Thursday, 4 March 2010

The Wives of Bath

Title: The Wives of Bath
Author: Wendy Holden
Type: Chick Lit
Pages: 468
Published April 2005

Synopsis: This book tells the story of two couples, Hugo & Amanda and Jake & Alice, who have escaped their busy lives in London to live in the quieter town of Bath. The two couples are polar opposites but happen to be part of the same prenatal group. There is no love lost between the two women who had worked together in their previous jobs.

Spoiled celebrity journalist Amanda loses her job (thanks to Alice) in New York and decides that trendy thing for her to do would be to go home to her husband, Hugo, and start a family. She sees a new baby as the 'must have' accessory. Hugo and Amanda deal with parenthood the same way they deal with everything else ... they throw money at it in the form of private hospitals where Amanda can have an elective C-section (she's much too posh to push!), to baby nurses and everything money can buy.

Then there's environmentalist Jake and his wife Alice who married suddenly after having a quick fling at a wedding. Living with this 'eco-facist' has proved to be very difficult for easy going Alice who is not used to being so environmentally aware. It takes some getting used to sharing bath water, having toilet planters in her front yard or dealing with her worm farm which is filled with anorexic worms!

Hugo learns the hard way that his wife is not cut out for motherhood when he is left to care for their child on his own. When Hugo and Alice meet up again by chance, Alice offers to help Hugo overcome some of his parenting obstacles which leads to a whole other set of issues for these two couples.

My Thoughts: This was a very good and easy read even if the storyline is fairly predictable. Holden made some of her main characters into stereotypes (the career woman who hates kids, the eco-facist ...). At times the characters seem to be stuck in their respective sterotypes a bit too much. Two of the characters (Jake and Amanda) were so maddening and steamrolled over their spouses that I honestly started to hate them. Whether you're a first time dad who can't put a diaper on his own child, to the guilt a new mom faces when constantly being asked "you mean you DON'T make your own organic babyfood??" I think many people will be able to relate to some aspects of the characters (I shudder to think if anyone totally relates to Jake or Amanda!).

My Rating: 3.5/5 (a very good read)

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