Pam's Reviews > Wife 22

Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
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Jun 22, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, 2012-read
Read from June 21 to 22, 2012

6 Stars! And a new FAVORITE!
GoodReads Synopsis: Maybe it was those extra five pounds I’d gained. Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was when I lost her. Maybe it was because after almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I seemed to be running out of things to say to each other.

But when the anonymous online study called “Marriage in the 21st Century” showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life. It wasn’t long before I was assigned both a pseudonym (Wife 22) and a caseworker (Researcher 101).

And, just like that, I found myself answering questions.
Before the study, my life was an endless blur of school lunches and doctor’s appointments, family dinners, budgets, and trying to discern the fastest-moving line at the grocery store. I was Alice Buckle: spouse of William and mother to Zoe and Peter, drama teacher and Facebook chatter, downloader of memories and Googler of solutions.

But these days, I’m also Wife 22. And somehow, my anonymous correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpectedly personal turn. Soon, I’ll have to make a decision—one that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life. But at the moment, I’m too busy answering questions.

As it turns out, confession can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.
My Thoughts: WOW, I could relate to this book! You see I am 44 and have just celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary. I only have one child, a son, who is slightly older than Alice’s son. My husband and I have recently hit some potholes in our marriage. I felt like Melanie Gideon was spying on my circumstances!
I loved how the author used the internet, google, facebook, etc to emphasize where Alice was coming from. I could relate so totally to Alice on just about every level…and I suspect I am not alone. Technology is an amazing thing and it can bring people together but this story reiterates that it can also have an opposite effect. Alice and her husband William have drifted apart and the technology initially used to communicate has become a shield to hide behind. Something I find myself doing as well. And their marriage is suffering from a breakdown in communication.
William is mostly, only seen through Alice’s eyes, which isn’t great to start out with. But through the survey questions (in the kindle version, I didn’t realize the questions were listed at the very end of the book, just before the acknowledgements), we see how the relationship started, grew, and changed…all through Alice’s memories. I only read the answers to the questions, which was part of the fun…trying to figure out what the questions were Alice was answering. Some were obvious, others not so obvious. I’m going to have to reread her answers with the questions in front of me.
This book was a wake-up call for me, in that I saw a lot of myself in Melanie. Gave me a lot to think about in terms of my relationships with those around me.
Just loved “Wife 22”, Gideon has an engaging and imaginative story telling style that completely captured me. The writing was laugh out loud funny, without being mean or snarky. She can turn a witty phrase I tell ya! I am so looking forward to more from Melanie Gideon.

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Reading Progress

06/21/2012 page 73
18.0% "Great so far...this 40+ married for 20+ years can totally relate thus far"
06/22/2012 page 399
100.0% "what a book...it really spoke to where I am in life and marriage"

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