By Melanie Gideon
Ballantine Books, $26.00, 400 pages
Melanie Gideon’s Wife 22 will make you smile, make you laugh and even make you think about your own marriage differently. Alice Buckle has been married 20 years and feels like she has lost who she is, and the romance she once shared with her husband, William, has vanished. Alice is asked to participate in a marriage survey anonymously as “Wife 22”. Her caseworker is “Researcher 101”. It all starts innocently enough with standard questions that Alice answers. But then, as the questions get more personal, Alice remembers how thrilling, exciting and sexy the memories of first meeting William and their early dating years were. She suddenly feels lonely and unloved, and Researcher 101’s flirting hits the right nerve. Alice begins to flirt back, realizing that all the anonymous confessions have brought back the thrill of an early relationship. This anonymous, secret romance leads to an interesting, unexpected conclusion.
Gideon writes with the contemporary world in mind, including modern touches of Facebook and Twitter posts, and realistically tells the tale of what any couple married for 20 years might feel. Wife 22is a must read for anyone who thinks their marriage, and life, might be a bit stale. So read on to see how Gideon solves the marriage doldrums.
Reviewed by Seniye Groff