A Light Side-trip to Oakland, CA

Ok, this one was just for fun–a book by someone I grew up with (this time not Jhumpa Lahiri, who I also grew up with, but didn’t know so much cause she was a couple years behind me). Here’s my Goodreads review:

Wife 22Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I usually don’t do chick lit. It usually annoys me, actually. But I grew up with Melanie Gideon, and so I made an exception and decided to try this book. My sister actually has my copy and she and my mom dismissed this one out of hand after glancing through it. I think they made a mistake. This is actually quite a creative book, using the material which forms the communication patterns of so many of our lives these days–texts, facebook posts, email–in addition to more typical narration to paint a picture of the life of a middle-aged mom having a bit of a midlife crisis. She is now the same age that her mother was when she died, and so it is a year of reflection. Wife 22 is a story of parenting, of the bumps that come up in careers, of friendship, of parental loss, and of the place a marriage reaches after many years of multi-tasking. I’m a therapist, and I see couples like this all the time. They love each other, but have grown apart and aren’t sure how to reconnect. When our heroine gets an online survey asking about her marriage, she (Wife 22) becomes intrigued with the process, and more problematically, with Researcher 101 who is assigned to her. The book is witty, but also touching. If you like Nora Ephron movies, you will probably like this book. Give it more of a chance than my mom and sister did–it deserves it.

View all my reviews

About Beth Parks Aronson

I am Associate Professor of Psychology at Lamar University. Previously, I was a psychologist in private practice in Jenkintown, PA where I specialized in anxiety disorders and working with people living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. I am a little addicted to good literature. Ok, a lot addicted.
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