by Wendy Holden

May 2005
ISBN: 0-452-28589-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Plume
Trade Paperback

What do you get when you cross two very different couples, a New York "glossy" magazine, and a prenatal class in Bath, England? An incredible read by Wendy Holden! The Wives Of Bath is a hilarious comedy set in the world of parenthood. This charming story proves that sometimes the life you think you want is nothing at all like you expect!

Meet Amanda. Spoiled and beautiful, this trendy former journalist decides that the one thing that will make her life with her husband, Hugo, complete this season is to have a family. Always getting what she wants, Amanda uproots them from their luxurious London lifestyle and Hugo's incredible career as a hot-shot realtor, and brings them to Bath to begin their family life. Of course, Amanda demands only the best with private maternity hospitals and infant care nurses.

In extreme contrast, former magazine legal department genius Alice and her environmentally obsessed husband Jake are planning a very natural birth with a home delivery involving a birthing pool, a shower curtain, and soothing whale music. In fact, the only things that these two couples seem to have in common are the fact that Amanda and Alice have a very loose connection as former employees of the same New York magazine (and an obvious dislike of one another), and the prenatal class both couples attend. Although each couple believes that the class will be the last they see of the other, it seems that even after their babies are born, the opposites can't seem to escape running into one another. After Amanda decides that motherhood just isn't her cup of tea, and Hugo is forced to look for sympathy and support elsewhere, the couples are drawn together once more, with very interesting results.

While it's not a conventional romance novel by any means, it will pull at your emotions - making you laugh at Hugo's well-meaning but often misguided attempts at "single" parenthood, and making your heart go out to Alice as she slowly begins to realize that the dream she thought she'd have with Jake just isn't turning out the way she'd hoped. With an extremely insane cast of characters, The Wives Of Bath is a very easy and enjoyable read that one can easily find themselves lost inside. Whether your view of marriage and parenthood is similar to Amanda's, Alice's, or somewhere in-between, it's a book that's sure to please.

Reviewed in July 2005 by Amanda B.

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