Review (and Free Giveaway): Wife Goes On

Wife Goes On by Leslie Lehr

Release date: 2008 / 307 pages

Synopsis (from back cover): After years of plodding through a not-terrible-but-terribly humdrum marriage, all the while feeling that life — real, exciting, satisfying — was out there somewhere, Diane is finally free to explore what’s next, even if it means starting over with a mountain of debt, two kids, and an inexplicable sense of optimism…

First lines:”I hate you,” Diane said. She sat down on the velvet settee her husband had proposed to her on eighteen years earlier. She would miss her grandma’s antique furniture even more than this Brentwood estate, sold on the verge of foreclosure. Steve yanked her white cotton briefs down her unshaven legs and over her feet, then tossed them over his shoulder.”

Review: Wife Goes On was sent to me for review and I jumped at the chance to read something a little lighter and hopefully funnier than most of the “literary” fiction I usually read. And it was a quick, page-turning read that focused on characterization and definitely made me smile at times.

However, I wanted to include the first paragraph, not just the first line, because it does get a little… well, “sexy” is the way one reviewer described it. I’m not much of prude when it comes to sex in fiction, but the sex was definitely focused more on individual gratification than on love or unity or that sort of thing.

The narrative focuses on four characters who are experiencing the world of divorce. They women meet each other and bond over their misfortunes, eventually helping one another heal and move on. In fact, I think a recently divorced woman might really enjoy this and feel vindicated and empowered by it. But notice I specified “women” — the men in the novel are 2-dimensional. A subtle, nuanced portrait of relationships and gender dynamics this is not.

And I think that is why I wasn’t the ideal audience for Wife Goes On.  I waited 35 years for my husband, and I’m just crazy about him and am surprised — almost daily — by just how much fun marriage is.  So, if the novel had explored the complex dynamics between men and women or addressed why the women had gotten divorced, etc., I might have enjoyed it even more.

On the other hand, when you’re in the midst of a painful chapter, an optimistic “women rule!” novel might be exactly what you need.  So, if you are looking for a cute, light read — especially if you are recently divorced — I think you might enjoy this novel!

If you agree, simply leave me a comment, and I’ll put you in the running for the free copy!

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16 Responses to Review (and Free Giveaway): Wife Goes On

  1. WIFE GOES ON is a compassionate look at female survivors of the divorce war forming a bond of sisters. Each member of the quartet is unique with divergent issues, but is there for one another. Although the selfish childish husbands come across as one dimensional deserving of being raw meat at a vampire convention, fans will enjoy this often amusing but always deep look at the aftermath of ending a for worse only relationship as life for the ex wife goes on

  2. gwendolyn says:

    I know someone who really NEEDS to read this book! Please enter me in the giveaway, and if I win, I’ll share it with her (after all, she has to let me read it, too!) Thanks for the chance!
    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

  3. Kristen says:

    You’re in the running, Gwendolyn! Good luck!

  4. Yan says:

    Count me in! Sounds like a good read.

  5. Heather says:

    sounds like a decent read… go ahead and count me in!

  6. Kristen says:

    Yan and Heather, you’re in!

  7. Kam A says:

    I would love to be entered!

  8. Carla Pullum says:

    Would love to be entered!!!

  9. Kristen says:

    You’re in the running, too, Kam and Carla!

  10. Anna says:

    I’d be interested also! Thanks!

  11. Kristen says:

    You’re in, too, Anna! I’ll draw a name this weekend!

  12. Sandi says:

    HI Kristen,
    Sounds like the kind of read my mom (an avid 83 year old reader) would enjoy (and that I could borrow. Count me in.

  13. Kristen says:

    Kam is the winner!!! Congratulations!!! 🙂

  14. Pingback: Best Posts: October 2008 | BOOK CLUB CLASSICS!

  15. Sandra R says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  16. Kristen says:

    Thank you, Sandra!! I appreciate the kind words! I hope you will stop by again soon… By the way, I also have a monthly newsletter (kind of a “best of”) 🙂

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