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Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives Paperback – June 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Downtown Press; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439173176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439173176
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.2 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,728,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Just in time for summer, Brown's novel offers an enjoyable, if predictable, take on suburban California family life, complete with mommy cliques, rebel teenagers, and, of course, lots of adultery. Lyssa is a pushover mom striving for approval from her judgmental peers as well as her three active kids and overworked husband. She befriends Harry, a recently divorced half of the untouchable “perfect couple” of Paradise Heights, and in the process makes trouble for her family, but also finds some freedom from the pressures of wealthy suburbia. This is a town where kids have names like Tanner, McGuyver, and Temple; women meet daily at Starbucks to measure themselves against each other; and facials and pedicures are scheduled around school pickups. It's unfortunate that the narrator, Lyssa, is no more accessible or intelligent than any of her peers, and it's sometimes hard to root for her. However, these women inside their fishbowl are fun to peer in on despite being caricaturish, and the momentum of Brown's writing and plot keeps the pages turning. --Annie Tully

Review

"This character driven steamy book is like an affair between Desperate Housewives and a Jennifer Weiner novel, where priorities get shifted, friendships get broken and marriages, like their mansions, get rearranged."  --GoodHousekeeping.com

"I loved it! Josie Brown captures the highs and lows of love, lust, and marriage with heart wrenching pathos. I'm recommending it to all my friends as the perfect beach read!" —Lisa Rinna, New York Times bestselling author of Rinnavation

"I loved this juicy-as-it-is-heartfelt novel about love, marriage, friendship—and sharp, manicured claws. Could not put it down!" —Melissa Senate, author of The Secret of Joy

"Hollywood's got nothing on the cast of characters living in the bedroom community of Paradise Heights, who have the secrets, sex, money, and scandal of an OK! Magazine cover story. Josie Brown is a skilled observer whose clever dialogue and feisty style make for truly entertaining reading." —Jackie Collins

"Poignant and funny! Josie Brown’s protagonist is strong, resilient and unflinchingly honest; she has all the skills she needs to navigate the ‘mean streets’ of the gated community of Paradise Heights. A great read!" -- Wendy Wax, author of Magnolia Wednesdays

“Brown proves that a story with suburban bodies can be just as suspenseful as one with dead bodies! Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is a probing, entertaining fishbowl of married life in a well-heeled, wayward neighborhood. Loved it!” - Stephanie Bond, author of Body Movers

"Fans of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES will love this story..The quick pace and snappy dialogue make this a fun read."
--Romantic Times

More About the Author

My novels are:
- The Candidate [Steamy Political Thriller; 2013 Signal Press]
- Totlandia/Book 1/Fall [2012, Coliloquy]
- Totlandia/Book 2/Winter [2012, Coliloquy]
- Totlandia/Book 3 / Spring [2013, Coliloquy]
- Totlandia/Book 4 / Summer [2013, Coliloquy]
- The Housewife Assassin's Handbook [Book 1; 2011, Signal Press]
- The Housewife Assassin's Guide to Gracious Killing [Book 2; 2012, Signal Press]
- The Housewife Assassin's Killer Christmas Tips [Book 3; 2012, Signal Press]
- The Housewife Assassin's Relationship Survival Guide [Book 4; 2013, Signal Press]
- The Housewife Assassin's Vacation to Die For [Book 5; August 2013, Signal Press]
- The Housewife Assassin's Recipes for Disaster [Book 6; November 2013, Signal Press]
- The Housewife Assassin's Hollywood Scream Play [Book 7: March 2014, Signal Press]
- The Housewife Assassin's Deadly Dossier [Series Prequel; June 2014, Signal Press]
- The Baby Planner[2011, Simon & Schuster]
- True Hollywood Lies [2011 / 2005, Signal Press]
- Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives [2010, Simon & Schuster]

In fact my novel, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives (Simon & Schuster), is being adapted by producer Jerry Bruckheimer as a dramatic series for television.

Like most authors I know, I'm a voracious reader. My favorite classic authors are Edith Wharton, John le Carre, Martin Cruz Smith, Jane Austen, Graham Greene, P.D. Wodehouse, Margaret Mitchell, Glen David Gold, and Raymond Chandler.

As for contemporary authors, I think that both Martin Cruz Smith and John Le Carre are two of the best writers alive, and I love the writing styles of Helen Fielding, Jackie Collins and Allison Pearson. I think John Lescroart and MJ Rose are amazing, both as authors and author advocates.

I'm a cinephile (I see everything--chick flicks, action films, art house movies, almost every kind of foreign film) and I'm a walker and hiker--anywhere from four to eleven miles a day.

Otherwise, I'M WRITING. Or researching for my next books....meeting the wonderful people who let me know that what I write resonates with them...or hanging out in my fave bookstores (which is any bookstore in any town I happen to be in, at the time).

I've got a sweet romantic husband (who both cooks AND walks the dog, come rain, sleet or flood), and two great funny kids, a boy and a girl. Yeah, I know, I'm lucky, and I should count my blessings. (Believe me, I do!)

I'm also the author of three non-fiction books: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Finding Mr. Right [Alpha/Pearson]; Marriage Confidential: 102 Honest Answers to the Questions Every Husband Wants to Ask, and Every Wife Needs to Know [Signal Press]; and Last Night I Dreamt of Cosmopolatans: A Modern Girl's Dream Dictionary [St. Martin's Press]

As a journalist, my celebrity interviews and relationships trends articles have been featured in Los Angeles Times Syndicate International, Redbook and Complete Woman magazines, as well as AOL, Yahoo, AskMen.com, Divorce360.com, and SingleMindedWomen.com

You can connect with me here, or on:

- Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/JosieBrownAuthor
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/JosieBrownCA

PRAISE FOR JOSIE'S BOOKS:

The Baby Planner

"Brown takes baby mania to its illogical, hysterical extreme in this bubbly romp....But what begins as a light foray into Bugaboo country turns into something bigger than a satire of status-obsessed Bay Area yummy mummies as Brown takes a dark look at the fears of parenthood and family, with Katie's heartbreaking longing for a child unveiling a disturbing reality about her marriage and family. Still, the message from the somber realities is one full of hope: love makes a family, commitment keeps it together." --Publishers Weekly

Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives

"Josie Brown writes with all the secrets, sex, money and scandal of an OK Magazine cover. Truly entertaining reading."--Jackie Collins, Hollywood Wives

"Josie Brown's writing is whip-smart as well as wickedly funny, and just as you are enjoying the ride she takes you on, she shatters your heart with her insight into modern lives." --Tatjana Soli, New York Times bestselling author and 2011 recipient of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction for The Lotus Eaters

"Already touted as the perfect summer beach read, this character driven (sometimes steamy) book can best be described as the offspring of an affair between Desperate Housewives and a Jennifer Weiner novel....A quick look into the sometimes catty world of wealth where priorities get shifted, friendships get broken and marriages, like their mansions, get rearranged. It was light and fluffy (with some excellent dialogue.)..." -- GoodHousekeeping.com

"I loved it! Josie Brown captures the highs and lows of love, lust and marriage with heartwrenching pathos. I'm recommending it to all my friends as the perfect beach read!" -- Lisa Rinna, acatress, and author of the novel Starlit



True Hollywood Lies

The tone is confessional, the writing laced with venomous humor..."
--Wall Street Journal

"Brown captures the humor of working for a megalomaniac...[A] well-paced, entertaining story..." --Publishers Weekly

"A fine piece of literary work." --New York Post


Impossibly Tongue-Tied

"Brad, Angelina, Britney and Kevin may want to check out Josie Brown's new novel, Impossibly Tongue-Tied, for its ripped-from-the-headlines plot that mixes their scandals together..." - PAGE SIX, New York Post

Josie lives in San Francisco, California, with Martin and our two children.

Martin, my husband: THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO FINDING MR. RIGHT, and MARRIAGE CONFIDENTIAL: 102 HONEST Answers to the Questions Every Husband Wants to Ask, and Every Wife Needs to Know.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 40 customer reviews
This would make a great beach read - definitely recommended!
Jennifer M.
Toward the end, I began to suspect what would happen next, but I enjoyed waiting, almost holding my breath, for our characters to put the pieces together.
Laurel-Rain Snow "Rain"
It was superficial and way too far fetched to be believable.
dmk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laurel-Rain Snow "Rain" TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Life in Paradise Heights, a prestigious gated community near the Silicon Valley, promises the happily-ever-after that many young couples want. But the fine print doesn't tell anyone to be careful, because "if something is too good to be true, it just might be."

For the women of Paradise Heights, the first crack in the veneer of their perfect kingdom is the break-up of a seemingly flawless marriage. The gossip mill is alive and well in the Heights, and soon everyone is speculating about what broke up Harry and DeeDee Wilder. Popular opinion says that her husband walked in on her and her lover.

DeeDee moves out, without the kids, while Harry stays behind; he works at home and occasionally at the office, but he is the primary caregiver. The two will be battling custody out in court throughout the months ahead, and the secret of just who DeeDee's lover is hovers over the storyline.

When Lyssa Harper, whose husband Ted is a typical workaholic, befriends Harry and invites him to meet the other "mommies," she has no idea what will follow. Then Harry, who has become her friend, rebuffs the other women's advances, and he is exiled. And Lyssa will be, too, if she continues the friendship.

Risking everything for her friend, Lyssa has no inkling of the events that will now unfold.

I loved this "insider tale" of life amongst the privileged. Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives felt almost like a tabloid publication, but with the added bonus of being sensitively written, and with that hint of mystery hovering over everything. Told in Lyssa's voice, in the first person narrative, the reader is privy to her thoughts, feelings, and desires.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susan Wakefield on August 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
Here's to Having your Cake and Eating it Too (p310)sums up the lives of six women stuck in the Heights of Paradise Posse. As members of the local Women's League Board in the wealthy community of Paradise Heights, we come to witness the unravelling of the lives of six mothers as they struggle against the tides of slow suburbia. The monotonous life of carpools, cashmere sweaters and casseroles gives way as news spreads of the shocking divorce of DeeDee and Harry Wilder. The slower life gets the faster the chins wag in this slice of traditionalism meets modern suburbia. This divorce sends ripples of restlessness to resonate throughout Bouganvillia Drive as, one by one, each of these women befall their fate and succumb to the temptations of boredom meets infidelity. "It's not because he doesn't trust me, it's because I don't trust myself." (p229) The dynamics of female relationships is more interesting as Brown explores the hierarchy, status and power existent between these women and their perfect McMansions with manicured lawns. Brown successfully explores the implorable nature of insecurity and boredom of marriage in suburbia and does not seem to run out of material despite the fact that this topic has been exhausted in recent years through various mediums from Desperate Housewives to Wife Swap. A broader statement perhaps on emerging societal and behavioral trends in these days of instant gratification and our growing sense of entitlement begs the question....

Are we having our cake and eating it too?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Debbie on October 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives! Josie Brown weaves a clever tale of what goes on in upscale suburbia! The characters seem so realistic. You find yourself eager to turn the page to see what happens next. It's so easy to get absorbed into this story. Josie Brown is a really good writer and a does a wonderful job with this book! I highly recommend this read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By carole lendosky on May 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read all of Josie browns books and they all were very good except one. It's been a while since this one was read but I found it engrossing and entertaining. Josie Brown has a great sense of humor as well as karma.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dina on January 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is funny, moving, and more realistic than the Desperate Housewives drama it's being compared to. I quite enjoyed the story. Lyssa, the main character, is likable and compassionate - a stark contrast with the mean girls-turned-mommies in their upscale neighborhood. She takes abandoned dad Harry under her wing, and the two become friends. From the start, it seemed to me there would be more to their relationship than meets the eye. There are a few surprises along the way, and things find a way to fall into place at the end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SkyeNoir on July 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an easy, topical, read, kind of like picking up People magazine. You won't learn anything insightful, your mind won't be expanded. A good book for lounging around the pool and not having to think too hard.

The story is set in rich suburbia, with a bunch of spoiled, generally annoying, housewives. A newly separated dad, thrown into single parenthood, is practically run down by the pack of vultures, but one of the women rises among the rest to become good friends with the guy. Of course, rumors abound about the "real" nature of their relationship. The woman realizes her so called friends are a bunch of two faced whiners, and becomes an idealist, learning she doesn't want to be like them as she once thought. Among all the unhappy marriages, back stabbing, etc. the book ends as predictably as any romantic big screen movie. If I could, I would give the book 3.5 stars, but decided to round up instead of down.
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