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The Good Wife Strikes Back
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The Good Wife Strikes Back

3.19 of 5 stars 3.19  ·  rating details  ·  743 ratings  ·  90 reviews
When Viking published Elizabeth Buchan’s New York Times bestseller Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman, American women saw themselves mirrored in its pages with unique empathy, sophistication, and storytelling flair. It was more than a finely written and irresistible read. It opened up the unsuspected vista of a newer, better than ever phase of life waiting for them. The same ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published December 29th 2003 by Viking Adult (first published January 1st 2003)
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Meh. I give the author credit for trying to be a little deep, but somehow she didn't succeed. The plot felt clicheed and predictable to me, simply a longer version of its blurb, with characters who didn't grab me and not much else to offer.

Brief summary (if you read this paragraph, you've basically read the book): Fanny, forty-something and facing the empty nest as her beloved college-aged daughter departs for Australia, is beginning to reevaluate her life of self-sacrifice on the altar of her h
Buchan wrote a nicely crafted novel of a woman who has tried to be "a good wife" and a supportive wife to her politician husband. Although, she has a job in the family wine business it seems as though her husband does not consider that side of his wife and uses her as adornment or an accessory to his career. He fully expects her to maintain a complete slate of political activities including taking his place at events when he can't be there. Fanny finds herself becoming overwhelmed by all these d ...more
Elizabeth Buchan is a writer for ladies of a certain age. Her heroines are usually in their 40s, married with children. They are highly relatable. In The Good Wife Strikes Back, Fanny Savage is a 40-something wife of a politician, and daughter of a late-teens daughter. She considers herself a "good wife", always standing by her husband, as an unpaid co-worker in his political life, and taking care of their daughter.

This book is the story of Fanny's rediscovering herself, and it is very satisfyi
This book is the literary equivalent of a 3am Mighty Bucket for one from KFC.

You are not stupid, you know it has the nutritional value of a deep fried t*rd, however some small part of your brain is demanding you to walk in there, past the homeless and drunk teenaged mutant wrecks, swagger up to the poor soul who is working there and give her your order.

"Are you sure?" Says the angel that has inexplicably materialised on your shoulder, you immediately swat it away with excuses such as "I have b
It was particularly interesting to read this book concurrently with "Diary of a Mad Housewife." Both are exceptionally well written and both have fascinating subjects. "Mad" and "Good Wife" both have similar concepts and similar temptations in them... although "Mad" shows the anxiety attacks which drive the protagonist towards promiscuity, "Good Wife" shows frustration, but not panic... attacks or otherwise, and is able to choose more clearly, as she is not easily driven to and fro by her own em ...more
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I hate books about Europe and how they describe Italy as being hot. Italy is not hot. Houston is hot. Houston is depressing in August and hot, hot, hot. Italy is not depressing in August. I don't think Italy could ever be depressing. Italy is roughly the same latitude as New York. New York my be hot during the summer, but it isn't Houston. Therefore, not as all time heat scorching with no releif in sight hot. This book sucked.

I am in Chapter 9, and this book finally got interesting. Sometimes th
I'm not sure what part of the book The Good Wife actually "Strikes Back." Throughout the book Fanny's a one dimensional character - she didn't grow or change at all in the twenty years of time the book covered. She married a man who made no compromises for her or the family. And he allowed his sister, Meg, to basically push Fanny aside for TWENTY YEARS. That's ridiculous. And her relationship with Chloe was clingy and needy at best. The end was a last ditch effort to add some substance to the bo ...more
Buchan's female characters are very different from those in traditional romance novels. In 'The Good Wife' fanny has found and married her man and is now playing the dutiful wife, supporting him to fulfill his ambitions as a politician. Fanny finds herself turning from the young, dreamy girl who married Will, to a woman who has to look good and stay quiet.
I found some of the ideas in this novel rather predictable as Will goes from idealistic young man to embittered and ambitious politician, wit
The overview of this book read much better than the book itself. The main character is repeatedly taken advantage of and underappreciated; her desires, her goals, her everything are completely irrelevant when compared to anyone else within the family and, personally, I never saw where there was any 'striking back.' Her big 'moment' was supposed to be when she decided to take a trip (gasp) that her husband doesn't want her to take but, when her selfish/alcoholic sister-in-law comes to invade her ...more
Jul 17, 2014 Fiona rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Middle aged women
Shelves: unfinished
It is probably a good book, but I am not a middle aged woman with a husband and a grown child, so I chose to not finish it because it was unrelatable to me. I understand that I could have given it another chance, but I did read 200 pages, and still was not satisfied by the very ordinary thoughts of Fanny.
Kristy Trauzzi
This really has nothing to do with the book. But, oh Italy. How I love thee.

I think I enjoyed this book but the ending didn't exactly match up with the rest of the book. I got the struggle to be the perfect wife. I got the struggle between husband and daughter. I get the feeling of wanting extended family further away from yours. I got the fact that she needed some time to breathe and to refocus on herself.

But, really? She just rolled over when her sister in law showed up? Gave up going and see
I remained moderately engaged in this tale of an English politician’s wife reflecting on her marriage and family relationships.(Published in the UK as 'The Good Wife'
This was one of those books where I kept waiting for something to happen. And nothing ever did.
Laurie Mcclary
A light easy read with a predictable ending.
Second in the "series" of books about the trials and tribulations of being a wife. This book was about a politician's wife in England. She becomes unhappy with her life in her late forties and returns to her father's home in Italy after his death. Her husband is voted out of his office at the end and they learn how to start over. Want to read more by this author, but will wait a while. Both of these books have been about unhappy woman.
Of course I was sad, but the sadness was twisted up into other strands--and to feel sadness was a part of being intensely alive. I sat on the stairs in the Casa Rosa and propped up my chin in my hands and considered. How often do we have time to seek out our secret selves and bring them into the light? To examine and say, with delighted recognition, so this is what I am? This is what I might be? this is where I will go?
I had read one of Elizabeth Buchan's other books, Revenge of the Middle Aged Housewife, and so I really looked forward to reading this one and I found myself a bit disappointed. The characters were a bit flat, I didn't get what she was striking back about and what the "strike back" actually was. I enjoyed the character flaws but wanted a bit more I guess. Not bad, but not great either.
This is the story of a politician's wife in the UK, and how she has to be a 'good wife' at every stage. Took a while to get going, but by the last third I was enjoying it more. Quite thought-provoking in places, and (assuming it's accurately researched, which I think it probably is) gives a good insight into the home lives of politicians.

Three and a half stars, really.
This book was pretty boring for me. It really wasn't as funny as I expected it to be. Actually it wasn't funny at all. I really couldn't relate to the wife in the book. The best part about the book was the vivid descriptions of Italy and her time there. I liked the story but will probably not be picking up anything else by this author in the foreseeable future.
Fanny Savage has painfully learned how to be a good politician's wife. She's raised their daughter, cared for his alcoholic sister and her son, and obeyed the party chair most of the time. Now, as their daughter and nephew leave home, she is ready for a sea change.

This is a lovely story of a caring, loving woman searching for the next phase of her life.
Jun 06, 2012 Susan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susan by: Karen
Shelves: fiction
Fanny Savage--politician's wife, wine merchant's daughter, empty-nest mother-- has a middle-life crisis and flees to Italy to discover who she is. Careful detail after detail builds a picture of the small and large joys and griefs of everyday life. No epiphanies for this heroine, despite major changes, as she returns to her "old" life.
Fanny has been married to Will for 19 years – they have 1 child together who is about to leave for college and Fanny starts questioning the sacrifices she made for Will – a British MP. At the end of her self-discovery voyage she realizes they are the same sacrifices any wife/spouse makes for someone they love.
I did not enjoy this one as much as I did "Revenge of the Middle-Aged Housewife." I thought the title was somewhat misleading, as it leads you to expect some kind of grand gesture from the protagonist. Instead, she gradually realizes her dissatisfaction with her marriage as she returns to her childhood home.
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For me, this book never went anywhere. The premise was interesting enough: a middle-aged woman who has dedicated her life to her husband and family realizes she doesn't know who SHE is and so takes time to discover herself. This American reader didn't get the English author's humor, I guess.
I'd give this book 4.5 stars if half stars were allowed on Goodreads. Although I put this on my Chicklit book shelf because it is definatly a women's novel, it is much more sophisticated than most chicklit books and is probably better classified as Contemporary Fiction.

This is a beautifully written story of how a woman lives with and considers her life choices. I liked the way the author captures how most of life happens in the mundane. While it wasn't an exciting read, it was a very satisfying one.
Deborah Judah
I like this book and thought the description of the struggle of being a good wife, daughter, sister- in - law was deep and thought provoking but I felt the end was a cop out. Nothing changed and she didn't push for any recognition.
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Elizabeth Buchan began her career as a blurb writer at Penguin Books after graduating from the University of Kent with a double degree in English and History. She moved on to become a fiction editor at Random House before leaving to write full time. Her novels include the prizewinning Consider the Lily – reviewed in the Independent as ‘a gorgeously well written tale: funny, sad and sophisticated’. ...more
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