Alice Buckle has been happily married for over twenty years, but lately finds herself wondering about many things - her children, her health, her job and more, but most notably her relationship with her husband. They seem to be drifting apart. Or is it just settling into mid life together?
"I know roommate is a taboo word, but here's a thought: what if being roommates is the natural stage of the middle part of marriage? What if that's the way it supposed to be? The only way we canbe while getting through the long, hard slog of raising kids and trying to save money for retirement and coming to terms with the fact that there is no such thing as retirement anymore and we'll be working until the day we die?"
When the opportunity to make $1000 participating in an online relationship survey appears in her inbox, Alice decides to participate. For anonymity's sake, she is labeled as Wife 22 and paired with Researcher 101.
Gideon utilizes many different methods to tell Alice's story. Google search results, Twitter and Facebook postings, emails and the answers to the survey - without the questions. (Now they are listed in the back of the book. I thought about flipping back and forth but found it more fun to discern from the answer what the question might have been.) As Alice continues the survey, the professional lines between herself and Researcher 101 become blurred and Alice has to make a choice about the direction she wants her life to go....
Ahh, where to start? I loved Alice Buckle - the way her mind worked, her actions, her insecurities, her failures, her successes and more. She just seemed to be such a 'real' person. Gideon's cast of supporting characters is no less captivating. They're all equally well drawn, but Peter, her twelve year old son, was a stand out for me.
Employing the online excerpts was a clever way to expand on Alice's story. Gideon is a very funny woman - I found myself laughing out loud many times. And stopping to think many times as well - Wife 22 explores married life with a keen eye.
Highly recommended - I predict this one showing up on lots of summer reading lists. Book clubs would enjoy it as well - a reading group guide is available. Get a head start - read an excerpt of Wife 22. You can find Melanie on Facebook and on Twitter.