Newest Review: ... Hugo is a top estate agent and Amanda is a spoiled celebrity journalist who sees having a baby as the latest 'must have' fashion accessory.... more
A good summer holiday read!!!
The Wives of Bath - Wendy Holden
Member Name: jd001
The Wives of Bath - Wendy Holden
Advantages: Funny, easy reading
Disadvantages: Slightly abrupt ending
This is another of my 'four for £1.00' bootsale books and I was really thrilled to have spotted this one as I have really enjoyed the Wendy Holden books that I have read in the past.
The book is based on the lives of two couples, living in Bath, whose lives' are linked by the wives' careers and lets just say they are not each other's greatest fans, so when they unexpectedly meet again at antenatal class they are both less than thrilled as are the husbands who dislike each other on sight.
The couples could not be more different and their birth plans and approach to parenting reflects this;
MEET ALICE AND JAKE - Alice is a high flying lawyer who gives up her career for a completely different way of life with eco-warrior Jake who insists on a home birth with no pain relief, the use of terry nappies and a recycled cardboard cot.
NOW MEET AMANDA AND HUGO - Hugo is a top estate agent and Amanda is a spoiled celebrity journalist who sees having a baby as the latest 'must have' fashion accessory. Their birth plan involves a limo to the private Cavendish hospital and a nanny to care for the baby afterwards.
When Amanda decides to return to work Hugo is thrown in at the deep end and has to become the baby's primary carer even though he can't even put a nappy on, meanwhile Alice is also finding parenthood a struggle when Jake isn't the hands on father she expected and she struggles to live up to his environmentalist standards.
The story follows the ups and downs of the early days of parenthood and how managing a life, a career and childcare can become a juggling act and gives a humorous take on the different experiences of a 'celebrity' mother with an image to uphold compared to a mother living a back to basics lifestyle.
Having read and loved several other books by Wendy Holden I immediately recognised and warmed to the easy reading style of this book. I like the fact that she tackles serious issues that we are all aware of like recycling, childcare problems and post natal depression with an element of humour. She has taken some of the highs and lows of the early days of parenthood so far to the extreme that it really did make me laugh out loud.
Although I found the characters somewhat clichéd, personally I consider this to be an acceptable 'chik lit' trait and like the fact that her descriptions and the witty dialogue really gave me a sense of their personalities and at times I could almost feel their frustrations or happiness. The main characters actually started to feel familiar and I found myself either really liking them or disliking them and even sympathising with some or wanting to 'knock a bit of sense' into others and I like it when I am able to become absorbed in a book in this way.
The story itself was in parts slightly predictable but there was also some parts which I really did not expect and I still found the book hard to put down. In fact my only real problem with this book was the ending, in my opinion was disappointing, it wasn't actually how it ended which I didn't like, just that the ending itself seemed a little brief compared with the rest of the book, it seemed to end quite suddenly.
All in all this was a fun read and I would recommend it as a holiday read, because you can put it down and then pick up quite easily from where you left off and you don't need to concentrate too hard on it. I don't think it is one of Wendy Holden's best novels but an enjoyable story with plenty of laughs.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
This book currently has 205 off in WH Smith and now costs £6.39 and for the same price in Tesco and a new copy is £5.99 from Amazon with used copies starting at 1 pence plus postage.
Summary: An enjoyable read but not the best from this author