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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Wife 22

by

Wife 22 Cover

ISBN13: 9780345527950
ISBN10: 034552795x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"In her superb first novel, Gideon (The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After, a memoir) artfully traces the contours of a dull marriage in the age of Facebook. Alice and William Buckle start out happy, but two kids and nearly 20 years later, Alice is bored and desperate for stimulation. When she gets an e-mail asking her to participate in a study about modern marriage, Alice impulsively agrees. Dubbed 'Wife 22' and assigned a caseworker called 'Researcher 101,' Alice begins answering his probing questions (though readers are usually privy only to her responses), rendering Alice and her marriage in impressionistic strokes vibrantly textured with succinct, revealing details: '15. Uncommunicative. Dismissive. Distant. 16. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'). However, as the confessions pour forth, Alice and Researcher 101's relationship takes a romantic turn. Comprising a tapestry of traditional narrative, e-mails, Facebook chats, and other digital media, Gideon's work is an honest assessment of a woman's struggle to reconcile herself with her desires and responsibilities, as well as a timely treatise on the anonymity and intimacy afforded by digital communiques. Fully formed supporting characters and a nuanced emotional story line make Gideon's fiction debut shimmer. Agent: Elizabeth Sheinkman, Curtis Brown. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Refreshing, original, and crackling with energy, Wife 22 is a brilliant, engrossing novel about the way we love and live now. Prepare to be dazzled." Elin Hilderbrand, author of Summerland

Review:

"Well, isn't this a fun read! Not only fun, but funny. Not only funny, but wildly inventive. Not only wildly inventive, but poignant. Wife 22 is also wise in matters of the heart. Melanie Gideon could put marriage counselors out of business." Elizabeth Berg, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Time I Saw You

Review:

"The delightful, compulsively readable Wife 22 manages to be both funny and thought-provoking on the eternal question: After many years of marriage, how do two people keep their love vital? Alice Buckle's hilarious search for greater happiness will resonate with readers of all backgrounds." Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project

Synopsis:

For fans of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary and Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It comes an irresistible novel of a woman losing herself...and finding herself again...in the middle of her life.

Synopsis:

For fans of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary and Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It comes an irresistible novel of a woman losing herself . . . and finding herself again . . . in the middle of her life.

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.

About the Author

Melanie Gideon is the bestselling author of The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After, which was named an NPR and San Francisco Chronicle best book of the year. She is also the author of two young adult novels: Pucker and The Map That Breathed, both New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, More, Shape, The Times, the Daily Mail, and Marie Claire. She was born and raised in Rhode Island. She now lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

emmejo, July 6, 2012 (view all comments by emmejo)
Alice is struggling with her uncertain job, her teenage kids, her disconnected husband and the fact that she is now the same age her mother was when she was killed in a car accident. When she gets an e-mail inviting her to participate in a survey on marriage in the 21st century, she impulsively decides to do it. She is given the anonymous name, Wife 22, and is partnered with a man she only knows as Researcher 101. At first venting her frustrations and voicing her opinions to a perfect stranger is liberating and calming, but when she begins to feel that her relationship with 101 is more solid and important than her real life, she starts to worry.

This book is as hard to put down as many carefully-crafted website. I found the aspects of social media addiction and the ease of which we befriend strangers online interesting, as well as the fact that the internet has become such a popular escape for people unhappy with the real world. These are everyday issues of our society that are largely ignored in books.

Gideon crafts compelling characters, who manage to feel real by not being unique. Instead, they feel like people we know and have to deal with.

Her writing is fairly strong, and I liked the varied format of the book. The pacing did wobble a bit here and there, but as the rest of the book manages to keep you interested, it wasn't too hard to push through the rough spots.
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code7r, March 30, 2012 (view all comments by code7r)
“Wife 22: A Novel” by Melanie Gideon is a story about a woman, Alice Buckle, who is hitting middle age and is trying to figure out her life. She has been married to her husband for almost 20 years and has two teenage kids, 15 year old Zoe and 12 year old Peter. Her mother died at the age that Alice will be at her next birthday and she is unsure how to handle the fact that she will be older than her mother was when her mother passed away. All this is cluttering her mind when she sees in her email a message that starts out innocently enough: “You’ve been selected to participate in a marriage survey.” Agreeing to participate in this anonymous survey affects Alice’s life in a way that she couldn’t imagine as she begins to fall for “researcher 101” who is the person assigned to Alice to get and receive the answers for the survey.

This book had me from page one where the first thing I read is “GOOGLE SEARCH “Eyelid Drooping”.” When I opened to this page, I found myself so caught up in the story that I couldn’t put the book down until I finished it. Ms. Gideon tells the story of Alice Buckle through narrative, internet searches, Facebook, and texting. Alice became a very believable character and I felt myself being caught up in her emotions, her confusions, and her life. There really are not any characters that detract from the story. Each person only adds to the richness of it.

This is one of those rare books where I felt that I was literally looking into a magic ball and watching this other woman’s life play out. At the end of the book, I even had tears because of what Alice was going through and how she was reacting to and handling everything that is going on in her life.

I want to say “kudos” to Ms. Gideon for a story well told. “Wife 22” is her first novel, but I cannot envision it being her last. At least, I hope that it isn’t her last. She has a way of connecting to the reader and I look forward to looking into another magic ball where I cannot look away until I know how it ends.


**This book was received for free through Goodreads First Reads. That in no way influenced my review.**
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780345527950
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Gideon, Melanie
Publisher:
Ballantine Books
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literature-Contemporary Women
Publication Date:
20120529
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9.52 x 6.37 x 1.33 in 1.34 lb

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » New Arrivals

Wife 22 Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780345527950 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In her superb first novel, Gideon (The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After, a memoir) artfully traces the contours of a dull marriage in the age of Facebook. Alice and William Buckle start out happy, but two kids and nearly 20 years later, Alice is bored and desperate for stimulation. When she gets an e-mail asking her to participate in a study about modern marriage, Alice impulsively agrees. Dubbed 'Wife 22' and assigned a caseworker called 'Researcher 101,' Alice begins answering his probing questions (though readers are usually privy only to her responses), rendering Alice and her marriage in impressionistic strokes vibrantly textured with succinct, revealing details: '15. Uncommunicative. Dismissive. Distant. 16. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'). However, as the confessions pour forth, Alice and Researcher 101's relationship takes a romantic turn. Comprising a tapestry of traditional narrative, e-mails, Facebook chats, and other digital media, Gideon's work is an honest assessment of a woman's struggle to reconcile herself with her desires and responsibilities, as well as a timely treatise on the anonymity and intimacy afforded by digital communiques. Fully formed supporting characters and a nuanced emotional story line make Gideon's fiction debut shimmer. Agent: Elizabeth Sheinkman, Curtis Brown. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Refreshing, original, and crackling with energy, Wife 22 is a brilliant, engrossing novel about the way we love and live now. Prepare to be dazzled."
"Review" by , "Well, isn't this a fun read! Not only fun, but funny. Not only funny, but wildly inventive. Not only wildly inventive, but poignant. Wife 22 is also wise in matters of the heart. Melanie Gideon could put marriage counselors out of business."
"Review" by , "The delightful, compulsively readable Wife 22 manages to be both funny and thought-provoking on the eternal question: After many years of marriage, how do two people keep their love vital? Alice Buckle's hilarious search for greater happiness will resonate with readers of all backgrounds."
"Synopsis" by , For fans of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary and Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It comes an irresistible novel of a woman losing herself...and finding herself again...in the middle of her life.
"Synopsis" by , For fans of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary and Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It comes an irresistible novel of a woman losing herself . . . and finding herself again . . . in the middle of her life.

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.

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