Title: Wife 22
Author: Melanie Gideon
Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books
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. -Goodreads
Alice Buckle is every woman who has ever chosen to trip through the tulips down the "golden love and marriage path" while high on pheromones and viewing the world through love's rose-colored lenses of "happily ever after"; only to wake up years later and find that prince charming has become a selective mute, the kids may or may not have "issues" that she may or may not have to deal with, and the only two constants in her life are her dog's "peeing problem" and her almost obsessive need to check her Facebook account.
Alice is so likeable on so many levels. She tries so hard to be a good mother, friend, teacher, wife, and dog-owner. That, it seems is her problem. She is so busy "giving" that she doesn't "take" anything for herself. It's almost as if she has forgotten that it is possible for her to use her voice for anything other than saying "yes" to the needs and wants of those that she loves.
So when she becomes Wife 22 and finally starts getting the attention that she deserves from the elusive Researcher 101, through her participation in a blind study of marriage conducted via email; readers get to discover the real "Alice", just as she discovers herself. Not to be outdone, the family and friends of our beloved Wife 22 do their best to round out the story with their crises, neurosis, miscommunications, triumphs and failures.
This is a wonderful journey through the life and times of love, marriage and the mid-life crises in the age of Facebook and the ending is not to be missed.
If you are a fan of "You've Got Mail" This is the book for you.
Who says you can't find love online????