Newest Review: ... in the world all by herself, Helen's sister and old friends return into her life and show her how she is much better off in a world wi... more
Helen's life is about to transform
Housewife Down - Alison Penton Harper
Member Name: aylawarner
Housewife Down - Alison Penton Harper
Advantages: Great characters, especially the very funny Leoni, lovely ending, easy to read
Disadvantages: Not so good as a stand-alone book as there's not much plot to it
"The days I had previously filled with the duties of chief cook and bottle-washer now lay strangely empty and stretched out before me like a blank canvas. I kept looking at it, but couldn't think of anything to paint..."
After thirteen years of being Robert's wife, Helen Robbins can't take it anymore. Preparing and sitting through dinners with his boring colleagues, wearing dismal clothes and doing dismal chores, not seeing her own sister because Robert didn't get on with her, and having a women's radio talk station as her only company, Helen drinks all the wine, ruins the dinner and insults Robert about his bad driving in front of his work friends. To prove to her that he is a good driver, Robert agrees to take a driving test only to end up in a fatal accident which leaves Helen without a husband.
Not knowing where to begin in the world all by herself, Helen's sister and old friends return into her life and show her how she is much better off in a world without Robert.
~ My opinion ~
I accidentally bought the fourth book in this series without realising that it was actually part of a series. This meant that I had to go out and buy the first three books as I couldn't read the fourth one without reading the others first.
Robert, Helen's husband, is only in the book very briefly at the beginning before he has his accident so you don't really see enough of him to actually feel anything for him. From what you do see of him though, he isn't exactly being the nicest man in the world so his death doesn't really effect you at all and you can understand Helen's relief rather than grief when he dies. Although she is upset, Helen obviously feels as if she is finally free and can begin to live life how she wants to.
All of the characters in the book are very easy to warm to. Helen, the main character, is a very likeable person and you immediately feel for her because of her husband's death and the fact that she now has to make it by herself when she's never previously been alone before. Her sister, Julia, is a very caring character who is immediately there for her despite them having shared differences in the past and not having seen each other for thirteen years. Leoni, Helen's best friend, is a very quirky and funny character who always seems to have a problem in her life whether it's her irritating husband or her demanding children. Sara, Julia's young assistant, also becomes a good friend and shows Helen how to have some fun again.
Although the book was a very enjoyable read, I did find that it was lacking in a few places. I was expecting Helen to go out and start living the single life again but that didn't really happen. There wasn't much fun and excitement in the story and Helen just seemed to plod along with her life not really doing very much. This meant that there wasn't much depth to the actual storyline and the entire book didn't seem to do very much at all.
Saying that though, the book had a lovely ending and I couldn't wait to start on the second book in the series. After now having read more of the books (I'm currently on the third), I realise that you really need to read all of the House Wife books to actually enjoy and appreciate them to the full extent. The story simply continues from where it left on in the first book and I found it much better when I continued reading the other books as it created more of a story and better understanding of Helen's life.
As a stand-alone book, I don't think this would be such a good read, but if you read the whole series, then it turns into a very enjoyable group of books.
Summary: Who would have thought that someone's husband dying could be a good thing?!