Wife 22: Book summary and reviews of Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

Wife 22

A Novel

by Melanie Gideon

Wife 22
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  May 2012
    400 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

For fans of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary and Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It comes an irresistible novel of a woman losing herself... and finding herself again... in the middle of her life.

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.

7. Sometimes I tell him he's snoring when he's not snoring so he'll sleep in the guest room and I can have the bed all to myself.

61. Chet Baker on the tape player. He was cutting peppers for the salad. I looked at those hands and thought, I am going to have this man's children.

67. To not want what you don't have. What you can't have. What you shouldn't have.

32. That if we weren't careful, it was possible to forget one another.

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.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Fully formed supporting characters and a nuanced emotional story line make Gideon's fiction debut shimmer." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Peppered with Facebook updates, email messages, and chat logs, this book is a skillful blend of pop-culture references, acidic humor, and emotional moments." - Library Journal

"Glued to her smart phone, she practically ignores her family and her myopic self-centeredness begins to grate. By the end, Alice becomes downright unattractive, undeserving of the happiness that the genre typically grants. Nevertheless, women of a certain age will find her escapades breezy fun, especially since the William character is blatantly intended to bring Colin Firth to mind." - Kirkus Reviews

"Wife 22 is absolutely fresh, vibrant, au courant, and hilarious. As you read, you will swear that this deft novelist hacked your phone and unearthed your longtime marital secrets and maternal struggles with a keen ear and an open heart. Brilliant! Melanie Gideon owns the moment with this debut." - Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of The Shoemaker's Wife

"Refreshing, original, and crackling with energy, Wife 22 is a brilliant, engrossing novel about the way we love and live now. Prepare to be dazzled." - Elin Hilderbrand, author of Summerland

"Absolutely delicious! What Bridget Jones did for single women, Alice Buckle will do for married ones. Melanie Gideon's Wife 22 is a fabulously funny contemplation of relationships and parenthood in the twenty-first century." - Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Four Ms. Bradwells and The Wednesday Sisters

"Well, isn't this a fun read! Not only fun, but funny. Not only funny, but wildly inventive. Not only wildly inventive, but poignant. Wife 22 is also wise in matters of the heart. Melanie Gideon could put marriage counselors out of business." - Elizabeth Berg, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Time I Saw You

The information about Wife 22 shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Dawn C. (Meridian, ID)

Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
Alice Buckle is upon her tipping year, the year her mother died at the age of 45. As Alice is looking online one day she gets invited into a marital research study online. She decides to do it and is assigned her online pen name Wife 22. Through answering the study questions she is reminded of her early dating/parenting/marital times with her husband William. All is not well in the marriage and the online researcher becomes her new best friend, a kind of therapy. I found this book to be very entertaining, and enjoyed being reminded of some of my own early experiences with my husband. I highly recommend this book to any woman who has been married for any length of time.

Sheila S. (Supply, NC)

Wife 22
I loved Wife 22. The main character, Alice Buckle, is a gem. Her character is revealed through her Facebook posts, her Twitter comments, her Google searches, and foremost through her email answers to an on-line survey on marriage in the 21st century. What an ingenious use of our reliance on social media. Alice is endearingly funny in her relationships, whether it is agonizing over her 12 year old son's sexuality or her teen aged daughter's possible bulimia. She is also wistful in looking back at the early stages of her relationship with her husband and wondering whether they have lost each other. There are some hilarious scenes, including shopping for feminine hygiene products with her daughter and staging a 3rd grade production of Charlotte's Web. The dialogue throughout is clever and funny. In fact, the whole book is incredibly funny but also very thought-provoking. Melanie Gideon has created a wonderful book. I'm already looking forward to her next one.

Gayle M. (Billerica, MA)

Heartwarming story about the middle part of our lives
Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down. It's heartwarming, funny, poignant and honest. The book follows Alice, as she tries to navigate that period of life after newlywed and before retirement. The real strength of the book is the characters. You feel like you know, or are, these people. You are invested in what happens to them. I also enjoyed the format of the book, as it jumped from Alice's responses to the Research Questions, to Facebook to narrative. It was a nice touch. Overall I give this book a big thumbs up.

Kim L. (cary, IL)

Looking for love
This book held my attention. I felt that the main character was well developed and likeable. I wish that the main character's husband had been more developed. I didn't feel that I really understood him. He felt sort of vanilla or bland to me.

Gary R. (bolingbrook, IL)

Wife 22
OK, I'm a guy reading, what I heard called chic lit? Being married over that 20 year mark, this book really opened my eyes. It made me think about how we both can, over time, take each other for granted; and how little things people do can drive others crazy. Very good read, went fast. Really enjoyed the writing style. Come on guys, pick this up, worth the time. Next time I hear those little words, turn over your snoring, I'll think of Alice!

Marjorie W. (Bonita Springs, FL)

Wife 22
I was not disappointed in Wife 22. I read the review by Jennifer Hershey before I started the story and was surprised that I, too, found the story a mix of humor and sadness. Enjoyed the little twist at the end; not quite what was expected. If one is looking for a light read - this is it.

...16 more reader reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Information

More Information

Melanie Gideon is the bestselling author of The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After, which was named an NPR and San Francisco Chronicle best book of the year. She is also the author of two young adult novels: Pucker and The Map That Breathed, both New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, More, Shape, The Times, the Daily Mail, and Marie Claire. She was born and raised in Rhode Island. She now lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son. Visit her at www.MelanieGideon.com and on Facebook.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more novels...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.