Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Book I'm Carrying Around: Wife 22

Where did you go on your first date?

Do you remember? Alice Buckle does. She remembers almost everything about meeting, dating, and marrying her husband. But does that mean she's happily married? She doesn't necessarily think so. When offered the opportunity to participate in an anonymous marriage survey, she enthusiastically accepts and fully answers all the questions. IRL (in real life), she's trying to balance her marriage to her recently laid-off husband, parent her two children who she thinks is gay (her son) and has an eating disorder (her daughter), and hold on to her job as an elementary school drama teacher. What else does she need in this already busy life? How about an online relationship with the survey researcher?

"Wife 22" is amusingly told in prose, alternating with our most common, modern forms of communication - emails, FaceBook statuses, Twitter updates, and phone texts. I immediately related to Alice and her family and felt empathetic to her until the last page. I cheered for her, LOL'ed, and cried a few real tears because I wanted her to be happy and I wanted her marriage to work and I wanted that both could happen concurrently. Because I want that for myself.

If you are married, raising kids, and dared to admit that you aren't sure you're totally, always happy with your life - and especially if you've ever wondered, even just for a moment, whether there's a greener patch of grass elsewhere - you will recognize Alice and be ready to pour her a cup of coffee as you listen to her story. Then you'll sit back and come up with your own answers to the survey, perhaps starting with "give three reasons people should stay married." And then you will go Google yourself.

*This book will be released on May 29. I received an Advanced copy of this book from the Publisher - thanks Random House Publishing & Ballantine Marketing.

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