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The Resource Wife 22 : a novel, Melanie Gideon

Wife 22 : a novel, Melanie Gideon

Label
Wife 22 : a novel
Title
Wife 22
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Melanie Gideon
Title variation
Wife twenty-two
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Baring her soul in an anonymous survey for a marital happiness study, Alice catalogues her stale marriage, unsatisfying job and unfavorable prospects and begins to question virtually every aspect of her life
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Award
Library Journal Best Books, 2012.
Review
  • Wife, mother of two teenagers, elementary- school drama teacher, and inveterate Facebook chatterer Alice Buckle is experiencing a ubiquitous midlife crisis. About to turn 45, her mother’s age when she died, Alice mourns not only that loss but also the fact that she and her husband, William, have lost their ability to communicate. Then an anonymous e-mail invites Alice to participate in a study called “Marriage in the 21st Century.” Intrigued, she joins and, as Wife 22, answers with honest abandon the questions sent her by Researcher 101. “Who knew,” she asks herself, “that confession could bring on such a dopamine rush?” Gideon seamlessly weaves Alice’s answers to questions ranging from favorite books and movies to sexual fantasies with her real-life struggles with a daughter who may have an eating disorder, a son who may be gay, and a husband who has lost his ad-exec job. Gideon, a children’s writer and author of the memoir The Slippery Year (2009), makes her adult-fiction debut with a tale sure to please fans of Helen Fielding, Cecelia Ahern, and Sophie Kinsella. -- Donovan, Deborah (Reviewed 05-15-2012) (Booklist, vol 108, number 18, p19)
  • /* Starred 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) --Staff (Reviewed April 23, 2012) (Publishers Weekly, vol 259, issue 17, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Chick-lit fans over the age of 30 will want to rush home from work, kick off their shoes, mix themselves tart cocktails, and settle down to read this wry debut novel by the best-selling author of The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After . Alice Buckle, a 44-year-old from Massachusetts, has been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for years when she realizes she and her husband have drifted apart while advancing their careers (mostly him) and raising their children (mostly her). Dissatisfied, Alice agrees to participate in a marriage study and, as "Wife 22," is paired with "Researcher 101." After weeks of anonymously sharing increasingly intimate details about her marriage, Alice begins to feel that Researcher 101 understands her better than her own husband does. VERDICT Peppered with Facebook updates, email messages, and chat logs, this book is a skillful blend of pop-culture references, acidic humor, and emotional moments. It will take its rightful place in the chick-lit canon alongside Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary , Anna Maxted's Getting Over It , and Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It . [See Prepub Alert, 12/12/11.]— Laurie A. Cavanaugh, Wareham Free Lib., MA --Laurie A. Cavanaugh (Reviewed April 1, 2012) (Library Journal, vol 137, issue 06, p71)
  • A domestic romantic fantasy for maturing but computer-savvy Bridget Jones fans, Gideon's first adult novel (The Slippery Year, 2009) concerns a wife torn between her uncommunicative, grumpy husband and the charming stranger she flirts with online. Alice Buckle is about to turn 45, her mother's age when she died, and feels so at sea that she's been avoiding her motherless women support group. It doesn't help that her marriage to ad exec William has hit a rocky stretch. He's always been a still waters running deep kind of guy, but since his demotion at work--for erratic behavior during a presentation for an erectile dysfunction product--he has become less communicative than ever. Alice also worries about her children: Is 12-year-old Peter gay? Has 15-year-old Zoe developed an eating disorder after being dumped by her first boyfriend, who happens to be the son of Alice's best friend Nedra, a gay divorce lawyer? So when Alice receives an online invitation to participate in an online survey of long-married women, she signs on. Answering the survey questions posed by an anonymous but empathetic researcher gives Alice an opportunity to re-examine the evolution of her marriage from its steamy beginnings. The set-up also allows the plot to unfold through questionnaire answers, emails and texts, as well as scenes of theatrical dialogue--although her only produced play bombed, Alice remains a playwright at heart. Supposedly following its rules of anonymity, Alice keeps the survey a secret from William although she has no compunction about telling Nedra. Irked by William's apparent cluelessness, Alice carries on an increasingly intense flirtation with her researcher. Glued to her smart phone, she practically ignores her family and her myopic self-centeredness begins to grate. By the end, Alice becomes downright unattractive, undeserving of the happiness that the genre typically grants. Nevertheless, women of a certain age will find her escapades breezy fun, especially since the William character is blatantly intended to bring Colin Firth to mind. (Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2012)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10078834
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1963-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Gideon, Melanie
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Middle-aged women
  • Working mothers
  • Wives
  • Surveys
Label
Wife 22 : a novel, Melanie Gideon
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
380 p.
Isbn
9780345527950
Isbn Type
(hbk. : alk. paper)
Lccn
2012004405
System control number
(OCoLC)753624723
Label
Wife 22 : a novel, Melanie Gideon
Publication
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
380 p.
Isbn
9780345527950
Isbn Type
(hbk. : alk. paper)
Lccn
2012004405
System control number
(OCoLC)753624723

Library Locations

    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
      25 Hospital Road, Newnan, GA, 30263, US
      33.387732 -84.816797

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