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The Wives of Bath

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,291 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Four parents-to-be seem ante-natally sorted. Flash Hugo and Amanda have booked a chic private clinic and royal maternity nurse. Right-on Jake and Alice want an all-natural home birth with whale music and tree-hugging nappies. But nothing goes quite to plan. Amanda finds motherhood less glam than the stars make it look and disappears back to her career. Which leaves Hugo wi ...more
Paperback, 468 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Headline Book Publishing (first published January 3rd 2005)
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3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,291 ratings  ·  77 reviews


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Chana
I read this before and liked it. Once again I liked it, found it laugh out loud funny and I enjoyed the happy ending.
Two couples meet in pre-natal classes. The women already know each other through a previous work environment. One is a fashionable lying journalist, the other is a lawyer who had the unenviable job of defending the journalist against libel lawsuits. They are not friends. The journalist is married to a flirtatious real estate agent. The lawyer is married to an obsessive recycler i
...more
Meghan
Apr 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: british, fluff
I'm not sure why I do this to myself, except that I paid a pound for this book in some back alley in Dartmouth so you get what you pay for. It did what I needed to do which was help pass the time on a 10 hour flight with a 4 hour layover. I was tired and didn't want to think about things like plot and character development. But that said, there wasn't much redeeming about this story. The characters were ridiculous (does the author even KNOW any successful attorneys who would give up everything a ...more
Brenda Haven
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know that a lot of people gave this book low star rating, but I really did enjoy it. It was a fun, fast, fluffy read. I really enjoy Wendy Holden's novels. They are just entertaining to read. I did dislike Amanda from the beginning and as I read further along, began to dislike the character of Jake also (not because he was totally dislike-able like Amanda was from the beginning, but because he was such a jerk as the book went on). However, it did make it more agreeable as to what unfolded as t ...more
Natalie Bowers
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
I get the feeling Ms Holden set out to write the literary equivalent of a bad BBC sitcom. If she did, she certainly achieved her goal. She used caricatures instead of characters, cliché instead of cleverness, and a sledgehammer instead of subtlety. Having said all that, it was oddly addictive: car crash television for the bookworm.
Katherine Thelander
May 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
I was really determined to give this book a fair go. I thought, maybe the tagline, ‘The mother of all romantic comedies’, is actually deserved. I had to at least give it a chance.

But then, after a horrendous flashback transition, I encountered this.

Page 36: ‘And what do you do... Alice?’ As his tongue caressed the ‘I’, she saw its red tip flick out from between his lips.

The more I tried to visualise this poetry the more horrified I became. I pressed onwards, setting a goal of 100 pages to see
...more
Rebecca
Jun 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit
This book was super cheesy, fake and even slightly entertaining at times. Can a book even be all three?

The book revolves around two couples who are in impending parenthood who live in Bath who are totally different but know each other because the wives used to work together at a large magazine company in New York. Alice left on her own merit because she was overworked from dealing with Amanda, a writer who makes up her own articles and then gets sued (and fired), leaving Alice to pick up the pie
...more
Lauren
Apr 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think I was going to like this book as much as I did. I almost put it down after the first few chapters because some of the characters were SO unlikeable and one dimensional it was unbearable. Luckily, in the second half of the book, those horrible characters play a small role and Alice and Hugo become more rounded out and seem more believable. The main flaw of this book is that the characters - particularly Amanda and Jake - are caricatures. It is hard to believe that anyone behaves li ...more
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
I've read and enjoyed a lot of terrible chick lit in the past 20 years, and I have to say, this one was barely worth 2 stars. The characters are downright unlikable and dimwitted (though we're supposed to believe that most of them are very successful professionally), even the ones readers are clearly supposed to like/be rooting for. The plot was predictable, and the ending clunked like the author just got tired of writing. I wanted to like it more, as I was really in the mood for something silly ...more
Redfox5
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I read an awesome chick-lit. I love Wendy Holden, she is one of the better storytellers out there. I loved Hugo and his attemts at looking after Theo. I really felt for Alice with her ego bully of a husband. I'm not sure how she stood for it for so long and the used condoms. eeeewww. Dispite the fact that she got pregnant because of it, what about all the health issues. She could have caught anything! This is one of those easy books where the pages practically turn themse ...more
Laura Head
I really liked that this novel spoke about the lives of Alice and Hugo after they had had their babies. Most books focus on the pregnancies, not the struggles of childhood. I thought that it was a good that the book focused on a Father and wanting to get custody of Theo. Overall I really enjoyed this book :)
Den
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, 2018
A nice easy read to tide me over during my hospital and recovery period, all about four totally different parents-to-be. I don't think the couples in this book would actually behave like this in real life but it was an easy read which was what I needed and towards the end I was rooting for Hugh to get his life sorted.
Tsippora
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks again for my sisters for recommending amd lending me this book. It was amazing! Alot of times I hate it when a character's personality is exaggerated, but in books like "Wives of Bath" it fits perfectly!!!
Josephine Hagan
Okay, an easy read, made me laugh a few times due to the role reversal, but predictable.
Plum-crazy
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great fun...just what we expect from a Wendy Holden novel. This ones a tale of two sets of parents, Hugo & Amanda & Jake & Alice.

Amanda is going for the planned c-section at a chic celebrity clinic, while Alice has plans for an all natural birth...but as babies arrive when they want, neither birth goes according to plan.

And things don't go particulary well for either couple after the birth. When Amanda realises a baby isn't a fashion accessory she heads off back to work leaving Hu
...more
Melissa
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
ridiculous but entertaining
Helen Magee
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book although all the loose ends were tied up really quickly
Susan
Jul 24, 2011 added it
A cast of two-dimensional characters and cliched and engineered situations somehow manages to be both funny and at times very touching. I wanted to finish it, and I did want things to work out for Hugo and Theo but the others I didn't care for at all. If only real life could be tidied up so neatly and satisfactorily in the space of a few pages. Funny, moving, touching, even maybe a little bit of a message in our perceptions of the Laura character, don't expect anything more and you won't be disa ...more
Intan Suffian
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well this is awkward. I was only 13 or 14 when I received this book as a birthday gift from my best friend. She's not the type that reads so she just snatched a random book.

First of all,this is an adult book.

Else than the fact that I should not have read this book, it was a very fun book. It's a chick-lit novel which makes you laugh and the elements in the book are very, I say, "kinky". So if you are mature enough to read this book, dig in.
Rukhsana  Sukhan
An absolute delight! A great and really fun plot, with just the perfect balance between humour and drama. Well formed, really real characters ~ ones that you absolutely hate or really love. The author did a masterful job of putting it all together. I will definitely seek out more titles by this author. Full review [HERE].
Lime
Jul 15, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: made-me-smile
From my blog, 2005:

Not the greatest book I’ve read. But there were babies involved ;) and humor and love and really bad spouses…. It gave me some nice hours of reading and the ending made everyone happy –> and I love a happy ending :D Perfect for reading when travelling or before sleeping or out in the sun.


Mine was a paperback, though, but the same cover...
Abigail Tee
May 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine a husband that is an eco freak? A wife that thinks that pregnancy will shoot you to fame? A husband that can forgo his multi million career on a housing estate agency to just look after a baby? Man, Wendy holden just knows how to make a book lovely. Good read to pull you through the weekends.
Courtney
Apr 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There is NO WAY I would have finished this book if any other reading material had been obtainable. I was furious when I realized that I had a work project that I could have been working on instead. That is how bad this book was - I would have rather spent the time on a Saturday morning WORKING than finish this book. Absolutely ridiculous and a waste of time.
Blue
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fluffy
Do not pick up this book if you aren't looking for a fluffy, non-challenging and pretty predictable read. There is no literary brain food here, nothing worthy of a reading group, or even a conversation starter at a dinner party.

But? If you just want something non-taxing to relax with on a rainy day The Wives of Bath might be what you are looking for.
Kim
Mar 18, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I just thought this book was ok. A couple of the characters were pretty over-exaggerated, and the ending wasn't very believable. But it was entertaining enough, I suppose, and a quick read! :)
Robyn
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The plot was interesting, and the character development was good, although some of the characters were too unrealistic. Also, although I did learn new things about England (health system, vocabulary, etc) which may be helpful, there was too much profanity for my taste.
Gabriella
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bought-it
It was a very funny book which was a pleasure to read. The characters are hilarious although there are some that cannot exist in the real world - no one is that self-centered, selfish and utterly insane.
But I enjoyed it, a light bedtime read and the happy ending satisfied the romantic in me.
Danielle
Picked up cheap in the airport when I finished the only book I brought with me on vacation. Definitely an easy and fun read when you're stuck in an airport though. Unfortunatley the characters are extreme and hard to relate to, but it is a light read that easily can keep your attention.
Shahna
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I read this one by accident. I wasn't paying attention to what I was ordering for school and this is what I bought instead of the right one.
But I read it anyway! And it was entertaining. Made me laugh.
Jalien
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c-b-o-k
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vanessa
It was not a terrible read, I did finish the book. I just found the story line predictable, No character pulled me in. It was nice to see the male role the dominating parent, and was humorous at times. It was such a large book filled with really nothing.
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Wendy Holden grew up in Yorkshire, and studied English at Girton College, Cambridge. She worked in magazines for many years before joining Tatler's in 1997 as deputy editor, and later moved to the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine, which she left in 2000 to concentrate on writing. She regularly writes features for newspapers and magazines on a range of social, topical and lifestyle subjects and is als ...more
“...her mother began to pick apart the toilet paper covering her gift. 'I suppose," she said brightly, 'we should be grateful this hasn't been used before as well!” 0 likes
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