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The Good Wife Strikes Back

3.2  ·  Rating Details ·  849 Ratings  ·  99 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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Apr 25, 2009 K rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 07, 2014 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 20, 2014 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 13, 2015 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-in-2015
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
Oct 31, 2015 Rrshively rated it really liked it
The stresses of a political wife to be the "perfect" wife for twenty years finally overcome Fanny when her father dies. Add the stress of having had a difficult sister-in-law live with her for years and having her only daughter graduate and leave, and you can see why Fanny needs time to find herself. She does love her husband who is a member of Parliament, but she feels as if she has been in a cage for years. This book is so illuminating as to the role the wife of a politician is compelled to pl ...more
Sep 04, 2013 Marisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sorry, I know this might have been better received by others, but I found this book, boring, unfocused, but I muddled through to the end, and still I found no redeeming qualities, it was just bad.
Sep 28, 2011 Liz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't like this book...I kept hoping that it would turn out better than it was but it wasn't in the cards or the pages:)
Aug 16, 2016 Clare rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 right in there, past the homeless and drunk teenage mutant wrecks, swagger up to the poor soul who is standing behind the counter and give her your order.

"Are you sure?" Says the angel that has inexplicably materialised on your shoulder, you immediately swat it away with excuse
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
Jun 16, 2013 Ilona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general, 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 16, 2009 Karen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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
Alyssa Conaway
Dec 20, 2015 Alyssa Conaway rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristie J.
I really enjoyed 3 other books by this author (Revenge of the Middle-Age Woman, Wives Behaving Badly, and Separate Beds), but I just couldn't get into this book. The scenes flip back and forth between the current time period and the main character Franny's memories, and there's a lot of talking about wine which just didn't interest me.
Apr 25, 2012 Emma rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 02, 2009 Sam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 it was ok  ·  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 randomly picked this book up and it was better than I initially expected.
There were some twists and the book it beautifully written with some twists.
Though overall it didnt fully compell me.
Mar 29, 2014 Zara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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'
2.5? I just. There are some nice turns of phrase but also there is so much of it that is quite meh. And just so much of it in general.
Jul 15, 2014 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 23, 2015 Tamsinsworld rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
Boring, kept on reading thinking something might happen. It didn't.
Aug 29, 2014 Theresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 07, 2008 Ruth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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?
Dec 05, 2008 Noel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 01, 2008 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2008
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.
Nov 13, 2011 Beth rated it did not like it
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.
Aug 19, 2009 Eva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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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