Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Review: Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
Released: May 2012
Alice is all about social media, and the web; she checks Facebook and Twitter constantly. After she attends a work function for her husband, she hears a quick comment about her “small life” that causes her to examine and evaluate her life. It hurts to have someone say your life is “small,” it’s certainly not what she expected, career wise. She’s a part-time drama teacher who’s wanted bigger and better things, but they didn’t fall into place. Alice is now forty-five years old, a mother of two, and she’s been married for twenty years. She’s the same age as her mother was when she passed away, and this causes her to contemplate the kind of things she missed out on. She can’t help but notice that her husband has begun to drift away, they simply don’t connect the same way they use to. His Facebook messages have become cryptic. When she receives an email about a marriage study, she jumps on board to participate. Alice Buckle becomes anonymous “Wife 22” responding to anonymous “Researcher 101.” She simply has to fill out portions of a survey each week and communicate with her researcher. Alice quickly realizes that she has no problem describing the beginning of their relationship when it was fresh and new, when they couldn’t be away from each other but now she barely has anything to say. The decision to participate in the survey changes her life in many ways.
First, I want to say this book is not sad and depressing. Melanie Gideon has written an incredibly witty book that deals with real life. Although I don’t believe I am the target audience, I fell in love with Alice and understood where she was coming from. The book is filled with snippets of Facebook status’, text messages, and tweets. She has a teenage daughter who comes with her own set of obstacles, perhaps an eating disorder. Why else would she have cupcakes hidden in her closet? Her young son is so sweet, he’s her go-to guy when it comes to beauty tips, and she’s convinced he might be gay. She wants to support him in any way possible. Alice is that friend who is always panicking about everything, the one you want to want to calm down, and tell her to “relax.”
I couldn’t put this book down, I opened it every chance I got until I finished it! I loved Alice’s character, her quirky behaviors and her emotional struggles. I thought she was very easy to relate to, despite her being older than me. The survey really makes her question her life, and I really enjoyed her responses. The questions are omitted within the story, and only her answers are provided however, at the end of the book we are provided with the questions. I found myself flipping back to read her responses once again.
I think this one would appeal to many women, especially those who are evaluating their lives, have been in long-term relationships, or have children who make them worry. Alice is a loving, humorous, and emotional character. If this one sounds interesting, you should definitely pick it up! Please keep in mind this one releases in May.