Wife 22: A Novel

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Ballantine Books, 2012 - Fiction - 380 pages
93 Reviews
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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ChristineEllei - LibraryThing

Alice Buckle is a forty-something mother of two who feels her children do not need her as much, her husband is a little boring, her job is frustrating and not what she envisioned herself doing and all ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - darcy36 - LibraryThing

I really liked it! It was very cute and funny, and since the protagonist is only a few years younger than me, I could identify with the whole mid-life, empty-nester, just-the-two-of-us-again storyline. I figured out the ending about halfway through, but still a really enjoyable read. Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
4
Section 3
15
Section 4
18
Section 5
19
Section 6
28
Section 7
31
Section 8
40
Section 11
136
Section 12
142
Section 13
162
Section 14
166
Section 15
212
Section 16
223
Section 17
237
Section 18
371

Section 9
44
Section 10
91
Section 19
382
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

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.

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