Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives by Sarah Strohmeyer

I've made a bit of a mistake with this review before I even started it. Normally I at least start it as soon as I finished the book so that I can give my initial thoughts. I didn't do that, and now I have returned the book to the library and I can't really think of what I was going to say! And that probably tells you a lot right there!

NEWS BULLETIN: Gone is HBO's Sex and the City. Sex has moved to the suburbs. Here is where you'll find ABC's #1 TV show Desperate Housewives. Here too is The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives, a hilarious but poignant and spot-on novel about love and betrayal inside the world of the gated community.

Pampered Hunting Hills, Ohio, socialite Marti Denton never realized she was madly in love with John Harding until he impulsively married Claire Stark, a beautiful but socially awkward newspaper reporter to whom a "coming-out" party is a controversy, not a tradition. It's not until the Hunting Hills wives are plunged into a series of explosive scandals that the two women reach a new understanding of each other and what it means to be a fortunate wife in the twenty-first century. In The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives, Sarah Strohmeyer has written a Stepford Wives for our time — funny, wise, and eye-opening.

Forget that the above blurb tells you very little about the storyline of the book, this really does tell you what the author was aiming for. We are introduced to a series of glimpses into the lives of the perfect women of Hunting Hills, a perfect gated community, unfortunately set just outside of imperfect Cleveland, Ohio. Into this perfect world comes Claire, who has spent time working in refugee camps in the Balkans and who finds it difficult to connect with women who think a tragedy is not being able to get their hair coloured when they need it done. Claire has just married John, who Marti believes she is in love with, whilst worrying that her own husband might be having an affair. Of course, he is, with her best friend Lisa, but he is also stealing money from all of their friends.

Whilst there are amusing incidents throughout this book, I didn't think that there was much of a plot, the characterisations were cliched and the ending trite!

Rating: 3.5/5

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