Sunday, November 20, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: "An Ideal Wife"

An Ideal Wife
By Gemma Townley
Copyright 2010
Ballantine Books
Adult Fiction

Wowza. This is the most typically typical British novel I've read in a long while. Jessica Wild-Wainwright (even the name is typical!) is madly in love with her perfect, perfect husband Max. Unfortunately, Jessica is not so perfect (quite the opposite, in fact).

And so, Jessica sets out on a mission to become the ideal wife.

Now just so you understand, Jessica is so far from being the ideal wife that it is, frankly, difficult for the reader to imagine her becoming what she has set out to become.

There's just a slight problem with her plan. Jessica has a dirty little secret that she has kept from her husband that is now coming back to haunt her. An ex-fling is extorting her for money and she isn't quite sure what to do about it.

You get to watch as Jessica tries to make up for the dirty little secret by attempting to learn to be a good cook, how to iron, and volunteering at a soup kitchen.

One particularly amusing episode of Jessica's attempts at wifely perfection leaves poor Max laid up in the hospital for a week.

Unfortunately for Jessica, her efforts are a dire failure. Soon it becomes apparent that her secret can stay a secret no more. And throw on top of that a couple of thugs from the Russian Mafia, a long-lost father that she never knew, and a few million pounds of money that she doesn't know what to do with.

Stories like this always have a happy ending, but they usually have quite a nail-biting climax and this was no exception. It was a quick read, and there were a few moments that were even kind of fun. But for the most part it was just so much like so many other British novels I've read that it was boring.

Open this one only if you really like predictability.

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