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16 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative, fast and fun
The book lifts the veil of perfection and happiness from "rich and respectable" families. The writing is clear and the pace quick as Walker describes the motives behind the endless quest for power and prestige once substantial money has been established. Social Lives is an in depth look at the deals women and men strike to allow their privileged and complicated lives...
Published on October 22, 2009 by EC

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable but not my favourite
I was quite disappointed in this book, a bit shallow with really not much of a story line. I have enjoyed previous books by this author so was surprised that I didn't enjoy it. Maybe coming from a 3rd world country I found the so called ups an downs experienced by these woman just a bit pathetic but it does convey to the reader that money certainly insn't everything,...
Published 9 months ago by Carol Cunliff


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative, fast and fun, October 22, 2009
This review is from: Social Lives (Hardcover)
The book lifts the veil of perfection and happiness from "rich and respectable" families. The writing is clear and the pace quick as Walker describes the motives behind the endless quest for power and prestige once substantial money has been established. Social Lives is an in depth look at the deals women and men strike to allow their privileged and complicated lives possible. Walker writes in an unflinching style as she reveals her characters' attempts to transcend self-destructive behavior after too many of their justifications lead to the loss of what they truly cherish and value.

The book's pace does not sacrifice intimate exploration of the characters: Husbands and wives try to discern true love in their mature marriages; teenagers turn their first sexual encounters into status symbols while ignorant of the consequences. Walker's plot progresses to when these characters discover that their choices are less than what they believed they had negotiated or won.

By the end of the novel I was hooked and wanted to know more about the future of the characters. How would Caitlin react if she ever discovered her mystery friend? Could David survive a trial? Can Jacks ever forgive herself? Will any of these people ever let go of their past? In sum, Social Lives is a fascinating window into the coveted lives of the affluent, which are filled with as much hope and angst, humor and disillusion as any family.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fun, suspenseful, and thought-provoking, September 13, 2009
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This review is from: Social Lives (Hardcover)
I read this book in one day - couldn't put it down. It's a fun, suspenseful, and thought-provoking look at a segment of American society that really does exist, however incredible that may seem. This is as fun to read as chick lit, but much deeper. It really makes you consider the role of upper middle class women who have an implied deal with their husbands when they stay home to raise the kids while their husbands keep working. The plot was fascinating and the character development was excellent - you really get the know the characters.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining look at the rich and not famous, September 6, 2009
This review is from: Social Lives (Hardcover)
In Winchester, Connecticut, the four wives meet to plan and host an event at Winchester Academy. Rosalyn, married to billionaire Barlow, is the social leader who decides who is in and who is not. Newcomer Sara gave up investigative reporting to marry Wall Street guru Nick, but has doubts about a second child while they are over budget in renovating their McMansion. After sneak peeks into her husband's locked attach case, Jacks fears that David's hedge fund has collapsed even as she worries the Feds are looking into potential illegal deals and loan sharks want instant payment. Eva likes her role as a wife and as a relationship saboteur.

Eva knows Jacks and Barlow are having an affair; instead of ignoring it or outing them, she arranges for Queen Rosalyn to believe Sara is the other woman. Meanwhile Rosalyn worries about her fourteen years old daughter Caitlin going hot and heavy with student hunk Kyle; thus the event in which a sexologist will warn parents that teens prefer Friends with Benefits rather than commitments. Caitlin wants more from Kyle, but knows the student queen of mean Amanda is manipulating both of them while she turns to a friend on the net for advice and solace.

This is an entertaining look at the affluent who asks themselves is that all there is as they are discontented with their lives. Rosalyn, Sara and Jacks are developed enough for their disgruntlement to seem genuine though few readers will feel any empathy towards the golden spoon crowd. The behind the scenes manipulator Eva is underdeveloped especially why she enjoys being Machiavelli in Connecticut. Still fans who like reading about the rich and not famous will want to read the SOCIAL LIVES of FOUR WIVES.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glad I'm not Rich, October 3, 2009
This review is from: Social Lives (Hardcover)
As I said when I reviewed Walker's first novel, Four Wives, if this is what being rich is all about, I'm glad I'm not. The women in the story are all in the same social group and all claim to be friends, but the back-stabbing, petty put-downs and "me first" attitudes many of the carry don't endear them to me. The character who meant the most to me was the 14 year old daughter, Caitlin. She was a girl in need of parenting and what she got instead were playmates and nannies (and I'm not knocking nannies--good childcare workers are worth their weight in gold, but they aren't parents and should have to substitute for parents).

I enjoyed the book. It had a plotline that resolved in a reasonably satisfying manner, though I wouldn't exactly call it a happy ending. It was really more about the characters than the plot.
The book is mass-market fiction with sexual activity between people who are not married, but no vivid descriptions thereof. It doesn't glorify that activity; rather it comes across as yet another example of how money can't buy happiness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quick, fun read, January 24, 2013
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This review is from: Social Lives (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this book — it wasn't anything to write home about, but it was just what I was looking for. Something that kept my attention, I got into it quickly, and interesting story, etc. I would recommend reading it, just for something fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read if you want to know what it is like to be a socialite!, October 29, 2010
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This review is from: Social Lives (Hardcover)
Reading this book makes me happy that I am just a middle of the road kind of gal!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Miserable lives, June 16, 2014
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This review is from: Social Lives (Hardcover)
But they entertain us...Wendy shows us that money definitely does not purchase happiness. Will they or won't they be happy in the end?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun to read, May 23, 2014
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This review is from: Social Lives (Kindle Edition)
Very well written, u have to get used to the author's style...but she us very talented. Fun to read about the rich people in this fictional town...because I know if very similar actual tones that do exist in CT and other parts of New England
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5.0 out of 5 stars great read, April 15, 2014
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This review is from: Social Lives (Kindle Edition)
This was a great book. Interesting,yet relatable, characters. Blew through it in 2 days of vacation. Can't wait to read more by this author.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Going On, February 13, 2014
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Joanne JoJo (Flint, Michigan) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Social Lives (Kindle Edition)
I couldn't finish this. Too many characters. I was lost and overwhelmed. I couldn't connect to so many people and their stories. I may give it another chance one day.
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Social Lives
Social Lives by Wendy Walker (Hardcover - September 1, 2009)
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