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The Model Wife - Julia Llewellyn

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5 Reviews

Genre: Romance / Author: Julia Llewellyn / Paperback / 496 Pages / Book is published 2008-08-28 by Penguin Books Ltd

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    5 Reviews
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      12.06.2010 09:26
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      Not impressed!

      Poppy Norton was a model, working in a café to earn some money between jobs when she met handsome news anchorman Luke Norton. Although he was in his fifties and she was only 22, they embarked on a year long relationship and Poppy became pregnant. The only problem was, Luke was married with three young children.

      Fast forward a few years and Poppy and Luke are now married, following Luke's divorce from first wife Hannah, and baby Clara is now a toddler. Poppy's life though, is not quite the picture of domestic bliss she had hoped for. Stuck all day in the flat with a young child, Poppy feels very lonely, and other mums don't really bother with her. She hardly ever sees Luke, who is always working until very late in the evenings and worst of all is Hannah...

      Hannah, Luke's ex wife is currently writing a newspaper column, 'Diary of a Divorce' in which she outlines how fabulous her life has become since 'The Cad' (Luke) left her for 'The Bimbo' (Poppy).

      Can Poppy ever get the happy ever after she has always wanted?

      Well this was the first book I had read by Julia Llewellyn and I must admit I was not particularly impressed. I found this quite a hard book to get into, which I think in part was something to do with the main character Poppy. When we're introduced to her she's sleeping with another woman's husband, so I found it pretty hard to have any sympathy for her.

      I couldn't even work out why Poppy was with Luke if I'm honest. She was half his age and a model - so you'd think she could have gone out withanyone she wanted. She didn't particularly seem to be attracted to Luke's fame or his money either, and in truth Luke I found him to be a very unlikeable character anyway! He was unable to keep it in his trousers for five minutes, and even on the rare occasions he was at home with Poppy all he seemed to do was criticise her mothering skills. It was no surprise that Poppy constantly moaned and felt down about her life with a husband like him, but her constant self-pity was quite depressing to read.

      Ex-Wife Hannah's columns were humorously bitchy, and brought a welcome relief from the more mundane life of Poppy and baby Clara. By the end though, I started to find them slightly irritating, and started to dislike Hannah too. I thought she should have been a bit more dignified and grown up about the whole situation and I started to find the constant public humiliation of Poppy quite cruel.

      There is another character I have not mentioned yet, which is Thea. Thea is a colleague of Luke's and we know they have history as years back they would sleep together whilst Luke was still married to Hannah. Thea has been living in New York and is returning home to work on the same news programme as Luke whom she still holds a bit of a torch for. For the most part, I didn't really understand why so much attention was given to Thea. I think that for me she was like a secondary character, and we just delved far too far into her life, which again wasn't particularly interesting.

      I did think there was a lot of page filling here, and for me, the 482 pages could have been condensed into a much shorter novel. The actual story was quite boring and mundane and contained a host of not very likeable characters all whining about how crap their lives were. There was so little of a story in fact that I found it rather difficult to write a summary of it.

      I appreciate there are probably lots of women who stay at home all day with babies and maybe feel unfulfilled, who would identify with Poppy, but I think personally a book should be a nice form of escapism and this was too depressing in tone to be that. The story is too flat and there are no real twists or turns, although admittedly the plot did pick up towards the end a little.

      Although this book was still readable, for the most part I found it quite boring, and the plot very weak (if not non-existant). There is such a wide range of good chick-lit about at the moment, and unfortunately this book can't be included amongst it. I wouldn't recommend this book and I won't be reading it again.

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        22.05.2010 19:57
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        Worth a read, but dont rush

        'The Model Wife' caught my eye, during a shopping trip, although it's not my usual book it is still worth a read, although perhaps getting it from the library is a better idea. I have to admit as I had already read Julia Liewellyn's 'Amy's Honeymoon' I was slightly disappointed. It wasn't as well written or gripping, but still worth a read.
        In the modern day where women and men have a slightly more equal role, this book completely contradicts it, and still doesn't lead to happiness.
        It involves Poppy and Luke's love affair behind his wife's and 3 kids back, where in this instance the grass isn't greener on the over side.
        It proves giving up your independence and doing everything for someone else still doesn't bring happiness. The rich and famous life also proves not to be what it's cracked up to be, can the changes they make bring them happiness?

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          23.11.2009 07:48
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          Nauseatingly bland read full of wasted opportunities

          Luke Norton fifty something tv news presenter has it all and then some. Not content with a wife, three children and an enormous house in a swanky part of London Luke likes to play the field, both home and away, with a string of conquests dotted throughout the globe and a girlfriend on his doorstep. Life takes an interesting but predictable twist when Lukes girlfriend, a model, becomes pregnant and his wife finds out. The girlfriend rapidly becomes wife number two and wife number one, a newspaper columnist, sets about rediscovering herself whilst documenting the demise of the cad in her weekly tattle tale column.

          It's a classic case of the grass is never greener on the other side but we still keep on hoping that something just over the horizon will be a little better or at least a little more challenging. Still at least there are an abundance of slightly more interesting sub-plots thrown in although these two are boringly predictable bordering on the mundane. One of these sub-plots features Thea, TV programme editor and Lukes lukewarm old flame and sometime mistress an eccentric American film star and her maybe boyfriend. Theres lots of scope for all these characters but this is wasted. Luke jets off to Guatemala we know this as he arrives, sits in a hotel and departs again. Theres no mention of anything else at all. He might as well have been in a brothel in Basingstoke or at the Tory Party conference in Brighton.

          At times its hard to keep track of whos involved with whom as it all becomes a bit of a wife swapping fest although without the spousal involvement. Clearly marriage vows mean nothing to the gilliterati.

          Worse still is the sugar sweet ending which would have the creative team from Disney sticking their fingers down their throats. Its quite simply abysmal.

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          14.08.2009 19:10
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          3 out of 5

          I picked this up in my local library last week as (this sounds silly!), I liked the front cover! After giving the back page a once over, it was soon mine for three whole weeks! I love books and after reading Jade Goody's diaries recently I needed a good old chick lit to cheer me up. Wrong choice! I wouldn't go so far as to say the book was depressing, but given the similarities to my own life and the main character in the book who is finding her only conversation is with her young daughter, and her husband works all the time, this was all I needed! The book had a good story, was written well and followed a few different characters, the majority of whom were likeable! The only thing I thought could be improved was to put a little bit of humour in there! I didn't want any slap stick comedy but a few giggles would have been nice!

          Synopsis:

          Poppy Norton's life is a bit of a cliiché, when she accidently gets pregant to her lover, Luke Norton, who is 25 years older than her, father of three and very married. He also a bit of a celebrity and the main news presenter for the national news. Luke has no choice but to leave his wife after an email explaining Poppys pregnancy is accidentally emailed to Lukes wife Hannah. She chucks him out and Luke begrudgingly goes to what was only ever supposed to be his bit on the side. Hannah soon launches a full scale attack through the media on 'The Bimbo' Poppy, while Poppy struggles to bring young Clara up on her own as Luke is never home.

          The book follows a few different characters such as Thea who Luke works alongside and also happens to be his ex bit on the side, Hannah his ex wife, and Poppy. The characters were all likeable, but I found the book dragged out a little in places and at 482 pages its a long one for a chick lit book!

          Although I had never considered my life to be anything other than normal, I felt a little down after finishing this book! Obviously the working family is normal but in this book it didn't feel that way! The book was describing fairly normal everyday lives until about 150 pages in, so do stick with it, the story does get better!

          Worth a read, but I wouldn't pay for it! Get down to the library!

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            19.09.2008 20:07
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            A very enjoyable chick lit book

            I'm forever browsing Amazon for the latest book releases to try to find something new that catches my eye, and I've been lucky lately because there has been quite an influx on new books on to the market this summer! As usual, I've been keeping my local library in business lol, and the latest one I've taken out is "The Model Wife" by an author I've not read before, Julia Llewellyn. It sounded good, and I looked forward to reading it, so here's the review.

            Poppy Norton is a bit of a cliché, even she admits it. She was unlucky in love until she met News Presenter, father of 3 Luke Norton. The two begin a relationship on the sly, and accidentally Poppy falls pregnant. Luke decides to leave his wife Hannah to set up home with Poppy but soon finds out life with a young model and their newborn daughter doesn't quite match up to his twenty-year marriage. Fast forward 2 years, and Poppy's fed up of being ignored and left at home with daughter Clara so looks for a job herself. Things are not rosy in the Norton garden, but are they going to get better or worse?

            I was quite surprised with this book to tell you the truth, it really didn't pan out as I had expected it to. From the start, it seemed like it was going to be a run-of-the-mill chick lit book about Poppy's life as a stay at home mum and perhaps getting her relationship to work again with Luke. But the book wasn't quite that at all, it was much more focused on Poppy as a person, and the effects that the affair and consequent marriage and baby had on everyone around them, including their friends and families.

            I did like the character of Poppy at first, but for some unknown reason I found myself disliking her as I got further into the book. I did feel sympathy for her being married to a man who worked all hours God sent, and was often alone with her baby, but lets face it, that is life for a lot of families! I don't know why the author made such a big deal of that when it's a normal occurence. Daddy2harry works all day, comes home and Harry goes to bed, and I don't sit feeling sorry for myself like Poppy does!

            But everything else in the book was enjoyable and fun to read. Luke's ex-wife Hannah has a column in a national paper in which she routinely slags off her ex-husband and his new wife, whom she fondly names 'the Bimbo'. These columns, which are dotted throughout the book are very funny to read, and provide a welcome relief from Poppy's moaning and whinging! Cleverly, the author has written this in the first person like a real newspaper article, with the main story being written in the third person so more like a story and made it easy to differentiate as you were reading.

            I did enjoy the turns that the book took throughout which mirrored how things do indeed change in real life for people. Poppy managed to get her own job, and the story changed from there and I felt it was much more enjoyable. Poppy became much more edgy and interesting, and the way this affected not only her but Luke as well was good, and to be honest he deserved it! It was nice to see both sides of Poppy; the loving wife and mother, and also the party girl and model. The change of pace was a good feature of the book, and kept me very interested as you could tell something was brewing and I was desperate to know what it was! Cleverely done by the author, and a nice twist too.

            The other characters throughout the book were also brilliant and added a lot to the story. Thea was Luke's colleague at the news station who has had a lifelong crush on him which has been unrequited. She's a strong career woman but when it comes to her private life, she's a mess. I wish she had been featured more in the book as I loved her scenes, and think she would have been good as a main character. Luke, Poppy's hubby, was just awful and God knows why any woman would be attracted to him to be frank! Hannah only appeared via the columns but was fantastic and it was nice to see her getting on with life.

            At just under 500 pages, this is a bit longethe average chick-lit books I read, but the author has managed to fill all of those pages with a fantastic story which kept me interested all the way through. The way she changed the characters throughout was very good, and I liked this as it totally changed the book. Also, I liked how she set the scene of the book, and then went 2 years into the future to really explore how the relationship has changed, rather than trying to do it all in a matter of months. Good characters, a well written story and a very entertaining read. Recommended to chick-lit fans.

            ISBN: 978-0141033648. Published by Penguin Books in August 2008. The paperback contains 496 pages, and is on Amazon for £3.86 (RRP £6.99).

            Information on the author and her other works: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/l/julia-llewellyn/.

            Thank you for reading.

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