Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: Wife 22

'Wife 22'
Author: Melanie Gideon


Format: ARC
Published: Ballantine Books; May 2012
Pages: 400
Genre: Women's fiction
Grade: A
Source: Publicist


Synopsis: 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.
As it turns out, confession can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.

My Take: In a normal year I love novels that analyze and dissect marriages. It makes me feel like a voyeur, but more than that, I feel like it also helps me understand them more. Well this year, in the lead up to my own marriage, I find that I am devouring novels that surround marriage more than ever. My latest read, Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon was absolutely fascinating on so many levels and I am so glad I read it.

Wife 22 centers around the marriage of Alice and William Buckle. They have been married for 20 years and have two teenage children. Living in Oakland, CA (Bay Area representing!) their marriage seems to be stuck in a malaise. Alice feels like this year in particular needs some shaking up. She has reached the same age as her mother was when she passed away and so I think she realises that if there is a reason to keep living this life, then she needs it to be proven to her so she is pushing against all of those around her.

Alice could be considered a technology junkie. She is on Facebook and email all the time. One day, in her spam folder, she sees an email for a marriage survey and decides to click on it. Investigating the foundation which it is through, she figures it is legit and decides to participate. Alice is assigned a researcher to guide her through the survey, Researcher 101, and she is assigned an acronym for anonymity, Wife 22, and the survey begins.

As the book unfolds, the chapters differentiate between typical book dialogue as we learn about the life of Alice and her family and friends, to Alice's online chatter, to the survey questions she answers. The questions she is asked are in the back of the book, by the way. This personally was the only thing I didn't like. I wanted to know both the questions and the answers and had I not read a review by someone else tipping me off to the fact that the questions were in the back I would have had no idea and I felt that the questions naturally enhanced the nature of her answers. They ranged from how her and her husband met, to writing a letter to your children saying all of the things you can't say to them right now.

As she is letting go of all of these intense emotions about her husband she realizes that her relationship with him in its present state isn't what it once was and she starts to wonder if it can ever get back to it. She also realises that her relationship with Researcher 101 has grown into something more than she has ever expected, even though she has never met him. And that is the crux of the story. This analyzation of a modern marriage and what exactly is cheating totally fascinated me and I would highly recommend it to anyone else who finds this topic at all interesting too. I also thing it would be a great book club read too with so many emotions brought up!

Cover Lust: I get that the daisy is the classic, he loves me, he loves me not flower, but I am not that enamored with this cover.

Giveaway Details
Thanks to the publisher, I have two copies to give away to two lucky winners! The deadline for this giveaway is June 12th; entries open to those in the US.

To Enter (Mandatory)!
Comment below with a way for me to contact you.

For Extra entries (Optional), indicate that you are:
+1 Follow this blog on Google Connect (see right sidebar)
+1 Follow me on twitter and tweet about this giveaway (include @amusedbybooks in your tweet)
+1 Blog/Post about this giveaway on your sidebar

3 extra entries available. Giveaway open until 11:59pm PST June 12th. I will draw the winners using random.org and announce them here on my blog. Good luck!

30 comments:

  1. I just won a copy of this so I'm thrilled to see you give it an A!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can't wait to see what you think of it!

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  2. I absolutely loved this book. I'm not married, but like you, I enjoy reading books that talk about marriage in interesting ways. This book was so fun and so funny. Glad you enjoyed it, too.

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  3. I really enjoyed this one as well. Good luck everyone!

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  4. Thanks for the giveaway! My email address is readhandedlibrarian (at) gmail (dot) com. I also follow you on Google Connect. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. i just finished reading this book myself and enjoyed it too! i wasn't fast enough to get my review out, but i definitely had similar thoughts to you. i'm glad to see that you liked it though!

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  6. Would love to read this book. Www.amysbooketlist.blogspot.com

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  7. I've heard good things about this book, but the cover does nothing for me. I wonder why the questions are in the back and not integrated in the narrative?

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    diaryofaneccentric at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about the questions in the back - it was the one thing in this whole book that actually bothered me!

      Delete
  8. I would love to add this book to my summer reading list!

    Macbetty123@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  9. Seems like everybody loves this book, I want to read this one as well. Thanks for the opportunity!

    keodell@centurytel.net

    ReplyDelete
  10. This book has piqued my interest! Thanks for the opportunity to win it :)
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I follow you via gfc - mamabunny13
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I follow on twitter @mamabunny13
    tweet https://twitter.com/mamabunny13/status/207821340907024385
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've been desiring this one for months. Thanks for the giveaway.

    teresa[dot]lukey73[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Tweet, Tweet:
    https://twitter.com/amusedbybooks/status/207480993278464001

    teresa[dot]lukey73[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  15. GFC Follower: Teresa Lukey

    teresa[dot]lukey73[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  16. This has caught my eye since the first times I read the synopsis. I'm glad you gave it an A.

    GFC follower as Carol

    carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a tres cool concept. I love books where I can "people watch"

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  18. I laughed at There Goes the Bride - perfect for you. I actually want to read the last 2 on your list. enjoy

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  19. Thanks for this lovely giveaway which sounds captivating. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  20. I would enjoy this unique and great book. thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  21. This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  22. GFC Follower

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  23. I follow you on Twitter and I Tweeted
    @NancyeDavis

    https://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/208735353039896578

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  24. This would be a fun read, thanks! I tweeted for you @DeniseDavidson on 6/2/12.

    dmdavidso@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. This looks like a great summer read! I joined as a follower and I will post about this giveaway on my sidebar of my blog which http://www.curlingupwithagoodbook.com

    My email is bichonlady21@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  26. Would love to win a copy! constance.reader@gmail.com

    I follow your blog and I follow you on Twitter. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also just tweeted the giveaway.

      Delete
  27. I have heard such good things about this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete

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