2012 Chick Lit

The War of the Wives by Tamar Cohen

The War of the Wives

Five words from the blurb: married, husband, dead, wives, battle

I was sent a copy of this book by its publisher, but it was a review from Leeswammes Blog that pushed it straight to the top of my reading pile. I’m really pleased that Judith enthused about this book as it was an entertaining read.

The War of the Wives is narrated by two women who discover that they were both married to the same man when they attend their husband’s funeral. Distraught with grief and betrayal, the women must adapt to a life where most of what they previously believed to be true is a lie.

Trapped indoors I lug my rage around like one of those strap-on bellies designed to show men how pregnancy feels. But equally I’m too ashamed to go out. Imagine how people will laugh! There she is, the woman whose husband was married to someone else. What an idiot she must be.

The two women are very different. Selina is rich and thinks nothing of buying expensive flights to Florence to enjoy time in their second home; whilst Lottie struggles to buy everything she needs for her small flat in London. Their personalities clash and neither can believe that their husband could enjoy spending time with the other.

The War of the Wives is one of the most modern books I’ve ever read. It effortlessly manages to include Skype, Facebook and Twitter in a realistic and compelling manner. The short chapters and the continual switching of narrator led to a fast paced read that engaged me throughout.

This book isn’t without faults. The characters, especially the peripheral ones, weren’t fully developed and were often flat. And despite only being published one month ago some aspects of the book were already out of date – some comments, especially about London hosting the Olympics, felt wrong now that the Games have been such a success. The plot was also quite implausible, but I didn’t mind as I was entertained throughout.

Overall this was an enjoyable book that highlighted differences in personality. Perfect for when you need a light, fast paced read.


The thoughts of other bloggers:

…at times droll and darkly humorous, at others deeply emotional and tragic. The Little Reader Library

I was unconvinced by the ending; the revelation was too brutal and sudden. Reading with Tea

I was very impressed with this second novel, I enjoyed it just as much as her first book. Random Things Through My Letterbox


21 replies on “The War of the Wives by Tamar Cohen”

I would have not guessed this to be a modern book by the cover. Looks old-timey for some reason. I have to admit that despite the fact that the plot seemed implausible, I’m still intrigued with the idea.

Sandy, I hadn’t really thought about it, but now that you mention it – I agree. It looks like a book from the 1920s. Her clothes dont look modern at all. Weird for a book with such an up to date narrative

Judith, I think you liked it more than I did, but I found it very entertaining. It was good to read something amusing after all the darker books I’ve been reading recently.

I’m thinking the same as Sandy, and when you spoke about social media I had to take a second look at the cover. If you say the references work well though, the cover must, too. Interesting premise, if difficult to believe.

Charlie, Hopefully they’ll make the cover more modern for the paperback edition. I agree that the premise isn’t very believable, but strange things happen in real life all the time. I’m learning to be more tolerant of them in fiction 🙂

Hard to believe that a book published a month ago could feel dated!! It sounds very interesting … though I could see how there might be quite a bit of implausible parts. Still, in a book like this, you just have to give yourself over to the idea and not nitpick.

I hadn’t picked up on the modernity of the book, but you’re quite right – it feels very up to date with all the social networking. I suppose it might not age, but I’m not sure the author’s intention was to write a timeless classic!

I had meant to comment on the cover in my review but forgot – I find it really unsuited to the story, which for the women is so outward facing and the woman on the cover is huddled and reflective.

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