This is a review of the 2007 book 'Busy Woman Seeks Wife' by Annie Sanders who is known for writing the book 'Goodbye, Jimmy Choo' (which I haven't actually read). My mum bought me this book (I suspect from Poundland as that's where she tends to pick them up) as a gift one Christmas and I have only just got round to reading it.
It didn't help when I scanned the cover of this book that I misread the title as "Busty Woman seeks wife" and immediately got the wrong idea about the jist of the book. My mistake though. The cover on my book is different to the one pictured by the way.
In the book, the main character is 'busy' Alex who works in marketing for a top sports wear company. I say busy but she works full time and travels for work but has no children or partner as such so is not that busy outside work! She is struggling to keep on top of things like shopping and laundry added to her mother taking a tumble and needing some support so her best friend Saffron suggests she advertises for a 'wife' in the local paper. Following interviews, Ella is successful in landing the job although she has embellished her skills somewhat and relies on her brother Frankie to help her keep the job.
The main character Alex left a little impression on me. The other characters were far more fun and interesting. Particularly Alex's mother 'The Bean' a retired famous actress. Saffron is a little bit walked over by her family and Frankie is a bit sorry for himself as an out of work actor. Ella thinks highly of herself and feels a lot of tasks are beneath her and she'd rather be doing the Sudoku in the paper.
I enjoyed reading this on a lighter level and thought really all Alex needed was a housekeeper, although her life was not that complex to require so much support. Everyone else manages don't they?! Still, it was a good idea for a book an enabled some entertaining storylines and light subterfuge between the characters. I enjoyed the pace and style of the writing and would be happy to read further books by this author.
A recommended read, available to pick up quite cheaply now (check your local pound shop!).
What you need,' said Saffron, pouring Alex another glass of wine, 'is someone to take away your worries, someone you can rely on, someone to deal with all the boring details.' 'But I've got a bloke already,' protested Alex. 'No, no!' replied Saffron. 'I mean, what you need is a WIFE.'
On the surface Alex Hill is every inch the polished high-flying career woman. But that just means she's rushed off her feet with barely enough time to take out the bins, let alone pull together an amazing product launch. Then she discovers her Spanish cleaner has been using her flat to turn tricks in the afternoons, and in her bed!
And to top things off, her demanding mother - an ageing 60s style icon - has a bad fall, requiring her to move in with Alex indefinitely. With so much to juggle, Alex begins to realise that she needs someone more committed than a cleaner - so she advertises for 'a wife'.
Enter Ella - a brilliant cook and carer. But Ella isn't quite what she appears, and pretty soon Alex is contemplating 'divorce'...
Busy Woman Seeks Wife is the fourth novel of writing duo Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders. Having already read - and reviewed - nevermind enjoyed Warnings of Gales I was thrilled to find another Annie Sanders novel. Could Busy Woman Seeks Wife live up to the great Warnings of Gales?
Yes, actually it could. It was a brilliant read - so much so that I read it in about 4/5 hours. Busy Woman Seeks Wife tells the story of Alex a high-flying marketing executive who ends up having to look after her mother - The Bean - after she has an accident. Because Alex is so busy she hires Ella to be her "wife" - trouble is Ella is just as undomesticated as Alex so Frankie, Ella's brother and an actor, takes up the mantle. Also involved is Saffron, Alex's best friend and her family. Then there are the minor characters who make up Alex's working life. Not only that but Alex's work seems to be being sabotaged!
Again I wondered which parts Annie wrote and which Meg wrote and again couldn't really tell. Comparing the two novels I found Alex like Jo from Warnings of Gales and Saffron a bit like Imogen but that doesn't mean a thing because I'm still clueless to who wrote what!
I found Alex an absorbing character - fiercely independent and great at what she does, I really enjoyed reading about her and wondered if she ever would need any help.
I loved The Bean - she was by far the funniest character. A sixties-style icon who spends her time regaling everyone with tales from the good old days. I loved her flamboyance and just loved her character.
Ella and Frankie were great. I loved that they were chalk and cheese when it came to domestic matters but I loved their closeness and felt the scenes between the two really worked.
Saffron was also a great character and I understood how she felt when no-one seemed to appreciate what she does in her role as housewife.
I liked how Alex had no idea it was Frankie doing her work for her and enjoyed Frankie, The Bean and Saffron's scenes together.
It really was a great read and I was curious to know exactly who it was sabotaging Alex's work. I admit I guessed it well before I was told but it was fun reading how it all came out and how everyone figured out exactly who it was.
Overall it really was a fabulous read. Annie and Meg really know how to write an addictive novel. I found it really hard to put it down for any amount of time and just wanted to keep reading to see how the relationship between all of the characters developed and to see if Alex could pull off her event even with the sabotager ever present.
Annie and Meg are becoming firm favourites of mine and I really can't wait to read the last remaining novel I have of theirs Goodbye, Jimmy Choo. Not only that but they also have three other novels out (or nearly in the case of Getting Mad, Getting Even) which I can't wait to get my hands on!
Also posted at http://chicklitreviews.wordpress.com