Wife 22. Great title for a book. Actually I had hoped that it was another book about about fundamentalist Mormons, one of my obsessions. Of course it is not; the cheery looking cover is a dead give-a-way.
Alice Buckle is the eponymous Wife 22, a subject in a research study called “Marriage in the 21st Century”. Wife 22 corresponds anonymously with Researcher 101. She answers his questions in great detail. And she begins to fall for him and he, apparently, for her.
Alice really enjoys the unburdening. She is a frustrated playwright, part-time elementary school drama teacher, wife and mother. Her children are perplexing, her husband distant. So of course she eats up the attention from Researcher 101.
Alice devotes a lot of energy to hiding her participation in the study from her family. She goes so far as to set up a phony Facebook account to communicate with Researcher 101. But as Alice focuses more and more on her anonymous admirer, her real life begins to fall apart. And she doesn’t seem to care that much.
Believe it or not, this book really ends up being a lot of fun. It’s not overly deep or meaningful, just a pleasant way to spend some time. This is the first adult novel written by Melanie Gideon. I expect she’ll be writing more in the future, since I think Wife 22 will do very well. Many thanks to LibraryThing EarlyReviewers’ program for this book!
To be published in hardcover-Ballantine Books-May 29, 2012