Can you believe it? This book was published only a week ago and already I’ve bought a copy in a charity shop. The author, Judith O’Reilly, is better known these days as Wife in the North. I first heard of her not through the usual channels of recommendations from other blogs but from an article in The Telegraph. According to that piece, the blogosphere is full of people hoping to get their writing skillz noticed so as to attract a book deal like O’Reilly’s £70,000 contract with Penguin. O'Really? I found this rather shocking and unlikely but hey, I’ll never be rich.
I hadn’t looked at the blog before reading the book and I confess to starting it in a mood of, ‘Preserve us from these whingeing middle class women who have everything life can offer and still don’t find it enough’. The cover recommendations, by Jenny Colgan and Lisa Jewell, indicate the target audience (fact, not criticism) and add to the idea that this is a sort of Bridget Jones for women who are now forty and married with children. It isn’t, really. I certainly didn’t indulge in any ‘howls of laughter’ as promised, finding it all rather desperate, though I can’t help thinking that full time help with the children, no apparent money worries and the occasional solo jaunt to LA must help to sweeten the pill. I did enjoy it for the good writing and the love Wifey has for her family and friends. Though she might have borrowed a title from Garrison Keillor and called it, We Are Still Married. Quite an achievement, considering. OTOH perhaps it is actually a novel written in secret by Marian Keyes.