#BookReview – The Wives by Lauren Weisberger

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication date: 12 July 2018 (epub & hardback) 11 July 2019 (paperback)

Blurb

Perfect marriages.
Perfect neighbours.
Perfect lies.

Everyone is guarding a secret in this picture-perfect town.

When Karolina Hartwell is arrested driving her son home, the headlines don’t tell the full story. It seems nothing will stand in the way of her husband Graham’s political ambition – not even his wife.

Miriam Kagan is convinced her husband Paul is hiding something. But if she digs too deeply, she’s afraid of what might tumble out of the closet.

Emily Charlton is new to Greenwich, but she soon discovers this is a small town built on big lies. And sometimes it takes an outsider to draw them out . . .

Review

In this follow up to Weisberger’s bestselling novel, The Devil Wears Prada, the reader is reunited with Emily Charlton. Having left the world of fashion and set up on her own, Emily is now a crisis manager, using her no-nonsense attitude to ‘clean up’ after the rich and famous.

When Emily finds her business under threat from a younger woman, she finds herself in Greenwich, Connecticut staying with friend, former lawyer and stay-at-home mum, Miriam. If you think that the move from Manhattan to the suburbs may prove a bit dull, think again. Miriam’s friend, former supermodel and senator’s wife, Karolina, has been falsely accused of drink-driving and stands to lose not only her reputation, but also her family. Fortunately her friends are on hand and together they prove themselves to be a mighty adversary – these ladies put the ‘girl’ into GIRL POWER!

Watching city girl Emily try to fit in with the suburban lifestyle is amusing. This is wealthy suburbia, where the parenting community is less football mums, station wagons and Chuckie Cheese, and more cosmetic surgery, affairs and gossip. Meet the Real Housewives of Greenwich!   Yet, underneath the humour and satire, the book does take a serious look at the struggles that some women face when they become mothers – it must be difficult to strike the right balance between being available to your child for some hands-on-mothering, whilst trying not to lose your own identity, particularly when you’re a career girl at heart.  The book also takes a look at the importance of friendship. I know how easy it is to gradually drift apart from old friends when your lives seem to be heading in different directions, yet it is so important to maintain a few close friendships, people who will be there when you need them to provide support, love and a sense of perspective.

The book has a great cast of feisty female characters. I particularly liked Karolina. A beautiful and very clever woman, she has been the victim of a narcissistic and ambitious man resulting in a loss of confidence, loss of dignity and potential loss of her stepson, yet she remains poised and dignified. I had a lot of sympathy for her character.

I also felt for Miriam. She is obviously struggling with motherhood and it seems that the struggle arises from her awareness that she is slowly losing her pre-kids identity. She misses her old life and the satisfaction that came with her former career. Being a lawyer myself, I’ve known friends and former colleagues who have struggled to transition from career girl to motherhood, yet who are made to feel that they are ungrateful or inadequate for admitting this. Ladies – support each other! Don’t get bogged down by trying to out-mother each other (social media has a lot to answer for here), instead offer a glass of wine and a chat. Encouragement, kindness and support goes a long way.

I have to admit that I do find Emily a bit too acerbic at times. She’s a great character and can be absolutely hilarious, however I’m not sure I could cope with having a friend around who is quite as catty as her!

If you’re looking for an entertaining, feisty and witty read, this may well be the book for you. It is sheer escapism – full of glamour, scandal, a little bit of intrigue and a plenty of female solidarity.  It may only be springtime, but the sun is out in force and this book certainly makes a great summer read!

Thanks to HarperCollins and Netgalley for providing me with a review copy.

About the Author

Lauren Weisberger is the author of The Devil Wears Prada, which spent more than a year on the New York Times hardcover and paperback bestseller lists. The film version starring Meryl Streep won a Golden Globe Award and grossed over $300 million worldwide. Her second novel, Everyone Worth Knowing and Chasing Harry Winston were also Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers. She lives in New York City with her husband.

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7 thoughts on “#BookReview – The Wives by Lauren Weisberger

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