'm in, and mostly on airplanes and in the airport while traveling. I would say that it was fine for that kind of a book-- "beach read" or "airplane read"-- for entertainment value. It is a quick read which for the most part kept my interest, but I agree with the consensus of my book group that it is superficial and rather cliched. Sure, there are some good lessons in here for people who are married but that's pretty much because it's the tired-and-true story of a middle-aged woman who has been married for a long time and is bored with it. The book did a include a new twist-- social networking and email communication, etc., which I thought was important because that is how people communicate these days and I don't know why more books haven't explored this theme and medium. At the same time, I think this twist could have been included along with a more solid story line and better developed characters, all of which seemed to fall by the wayside, sacrificed for the sake of the technology inclusion. I was disappointed with the characters because they had strong potential but the author seemed to forget all about them with her attempt to splatter electronic communication all throughout the book. I mean I guess that goes to show that one of the dangers of getting so caught up in technology and the Internet world is that you forget about your own family and the down to earth relationships you have in real life. So perhaps it was intentional but still, the kids are brought up in the beginning but then forgotten about until mid-way through the book when the daughter starts having all these issues and I as a reader was left thinking, "Um, I would CARE more if I had learned more about this along the way." I also think that is a remark on modern society though (or maybe it has always been this way)-- the teenaged kids are in their own world, the parents are in their own world, and it's hard for the two worlds to intersect and create meaningful connections. I did think the main character was selfish but relatable... I would say she's a spot-on caricature of a privileged, middle-aged American woman, so, the character was true to type. Some people in my book group thought the husband seemed selfish or clueless, but I don't really agree-- to me he was just a normal guy, doing his thing, but also in his own unique way, which was pretty cool. I thought his character could have been explored more, like all the other characters, but from what I saw of him, he just seemed like an average or better-than-average dude. Yes his career was in crises but whose isn't these days? I don't really blame him for his career malaise and I think he was taking actions to shake things up and create radical change-- which I guess the main character was also doing in her own way, although I was not nearly as sympathetic to her, and she seemed a lot more passive while the husband seemed a lot more active. There's something else I want to say about this book but I think even hinting at it would be too much of a spoiler, so, I'll stop here. In general I don't think anyone will miss anything if they DON'T read this book, but if they do, they will probably be entertained for a few hours, and then go "meh" and move on with their lives. ;) It's not earth-shattering nor, in my opinion, is it extremely well-written or well-plotted, but it does have some remarks to make on the status of modern American marriages. Final rating: 2.5 stars (Would be 3 except for the ridiculous choice to only show the main characters' answers to the survey, and leave the survey questions in the back of the book. Grrrrr!)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Suzie Quint

    Wife 22 has an interesting format. It's mostly told the same way other books are, but it's also told in email and facebook posts. I normally wouldn't be a fan of the FB posts, but Gideon pulls it off beautifully. Alice has been married 20 years and her marriage has a case of the doldrums. On a lark, she signs up to participate in an anonymous online study about marriage. The problems really start when an attraction develops between Alice and the researcher assigned to her. About halfway through I Wife 22 has an interesting format. It's mostly told the same way other books are, but it's also told in email and facebook posts. I normally wouldn't be a fan of the FB posts, but Gideon pulls it off beautifully. Alice has been married 20 years and her marriage has a case of the doldrums. On a lark, she signs up to participate in an anonymous online study about marriage. The problems really start when an attraction develops between Alice and the researcher assigned to her. About halfway through I guessed--okay, guessed is too strong a word. I suspected that Alice's researcher might not be quite what he seemed, but then the author convinced me I was wrong. I love when an author can make me unsure of myself. And since it's hard to write a romance where the main characters are already married and keep it interesting, extra kudos to the author. I'll be looking for more of Melanie Gideon's books. BTW, best last line of a book ever: "Shush, you nutty ho ho," he says, as he pulls me into his arms.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Luanne Ollivier

    Oh, I absolutely adored Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon! It's clever, warm, witty, charming, funny, quirky, thoughtful, entertaining - did I say clever? And just - well - just a really good read! Alice Buckle has been happily married for over twenty years, but lately finds herself wondering about many things - her children, her health, her job and more, but most notably her relationship with her husband. They seem to be drifting apart. Or is it just settling into mid life together? "I know roommate is a Oh, I absolutely adored Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon! It's clever, warm, witty, charming, funny, quirky, thoughtful, entertaining - did I say clever? And just - well - just a really good read! Alice Buckle has been happily married for over twenty years, but lately finds herself wondering about many things - her children, her health, her job and more, but most notably her relationship with her husband. They seem to be drifting apart. Or is it just settling into mid life together? "I know roommate is a taboo word, but here's a thought: what if being roommates is the natural stage of the middle part of marriage? What if that's the way it supposed to be? The only way we can be while getting through the long, hard slog of raising kids and trying to save money for retirement and coming to terms with the fact that there is no such thing as retirement anymore and we'll be working until the day we die?" When the opportunity to make $1000 participating in an online relationship survey appears in her inbox, Alice decides to participate. For anonymity's sake, she is labeled as Wife 22 and paired with Researcher 101. Gideon utilizes many different methods to tell Alice's story. Google search results, Twitter and Facebook postings, emails and the answers to the survey - without the questions. (Now they are listed in the back of the book. I thought about flipping back and forth but found it more fun to discern from the answer what the question might have been.) As Alice continues the survey, the professional lines between herself and Researcher 101 become blurred and Alice has to make a choice about the direction she wants her life to go.... Ahh, where to start? I loved Alice Buckle - the way her mind worked, her actions, her insecurities, her failures, her successes and more. She just seemed to be such a 'real' person. Gideon's cast of supporting characters is no less captivating. They're all equally well drawn, but Peter, her twelve year old son, was a stand out for me. Employing the online excerpts was a clever way to expand on Alice's story. Gideon is a very funny woman - I found myself laughing out loud many times. And stopping to think many times as well - Wife 22 explores married life with a keen eye. Highly recommended - I predict this one showing up on lots of summer reading lists.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    No, Wife 22: A Novel isn't the 22nd wife in a polygamous marriage. (Thanks goodness.) Think chick lit with a creative twist complete with chapters composed entirely of tweets, Facebook entries and Google searches. Its light reading, but with a point. There's a lot one can take away from this book, whether it be re-thinking our relationships, hazards of the internet, re-assessment of how much social media dictates one's actions or determining what one wants from life. Its the kind of book that wo No, Wife 22: A Novel isn't the 22nd wife in a polygamous marriage. (Thanks goodness.) Think chick lit with a creative twist complete with chapters composed entirely of tweets, Facebook entries and Google searches. Its light reading, but with a point. There's a lot one can take away from this book, whether it be re-thinking our relationships, hazards of the internet, re-assessment of how much social media dictates one's actions or determining what one wants from life. Its the kind of book that would appeal to a wide spectrum of readers if for no other reason, its uniqueness. I loved Alice Buckle. It was nice to be able to like a main character since about half of my recent books haven't featured such folks. Mix fun-loving, energetic, caring, bored-in-middle-age with a healthy sprinkling of drama queen and out pops Alice Buckle! Talk about a hoot a minute. In spite of the seriousness of some of the mid-life issues she deals with, Alice steals the show with her quirkiness and humor. And, truthfully, the biggest reason I like her so much is her calling things like she sees them. Of course, it gets her in trouble, like this scene. "Yum," says Caroline. "That hits the spot," says William. "Is it supposed to taste like soil?" I ask, looking down into my smoothie. "Oh, Alice," says Caroline. "You're such a truth-teller," "You mean she's got no filter," says William. "You should really run with us,"says Caroline. "Yes, why don't you?" asks William, sounding completely disingenuous. "Because somebody has to work,"I say. "See, no filter," says William. The only reasons I don't give it 5 stars is I likely won't re-read it since I know what happens and it does sag a tad bit about halfway through. It does make a quick recovery though.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    What a fun book. I was a bit surprised at how delightful it was. It hit home as to what a techno society we have become, that we don't always communicate too well face to face anymore. Anyone who has been in a long term relationship can relate to the "boring, day to day" that is so easy to get lost in....and that we often lose ourselves along the way as well.I loved the use of facebook and twitter throughout the book. The ending was a nice surprise....and sometimes we just need reminders as to w What a fun book. I was a bit surprised at how delightful it was. It hit home as to what a techno society we have become, that we don't always communicate too well face to face anymore. Anyone who has been in a long term relationship can relate to the "boring, day to day" that is so easy to get lost in....and that we often lose ourselves along the way as well.I loved the use of facebook and twitter throughout the book. The ending was a nice surprise....and sometimes we just need reminders as to why we chose our partner to begin with. (I do wish I had seen the survey questions at the end of the book sooner rather than later!)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sue Grimshaw

    Ladies -- looking for a witty, cleverly written women's fiction story that will have you laughing, making you think about your life and enjoying the savvy publishing incorporating Facebook feeds? This is it -- seriously, innovative in style; awesome in story (funny & real); and although an HEA, it has a round about way of getting there with emotion, humor and a dose of reality. Enjoy!! COPY: Maybe it was my droopy eyelids. Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was whe Ladies -- looking for a witty, cleverly written women's fiction story that will have you laughing, making you think about your life and enjoying the savvy publishing incorporating Facebook feeds? This is it -- seriously, innovative in style; awesome in story (funny & real); and although an HEA, it has a round about way of getting there with emotion, humor and a dose of reality. Enjoy!! COPY: Maybe it was my droopy eyelids. 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.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas

    Alice Buckle is a character worth reading. Being male, and reading this book makes me want to romanticize my wife all over again. I was intrigued at the writing style and the realism this book held. Being an avid reader of the paranormal, this was an excellent break from school reading assignments and from my normal genre of choice. Wife 22 is funny, witty, and very clever. Never have I read a book where I had already figured out the ending but couldn't wait to get to it. If you are looking for s Alice Buckle is a character worth reading. Being male, and reading this book makes me want to romanticize my wife all over again. I was intrigued at the writing style and the realism this book held. Being an avid reader of the paranormal, this was an excellent break from school reading assignments and from my normal genre of choice. Wife 22 is funny, witty, and very clever. Never have I read a book where I had already figured out the ending but couldn't wait to get to it. If you are looking for something different that will keep you chuckling, pick up Wife 22, whether you are male or female. This was indeed well worth picking up even if it was free from a giveaway on goodreads. Nicholas.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christi

    I liked the format and the idea of using social media throughout but the farther I got into this story, the less I liked the protagonist. She is very self-centered and it's hard to have any sympathy for her situation. The story is predictable and I had hoped I was wrong about my guess at the ending but unfortunately, I wasn't. However, the writing is entertaining and others may find the protagonist more relatable then I did.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    This book is simply irresistible. It uses a unique premise - a wife conducting an anonymous online marriage survey - to explore marriage, love, parenting, friendship and happiness. But it is mainly about its characters: a warm, funny, endearing cast you won't want to leave. I couldn't put the book down.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    I adored this book - I thought it was a really clever, modern exploration of 21st century marriage. One of my favorites in recent memory.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alissa Patrick

    It's kind of like "The Pina Colada" song was written down and turned into a novel. Very sappy, very cheesy, but very cute. A nice light read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Inga

    My review: I truly enjoyed Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon. It was witty, well-written, and quirky and the structure of the book was unconventional. I read it in one sitting and it kept me interested from the first page until the last page. Wife 22 was about marriage, trust, betrayal and midlife. It is not very often that the protagonists of the books are in their mid-forties and therefore it was refreshing reading. Regarding the plot: Alice Buckle, who is 44 years old woman, mother and wife, decides to My review: I truly enjoyed Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon. It was witty, well-written, and quirky and the structure of the book was unconventional. I read it in one sitting and it kept me interested from the first page until the last page. Wife 22 was about marriage, trust, betrayal and midlife. It is not very often that the protagonists of the books are in their mid-forties and therefore it was refreshing reading. Regarding the plot: Alice Buckle, who is 44 years old woman, mother and wife, decides to participate on a research of married couples. She receives a questionnaire and starts answering the questions. Through the process she gets contact to a man who is answering her questions in case she has some doubts about the questionnaire. Alice has a codename Wife 22 and the researcher has a code name Researcher 101. While filling the questionnaire, Alice needs to take time and think more about her marriage and she realizes that she has some concerns, doubts about her 20years marriage. One thing leads to another and Alice is creating a Facebook account to find out more about Researcher 101. She is drawn to Researcher 101 and they are starting to discuss quite intimate topics. They learn to know each other, both knowing that it is wrong due to their marriages, but they continue their relationship through Facebook. Finally it comes out of hand and Wife 22 and Researcher 101 are on the border to break all the rules – they are falling in love with each other. There are several things which I loved about this book. Firstly, it shows how social media can influence us, how people can get addicted to each other not even knowing who the other person is. It shows the pros and cons of the Facebook. I was surprised, that even during family events Alice was constantly checking and chatting through Facebook. The anonymity and the false security of social media were clearly drawn out. I also have to add, that while reading I was thinking – hmmm been there, done that! Not exactly like Alice, but I think it is one of the reasons why I could relate to the story so much. Secondly, I enjoyed how the book was written. It was little confusing for me in the beginning of the book, what all the numbers in the beginning of paragraph meant, but I soon realized that these we the numbers of the questions what Alice was replying to. The answer always gave an understanding of what was asked. The actual questionnaire was also added to the appendixes of the book. Thirdly, I loved that the email correspondence and Facebook chats were actually included into the book – it was really joyful to read them. It showed how two strangers start to trust each other and how they come closer to each other. I think it was a brilliant idea to include the bits and pieces from the social media conversation into the book. Besides that, other parts of the book were written as a play and I liked it because the main character Alice was a playwright. Fourthly, I think that Wife 22 gave a wonderful overview of how a marriage can get tired and how people, who have loved each other compassionately, can lose the spark between and taking each other for granted. It was a story about losing the touch of the people who are closest to your heart. It was about sex, closeness and intimacy. It was easy to relate to and seemed very real. Wife 22 touched topics which a lot of people are struggling with when they are in mid-forties. Last, but not least, it had a funny punch-line at the end of the book. It was predictable, but it did not ruin the reading experience for me. Regarding the characters: I have to admit, that I had a love-hate relationship with Alice. Let me assure you that in this book, it is a good thing. Even though she had sides which I was mortified by, I still liked her. I was so annoyed when she started to establish closer relationship with Researcher 101. I was thinking – how can you do that? How can you even consider that? I liked her, because she was real woman with real problems and I think she is representing many women who are in the same situation. I could relate to her. I also enjoyed seeing her grow and was happy that she opened her eyes to see what her family is going through. I also liked the complexity of Alice – she was like two persons. One Alice was at home with her family – being a wife and mom which did not inspire her anymore. And the other Alice (Wife 22) – realizing that she is also a woman who misses several important things in her life. There were other characters that supported Alice’s story. I enjoyed Alice’s friend Nendra who was the one person who warned Alice about the results of her actions. I liked Peter, Alice’s son who was so cute and sincere with his mom. Generally: Wife 22 is a great novel! It has a good story to tell, the settings are interesting and the protagonist is captivating! I loved the combinations of the writing style because it was unconventional!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    One of the side-effects of reading reviews on-line is that it allows you to quickly and impulsively add things to your library reserve list that you normally wouldn't. That's what happened with Melanie Gideon's debut novel Wife 22, a novel that's best described as "chick lit." And while the novel just check off many of the boxes that make for "chick lit," I still don't feel much guilt for having spent the time reading and (gasp!) enjoying it! Well, at least the first three quarters of the novel. One of the side-effects of reading reviews on-line is that it allows you to quickly and impulsively add things to your library reserve list that you normally wouldn't. That's what happened with Melanie Gideon's debut novel Wife 22, a novel that's best described as "chick lit." And while the novel just check off many of the boxes that make for "chick lit," I still don't feel much guilt for having spent the time reading and (gasp!) enjoying it! Well, at least the first three quarters of the novel. (More on that in later in the review so I don't ruin things for anyone!) Alice and William Buckle are getting ready to celebrate twenty years of marriage with their two children Zoe and Peter. On the outside, they seem to have a fairly ideal marriage, but deep down Alice is feeling a bit of loneliness and discontent. When Alice is approached by an on-line survey about her marriage, she readily agrees and is assigned the identity of Wife 22. Assigned to Researcher 101, the two maintain an anonymous, on-line relationship that begins professionally enough but soon lines get blurred as Alice delves into her meeting and marrying William, the current state of their marriage and her concerns about their children (she fears Zoe has an eating disorder and that Peter is in the closet). As the two grow closer, Alice finds herself getting closer and closer to a decision that could rock her marriage and her world. Typing that last paragraph, I realize just how incredibly "chick lit" that sounds, but I'll give first-time author Melanie Gideon a lot of credit for making this book something more. The chapters are kept short and we're treated to Alice's responses to the marriage survey (though the questions aren't revealed in the chapters, they are included at the end of the book if you want to take a peek), her correspondence with Researcher 101 and first-person accounts of events unfolding now in Alice's life. Gideon makes Alice a compelling, complex and interesting character who even though she's cheating on her husband (at least emotionally) is still conflicted enough that you still have some sympathy for her. The novel moves along at a good clip as Alice and Researcher 101 slowly reveal more and more about themselves to each other and getting closer and closer as she and William drift further apart. Of course, this all leads to a decision for both of Alice and the Researcher. Should they meet in person and what will the results be? It's a this point that Wife 22 begins to collapse a bit under its own weight. A lot of this could be that I put two and two together and figure out the secret identity of Researcher 101 long before Alice or anyone else in the novel does. It leads to a bit of the zest being take out of the final unveiling of the secret identity, though Gideon keeps those moments mercifully short and doesn't allow the story or Alice to dwell on them too long. And yet I can't say the twist is a bad thing. It makes sense from a character standpoint and it allows the novel to end on a happy note for everyone involved. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. It just seemed a bit too obvious to the observant reader and, thus, took some of the momentum out of the last third of the novel. That doesn't mean that Wife 22 is necessarily a bad book. It's a good book that could have been more.

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