Were I to rate this novel on the basis of romance alone, it would not fare very well. The romance is already a fait accompli by the time that we meet the characters. Instead I would like to comment on author Sarah Strohmeyer’s pointed look at a Stepford-like suburb filled with Barbie clones and trophy wives.
While I have no doubt that this novel was finished long before the first episode of Desperate Housewives aired, parallels are inevitable. In Ms. Strohmeyer’s suburb, Hunting Hills, Ohio, most of the women are Bree- or Edie-esque in their outlook on life. They either work like Trojans to keep their husbands, or are already looking around for the next victim.
The characterization stops there, however, as The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives shifts gears. The men in this community offer some entertainment of their very own, and soon nothing will ever be the same in Hunting Hills again.
I enjoyed reading this novel very much, and it was a welcome change from the usual contemporary romances that I review. There was a lot of humor, and some rather unexpected depths to this view of life in an upper-class community. As a native Ohioan I also enjoyed the twists on some familiar places.