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The Wives Win Every Time

So, the other day I was flipping through a recommended booklist and saw a book with ‘wife’ in the title. It looked familiar and it turns out that I had already read it, but here’s the weird thing.

I found several books in my journal that had ‘wife’ in the title.

So, of course, I searched Amazon and found even more. Goodness….I ordered three books and added two more to this post which is all about wife books. How fun is this!

Book Reviews- five recommended books that all have 'wife' in the title!

The first three ‘wife’ books were all new to me and the last two are ones I had already read. It’s amazing how different all these are!

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer

This is the story of a marriage. It’s the story of Joan and Joe as they embark on a trip to Finland where Joe will be receiving a writing award. It has been a dream of his for a long time.

Everything seems just perfect for the two of them. But, is it?

Chapters alternate, somewhat, between present-day and the history of this couple. They met when Joe was teaching a college class that Joan was in. Despite the fact that he was married and had an infant child the two became involved and eventually married. The story is convoluted and quite detailed even though it’s a relatively short book.

Ms. Wolitzer has a definite way with words and a mesmerizing, yet confusing, writing style. I found her meandering to be too much occasionally. Here’s an example that is near the end of the book. Joan is describing her marriage.

Sometimes, the descriptions were too much…

“We were together, a husband and wife united in the foggy middle of a Vermont night. Bats circled the pines all around our cottage and sometimes hung like change purses from the roof of our veranda, and the night bristled with forest-bright animal eyes, and the arrhythmic clicking of strange bugs that I hoped to never see, but which I’d simply agreed to live among for twelve days. He was with me; we slept together and we woke up together, day after day….”

It sounds great, right? But, I grew tired of this style and lost in the details that were just maybe a tad overdone. It also has a tinge of sadness.

My rating

Anyway, there was an interesting twist at the end that I wasn’t expecting so I did decide I liked this book. Liked, not loved. 4 stars

The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner

This wife is Kyra, a marine biologist, who suffered a brain injury while diving with her husband, Jacob. She has no memory of the accident or the last few years of her life. Jacob, ever patient, has moved her to an island and is helping her recover.

Hmmmm.. well, given the genre of this one, “psychological thriller”, I knew something was not right.

Jacob is too patient and treats Kyra’s lack of memory in such a helpful way. It is what you would want your husband to do, of course, but how many times can Jacob repeat things to her before he loses this demeanor?

Then there is her best friend, Linny, who lives far away. They communicate only by email. The people in the nearby town say mysterious things to Kyra. A local man mistakes her for someone else. The clues just begin to pile up and …. well, I will leave you hanging right there.

My rating

The style of this book made me re-read a few times. Right in the middle of a passage, Kyra will start to have memories surface. The memories are also written in italics, but it was confusing to me sometimes. In the end, it’s a fabulous little mystery and the twists will grab you! 4 Stars for this one!

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

One husband, two wives. One ex and one engaged.

Vanessa is the ex-wife and is quite obsessed with Richard and his new fiance. Also, she has had to move in with an aunt because her finances are a mess without the wealthy Richard. She’s a mess, really.

Nellie is the fiancee. She’s a pre-school teacher and waitress at night- two jobs to make ends meet. She met Richard on a plane and can’t believe her good fortune.

Well, nothing too exciting here. But, just you wait… all is not what it seems.

In fact, there will be a moment when you sit up straight and say, “Wait, what?”

My rating

Then the book takes off. Hang on for ride. It was fairly astounding and not what I expected. I cannot reveal anything else without ruining the story, but I would get it 4 stars.

The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve

Ms. Shreve is perhaps my favorite author of all time and this was the first of her books I read. I still remember the shock I felt as the woman in the story learns of her husband’s death and then his secret life.

Kathryn is visited one night and told her husband’s plane has crashed off the coast of Ireland.

Jack may have been part of a suicide, but the crash could have another cause. In the midst of this tragic news, Kathryn must come to grips with her loss and what to do next.  While searching through her husband’s things she finds notes and a phone number that leads her to London.

Jack had another family.

My rating

This gripping story will keep you on the edge of your seat and you will fall in love with Ms. Shreve. If you are looking for a next read, start with this one and then read another Shreve book: Sea Glass.

The Secret Wife by Gill Paul

This book was fairly mesmerizing! It’s a historical fiction with a present-day story as well. In the beginning, you meet Kitty who discovers her husband has had an affair and she takes off to America to a remote abandoned cabin that once belonged to her great-grandfather. She is the heir to this falling down place and sets out to restore it. (and herself, I might add)

In the meantime, you are taken back to 1914 Russia where the Romanov family is living in luxury as the country collapses. The family is taken captive and eventually, the Royals are all executed. It is long thought that some of them survived.

And this is where this book picks up. One of the daughters was Tatiana and she volunteered at a hospital where she met a recovering soldier, Dmitri, and they fell in love. According to history, this much is true. But, did any of the girls live when the family was slaughtered?

After the family is killed Dmitri makes a life for himself without Tatiana- which includes finding Rosa and having children and moving to America. He cannot forget Tatiana and writes novels for her and longs for her. What if she lived? How would this story turn out?

Where does Kitty come into this story and how does she discover the truth about her great-grandfather – who happens to be Dmitri? And who is buried in the coffin she digs up at the cabin? I will leave you hanging with those questions!

My rating

Four stars for this one- because it was intriguing and kept me guessing!

So, will you try a Wife Book? I enjoyed this little experiment in finding wife books and I am sure there will be more!

Book Reviews- five recommended books that all have 'wife' in the title!

My rating system: 5 stars- perfection, the book was written well, held my attention, and I did not want it to end. 4 stars- the book was really good, but I had questions or concerns about parts of it. This might include the way it ended. 3 stars- the book was okay, but I just didn’t like it much. 2 stars- I skimmed most of it. 1 star- I could not finish it.