Review: Wife 22
Publisher: Random House
Source: Big Honcho Media
From the cover:
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.
Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon is laugh out loud funny, witty, and entertaining with a kick of unconventional writing. Despite this book being a light and fast read, it has quite a bit of depth to it and it deals with a lot of real emotions that one would go through after being married for twenty years.
Wife 22 is different from most books in that it is made up of more than just narrative text. The story is also told through Alice’s answers to the survey questions, tweets, facebook messages and news feed, and emails. I really enjoyed reading her answers to the different questions because I got a better sense of who she is. It was also fun to read about her past and how her relationship with William started.
The only frustrating part about the survey was that you were only able to read Alice’s answers to the questions and you couldn’t see the questions themselves. It wasn’t until I was half way through the book that I found out there was an appendix at the end of the book that lists all of the questions. Even after I found out about the list, I still felt it was a little frustrating to flip back and forth to see which answer corresponds with which question.
While I was reading the book, I couldn’t decide if I liked her, hated her, or just flat out loved her. Of course by the time the end rolled around I was in the latter category. Alice was a fully fleshed out character and you really got where she was coming from as a mother of two and a wife of twenty years. Gideon did an excellent job of showing the readers how distance can grow between a couple after they’ve been together for so long. Alice goes through quite the roller coaster of emotions as she tries to resolve the distance between her and William as well as define the relationship she built with Researcher 101.
I definitely enjoyed Wife 22 more than I expected to when I first requested this book. It was a witty and fun book to read with just enough emotions to make it touching and sweet. I highly recommend it and if y’all are interested in reading it, you still have time to enter in my giveaway by filling out this form here.