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Sleeping with Ward Cleaver Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Love Spell (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0505527472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0505527479
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,674,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Somewhere along the line, Claire Doolittle’s handsome, carefree, exciting husband, Jack, turned into staid, solemn, know-it-all Ward Cleaver (of Leave It to Beaver fame). Claire and Jack’s life together is so dull and regimented that even sex is performed according to schedule—every Sunday night, come rain or shine. The lack of romance in her life begins eating away at Claire. She craves passion and desire. Enter “Todd the Bod,” an old flame. Claire is torn. Does she want an exciting love life badly enough to leave Jack? Should she fight or flee? In Gardiner’s emotionally realistic picture of a stale relationship, it’s easy for women to identify with Claire, from her physical midlife slump to her emotional one. And the resigned wife, the oblivious husband, and the enticing blast from the past are such well-crafted characters readers will swear they know them. Fans of such books as Cassandra King’s The Sunday Wife (2002) and Susan Wiggs’ The Ocean Between Us (2004) will enjoy Gardiner’s. --Shelley Mosley

Review

"REVIEWER TOP PICK AND LIFETIME KEEPER! Jenny Gardiner brings to life Claire Doolittle with such vibrancy that I feel I know her. With her sharp wit and hilarious descriptions, Ms. Gardiner has a delightful voice that left me wanting more." -- Vee, Night Owl Romance

"The "Bridget Jones Diary" for all married and harried mommies! And perhaps a good gift to give to our younger and single girlfriends-it's a gentle and humorous way to give them a glimpse of what's to come . . . Sleeping With Ward Cleaver (is) the perfect romantic comedy for a 30-something Mommy, who still wants to be a sexy and sassy gal, despite the spit up encrusted on all of her clothing. I can only hope Rob Reiner and friends, will put this sassy book on the big screen!" -- MamaLit.com

"A fun, sassy read! A cross between Erma Bombeck and Candace Bushnell, reading Jenny Gardiner is like sinking your teeth into a big frosted chocolate cupcake...you just want more." -- Meg Cabot, author of the Princess Diaries, Queen of Babble, & the Heather Wells Mysteries

"Honest, real and wickedly funny, Sleeping with Ward Cleaver is a keeper!" -- Jane Porter, author of Flirting with Forty

"In this "woman's fiction," debut novelist Jenny Gardiner achieves the difficult, if not impossible, task of creating sexual and romantic tension between characters who have been married more than a few years. And they said it couldn't be done. The risk with writing about a married couple is how to sustain the conflict without getting shrill or soapy. Gardiner pulls it off. I wanted to see Jack and Claire fight for their marriage and their romance.

Armchair Interviews says: Sleeping with Ward Cleaver is a clever and engaging romance with humor and heart" -- Carrie Padgett, Armchair Interviews


More About the Author

Hi! I'm the author of the #1 Kindle bestselling novel SLIM TO NONE; the award-winning novel SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER; the memoir WINGING IT: A MEMOIR OF CARING FOR A VENGEFUL PARROT WHO'S DETERMINED TO KILL ME (Simon Spotlight/March 2010); ANYWHERE BUT HERE; ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE; and WHERE THE HEART IS; as well as the essay collection NAKED MAN ON MAIN STREET. I also have a short story in Wade Rouse's fabulous anthology of humorous dog stories, I'M NOT THE BIGGEST BITCH IN THIS RELATIONSHIP that features such authors as Jen Lancaster, Rita Mae Brown, Sarah Pekkanen, and more. I've published two stories for Kindle: THE GALL OF IT ALL: And None of the Three F's Rhymes with Duck, and IDOL WORSHIP: A Lost Week with the Wackos and Wannabes at American Idol Auditions.

I've had pieces appear in Ladies Home Journal, the Washington Post and on NPR's Day to Day. I joke that I honed my fiction writing skills while working as a publicist for a US Senator. Other jobs I've held have included: an orthodontic assistant (learning quite readily that I wasn't cut out for a career in polyester), a waitress (probably my highest-paying job), a TV reporter, a pre-obituary writer, and a photographer (claim to fame: being hired to shoot Prince Charles--with a camera, silly!). I live in Virginia with my husband, three kids, two dogs, one cat, one rabbit and a gregarious parrot. In my free time I study Italian, dream of traveling to exotic locales, and feel very guilty for rarely attempting to clean the house. Visit me at my website, www.jennygardiner.net; my blog, www.jennygardiner.net/blog/ ; my facebook fan page http://www.facebook.com/jennygardinerbooks , or twitter http://twitter.com/jennygardiner

Customer Reviews

I read this book and laughed until the tears ran down my face.
S. Sonjia Smith
A very funny and entertaining book which all will enjoy and compare their own personal experiences.
R. C.
Instead of the man she fell in love with, he ended up more like Ward Cleaver.
J. Kaye Oldner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Butterscotch on February 29, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The cover is so cute that I couldn't resist purchasing this book. The back cover makes the book sound like an engaging romantic comedy, but the story is anything but. This isn't a light and fluffy romance, or even a romance at all, as the two main characters are in the midst of a pretty bad marriage. Sure, there is some humor, but it's dark humor, a black comedy for sure. Claire Dolittle is dissatisfied with her life and marriage, as is her husband Jack, a man she refers to as Ward Cleaver because their marriage has deteriorated into a 50s sitcom - Claire is basically a stay-at-home mom to 5 kids while Jack gets to have all the fun and issue all the household orders. Through flashbacks interspersed throughout the chapters we can see how their courtship/marriage began and how it came to be now. The story wasn't fun and light, but it was entertaining all the same. If you're looking for chick-lit or romance then you might be disappointed, but for just a general escapism focused on marriage and life, this might work. Three stars for being entertaining, but average.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By S. Sonjia Smith on January 23, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sometimes, when the work of mothering and marriage are just a little too much, and you just want a break, you realize that what you honestly need is to laugh more and worry less. Sleeping with Ward Cleaver will give you the break that you need.

I read this book and laughed until the tears ran down my face. Ms. Gardiner nails the absurdity of the prosaic with a light touch that "gets" both Ward and June. You'll laugh, but you'll also cheer for our heroine, a put upon housewife who has lost touch with who she is and why that matters as she races around taking care of everyone's to do list but her own.

Is she a great mom? No. Is she a perfect wife? Nah. She is everywoman, living and learning and somehow regaining a sense of what matters most and who she really misses, herself.

I highly recommend this book. Give yourself a break (in several senses of the word).
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Therese Gilardi on January 22, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Sleeping with Ward Cleaver" is what would have resulted had Erma Bombeck and David Sedaris ever collaborated on a book, a sly, laugh out loud funny story about life and love in twenty-first century America. Like Bombeck and Sedaris, Jenny Gardiner finds the humor in both the everyday and the absurd. When the first person narrator of "Sleeping with Ward Cleaver" wakes up one day and realizes that her previously easygoing husband has morphed into a modern version of sitcom character Ward Cleaver, she loses her precarious balance, and sets off on a comical, frantic adventure that will change her and "Ward" forever. This fast-paced read has just enough twists and turns to keep the reader surprised. An entertaining tale with an appealing protagonist who's not ashamed to admit her insecurities or go after what she wants. A winner!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Dent on July 19, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jenny has hit a real home run with her book Sleeping with Ward Cleaver! Its an hysterically funny Sex in the City type book to enjoy at the beach or by the pool. Jenny has developed wonderfully believeable characters in Claire and Jack Ward. Women everywhere will be able to identlfy and empathize with wife and stay-at-home mom Claire. Claire sets out on an adventure to get her husband Jack's attention. Along the way, Claire learns alot about herself, about Jack, and about their marriage. You'll want to join Claire on this hilarious adventure! It's an absolute hoot of a good time and a real page turner! Enjoy!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Scott Harris on January 25, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Okay, Before I type my review, I am a woman. The name on my Amazon account is Scott, my husband. Here is my review: If you are married and have children, then this is a must read! It is extremely witty and actually made me giggle out loud a lot! But also very serious at times. Great overall debut novel! I believe Jenny Gardiner has a bright career ahead of her!
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pattie on February 22, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this novel up a days ago, before seeing the author profiled in "Writers Digest" (March 2008), so I was so excited to read it!

I thought "Sleeping with Ward Cleaver" was a good novel overall. Strong voice with a mom-lit feel to it, and a sassy likeable heroine. The message about marriage is superb, as well, and I liked how the plot played out.

My only problem with the book was the language. Too many g-d's and f-bombs for my taste.

Otherwise, a super read. I bet it'll be on beaches everywhere this summer as the buzz around this novel continues.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on February 1, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this "woman's fiction," debut novelist Jenny Gardiner achieves the difficult, if not impossible, task of creating sexual and romantic tension between characters who have been married more than a few years. And they said it couldn't be done.

Sleeping With Ward Cleaver is the fast-paced and funny story of Claire and Jack Doolittle. Claire feels Jack has morphed over the years into Ward Cleaver. Only problem is, she's not June and she doesn't like Ward--umm, Jack's propensity to scold the kids and give her tedious to-do lists.

Gardiner does a great job creating realistic and believable characters. Jack has a good reason for changing from the sensitive and romantic man Claire fell in love with to the distant and demanding bread winner. In spite of his flaws, he remains a sympathetic character and we root for him to finally wake up and listen to Claire. We have faith he can do it.

Claire's life is further complicated when her college boyfriend makes contact with her via email. Writing and reminiscing with Todd helps Claire verbalize what has gone wrong in her marriage and how to make it right.

Claire is a dedicated mother who obviously loves her kids and her husband. She misses what she used to have and when it appears Jack is infatuated with someone else, Claire takes matters into her own hands to learn the truth. She follows Jack on a business trip and discovers that the problems in the marriage are of her making too, not just Jack's.

The risk with writing about a married couple is how to sustain the conflict without getting shrill or soapy. Gardiner pulls it off. I wanted to see Jack and Claire fight for their marriage and their romance.

Armchair Interviews says: Sleeping With Ward Cleaver is a clever and engaging romance with humor and heart.
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