Genre: Women’s Fiction
(I hate this designation, why is it just for women?)
Author: Melanie Gideon
Publisher: Ballantine Books,
May 29, 2012
Available for pre-order
Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program
Sexy Rating: 2
Description from amazon.com:
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.
I never got comfortable with the main character, Alice. I just never managed to care for her or about her very much. That made reading the book feel slow and not interesting to me. I did like her e-mail conversations with the Researcher 101. The answers to the questionnaire were a bit annoying since you did not know what the question was, only her answers. (The back of the book did contain an appendix with the questions, but I didn’t find it until after I had read the book, another annoyance.) The writing was good, the side characters of her husband and kids were fleshed out and believable. There is a twist so that added a bit of excitement but not enough to make the story a better book. It was just an “okay” book.