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An Inconvenient Wife

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  2,511 Ratings  ·  380 Reviews
AN INCONVENIENT WIFE is a rich blend of suspense, social history (America in the 1880s), and passion. Chance delivers a powerfully written page-turner about a woman's struggle to escape the confines of her time, class, and gender. Literary historical fiction is an extremely popular genre, as demonstrated by such bestsellers as Matthew Pearl's "The Dante Club (Random House, ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 30th 2009 by Time Warner International (first published April 27th 2004)
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Lisa That was all new in the 1880's. The doctor in this book used unconventional methods. They were experimental it seemed.
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Whoa..wavered between a four and a five star rating for this book but alas had to admit that this novel was compulsively readable and interesting...I found myself reaching for this book every spare moment I had and I love that feeling because honestly I wasnt that sure this book would be all that it turned out to be..This is the story of Lucy, a woman born into high society, spoiled and married for the last four years and living a life that would be perfect except she suffers bouts of nervousnes ...more
Dec 06, 2012 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books first experience with Ms. Chance and I just couldn't put it down, literally. I ended up downloading it to my phone so I could read it while waiting in line at the market, while running on the treadmill, waiting at the get the idea. End result: A library book that I chose because of its interesting sepia cover, which languished on my book pile until it was almost due back was devoured in just 3, sleep-deprived days.

What a riveting story: from the illness to the affair - or wa
Mary Novaria
Mar 14, 2010 Mary Novaria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary by: Linda
An Inconvenient Wife, although more complicated, is reminiscent of Kate Chopin's The Awakening. Megan Chance's heroine, Lucy Carleton dares to have lusty desires and creative passions in 1895 New York, much to the dismay of her husband, father and society friends. They all think she's lost her mind--and as was in vogue for that repressed era, a woman's psychological problems were assumed to be caused by her reproductive system. Despite consulting doctor after doctor for help, Lucy's husband coul ...more
Elizabeth Scott
Apr 18, 2012 Elizabeth Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I should have reviewed this book ages ago, but I recently re-read it and realized that a. I hadn't written anything about it on goodreads and b. I absolutely need to because this book is majorly under appreciated.

An Inconvenient Wife is set (mostly) in New York City during the mid-1880s. Lucy Carleton, a member of New York's most elite social circle, is having some problems. She finds most of the social events she's required to attend taxing, frequently having "fits" and her husband, William is
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Great idea, poorly executed. The author's background as a romance novelist really shows-- think something with Fabio on the cover. Shallow characters, stale dialogue, and narration that directs your conclusions rather than eliciting them. I would LOVE to see this fascinating topic (Victorian era women diagnosed with "hysteria") tackled by someone more competent.

That said, it's reasonbly entertaining and a fast read, largely due to the subject matter. I would take this over chick lit or Lifetime
Oct 24, 2010 Collsells rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the exact time period that I'd love to travel back to and live a day. I just loved this book and have been searching for others like it, since I've read it.
3.5 Stars

It was 1885, New York City, and such a formal time for the upper crust: who to associate with, what to wear, what to say. Lucy and William Carelton appeared to be 'The Couple' that everyone would envy. But behind the facade were very defective characters whose personalities were dictated by the times. Welcome, to Megan Chance's contorted world of the blue-bloods!

They had been married for several years. William wanted a child, an heir, someone to make his life complete. But Lucy hadn't c
I did like this book a great deal, even as it pissed me off HUGELY. Seriously, just the word “hysteria” in this context can send me on hour-long rants about the Victorian patriarchy and how women of certain social standings were delicate little flowers, and that the entire point of a woman's existence was apparently to serve (and service) men; certainly they weren’t to have sexual feelings at all, and if they did, then clearly, there was something wrong with them they had to be “cured” of. Not t ...more
Jamie Stanley
This book was amazing. I loved every aspect of it. The author did a wonderful job in showing the reader the "Angel in the House" belief that was the norm for the upperclass society during the Victorian era. Wives were expected to show zero emotion or passion. Sex between a husband and wife was to be for procreation only. If the husband wanted sex for enjoyment, he was expected to find it elsewhere. The wife was not to be "soiled" by "demeaning passion". She was the "Angel in the House". I loved ...more
Apr 01, 2016 Nishtha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome suspense. Will review on my blog this week and will post the link here.
Lucy Carleton, a member of 1880's New York City high society marries for love but marries a man not of her class. William is a social-climbing nouveau-riche stock broker who has made all of the society crowd in Lucy's circle lots of money, and Lucy marries him with the blessing of her controlling father but soon finds herself constantly struggling with bouts of nerves that make it increasingly harder for her to behave as she is expected to. Lucy and her husband visit many doctors who cannot help ...more
Mar 04, 2013 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed reading this book. I agree with the reviewer who said, "This book is what I imagine would have happened to Rose (Titanic) if she had married Cal (the "bad guy")and gone on to suffer the marriage/life restrictions of her era and class." I truly felt sad for her predicament, or lot in life; and without giving anything away, will say that I loved the ending. Looking forward to the discussion this book will bring at book club!
Diane Zwang
Dec 30, 2015 Diane Zwang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what an intriguing book, a real page turner for me. We meet Lucy part of the burgeoning rich class of NY in the 1880s. On page one we learn that she suffers from bouts of hysteria for which she is seeking medical help. We also meet Dr. Victor Seth, a neurologist, who is viewed with skepticism by most as neurology was a new field of study. Each chapter peeled away the characters to reveal more of who they really were. I am not sure if I like the ending but what a fascinating journey. I will ...more
Michelle Wood
Sep 05, 2015 Michelle Wood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Three stars because I could stand to read it. Definitely would not have read it just for itself, but it covers a period of history that I'm writing about and the characters are not so one-dimensional that to read about them is unbearably boring. On the other hand, they are definitely not shaded, unpredictable, multidimensional, or fully real. Victorian upper class society woman in New York is compelled to follow stultifying rules and becomes hysterical and neurasthenic through emotional and sexu ...more
Sep 26, 2011 Josee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
New York in the late 1800's; Lucy Carleton is 30 years old, married to a handsome man, wears elegant gowns, and attends the best parties, but for the last four years she's been suffering from hysterical fits and depression. Lucy and her husband William have seen no less than ten doctors who have suggested many things, the latest, spending time in an asylum. William is desperate, but wants to find an alternative, and soon meets a new Doctor.

Victor Seth is a neurologist and hypnotist, but to some,
May 10, 2011 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly reccommend this book! Set in 1885, this is the perfect book for anybody who likes historical fiction with romance, without the modern day "smut" that comes into play with some "romance" novels. Very tastefully written, and the reader feels Lucy's strain her society life puts on her. The reader will sympathize with her, even during the dark times that she herself creates. It takes a couple of twists I certainly didn't see coming and one simply can't put it down in the second half. It's a ...more
Sep 13, 2007 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a great book. Came really close to giving this 5 stars. About a wealthy woman in the 1880s who is indepedent and would like be diagnosed with some sort of anxiety disorder in present day. Her husband finds this all highly inconvenient so sends her to various doctors and ultimately Dr. Seth, a neurologist (new thing at the time). The author did a lot of research about how such a woman *would* be handled medically back then and it's astonishing. For example, a "cure" for "nerves" was for ...more
Lady of the Lake
I really liked this book the subject matter is an eye opener letting you know that Victorian women were property of the husband and there is no romance about the time period for women wether high society or lower classes woman were not their own person. So if you think it would be romantic to time travel the Heroes we read about in our romance novels are not the norm! It would be awful to be a woman back in time! No rights to anything other than your own thoughts and only if you never speak them ...more
Aug 31, 2014 Meagan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Incredible to see what it was like to be a female at the turn of the century. Loved the main character. Good, suspenseful read.
Jun 21, 2010 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 28, 2016 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book irritated me at times due to the controlling men, the hypocrisy of society in her time, the suffocation of her passions and injustice of her committal to a scary asylum. But Lucy was beginning to stretch her wings and at the end, I was amazed!
Jan 07, 2011 Vicki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was Intrigued by this period novel. Wealthy Women were treated like accessories to their husbands. They were expected to do as their husband expected. They had babies, shopped, entertained friends, organized dinners and balls and were expected to be very prim and proper. Lucy the main character did not fit the perfect mold. She loved to paint and draw and enjoy nature and passion and she did not want children, she wanted to pursue her passions. This book explores how women, who did not coopera ...more
Crystal O'Leary-Davidson
The Seattle Times' blurb called this a novel that "Edith Wharton might have written if she had lived in the twenty-first century." While Wharton's artistry is still ahead of Megan Chance's, she does explore some of the same territory about The Gilded Age. Chance's novel is also reminiscent of Kate Chopin's The Awakening, and a few of her short stories. Well-researched, well-written, excellent plotting. An absorbing read that leaves you much to think about on the roles of women in the 19th and 21 ...more
Lucy Carelton comes from an upper class New York Knickerbocker family. She soon marries her father's stockbroker, William, a man of new money who clearly marries her for the connections she can bring him. Lucy is used to being controlled by her father and now she's living under the same conditions with her husband. William loves Lucy but wants to control every part of her life. Lucy is prone to "episodes", she has failed to conceive, medicates herself with laudanum, is too outspoken in social si ...more
Jan 19, 2016 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful book! I was taken in by the first paragraph -- I didn't want it to end! I really do recommend this book.
Brandie Schrader Harris
An interesting view into the lives of the ultra rich in New York in the 1880's, particularly the roles of the women. Viewed as by her husband and father as a possession, fragile and needing protection and care in all matters, we follow Lucy's journey from party-line believer, to thoughtful doubter, to full-on dissenter. Suddenly, having it all is not all it's cracked up to be.
Jun 13, 2016 April rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's The Name o...: Historical Fiction - Woman committed for having affair, "hysteria"? /s 12 260 Aug 25, 2013 11:51AM  
The Ending 3 77 Jun 17, 2012 05:02AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Megan Chance is the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of several novels. Her first book won Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award for excellence in Romantic Fiction, and since then, her novels have received several awards and award nominations. The Be
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