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The Good Wife Strikes Back

3.2  ·  Rating details ·  1,004 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
The Good Wife Strikes Back
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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Rating details
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Apr 23, 2009 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 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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
Harry Tomos
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed it, the twist, the relationships, Meg...! a book you can disappear into to.
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book and its complicated themes of family loyalties. I believe the longer you’ve been married, the better you’ll understand the meaning of the title.
Sue Grant
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life lived

As a reader who has lived long, Fanny's life story brought back memories and how living changes your perspective of any given moment. The youthful bride, young mother, empty nester and all the changes in between. This is a well written observation about how marriages/life evolve as we grow from childhood through adulthood.
Alyssa Conaway
Dec 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
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 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:)
Fiona Stocker
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Not enough happens in it. Fanny and Will and Meg are well drawn characters but as I found I was waiting for something to happen and then realised that nothing much was going to, apart from a lot of soul searching. I try and avoid soul searching, my own and other people's. So by the time she was in Italy three quarters of the way through, I was speed reading. And she didn't even sleep with Raoul so I felt cheated out of the sex scene. Anybody could see that Meg was going to come to a sticky end t ...more
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
1.5 The writing was good, but the story was depressing. I kept waiting for it to perk up, but it never did. You want the main character to pull herself out of her current life, but she really does not.
Dianna Shimizu
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-fiction
I have to admit I was disappointed when I finished this book. I've read some of her other books and loved them, but found the dialogue stilted and trying to be cutesy, which was annoying.
May 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Meh! If you read the dust jacket, you might as well skip the book. Very little change from start to finish.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very enjoyable read and made me very thankful I'm not married to a politician!
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it
The book was okay, I couldn’t really get into it
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The role of such books as this one is so very important.

It is a pleasant thought provoking wee read, that prods at my tired brain to care about such issues as feminism, race and gender inequality while allowing me to download and relax.

A real skill tied up in escapism, which is precisely why I will continue to seek out Elizabeth Buchan's books.
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-general, 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 12, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Diana Skelton
"I suppose every shared life, every separate life, has bloodstained patches and tattered remnants of compromise. Sometimes, too, the dull ache of small martyrdom."
"Clean, stable, sediment-free wine suited our age better than the muddy, sometimes fractious yields of the Old World."
"She glanced down at my bare legs under a short denim skirt. 'I'm sorry, but it would be better if you wore tights and a longer skirt. The more far-reaching and revolutionary our ideas, the more non-threatening and resp
Sep 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I thought this would be funny but didn't find it so. It was good but not, in my opinion, great.
Aug 04, 2009 marked it as to-read
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
Jul 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This had been a curious read for me, maybe because I'm 22 and logically closer to the daughter than the mother who is the sole narrator of the story. It was interesting to read about the curious feeling of having more things-that-have-happened than things-that-can-happen.

Had I been 40 or so though, I think I would have found this book lacking a few things, regardless of the fact that the author is considerably talented to have written in such a boring topic while still managing to keep its pace
Oct 06, 2013 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 content 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 excu
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I wanted to like this book. And at some points I did like Fanny. I enjoyed the life and the style of writing but something about her disconnected for me. Almost like she was too much a character with little anger at those imposing their will on her, the honorable sacrifice. If she had been a bit more less martyrish, the book would have easily gotten 5 stars. I liked the tone but Meg, the sister-in-law, felt like a convenient cause of drama without any kind of real exploration of why with her hus ...more
Jan 18, 2012 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
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a pleasant read - would be good for a vacation. I enjoyed the characters, especially the main character, Fanny, who is going through a mid-life crisis of sorts (in the overtaxed Mom and wife sort of way that women in their 40's seem to do - says the woman in her 40's). I could relate to her emotions, even though I don't live in England, have never been married to a politician, and don't have a boundary-pushing, alcoholic sister-in-law mooching off me. Again, really enjoyable character d ...more
Kristy Trauzzi
Sep 27, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jan 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
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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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