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Wives Behaving Badly Hardcover – July 6, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rose, the protagonist in the bestselling Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman, stood tall when Minty Lloyd stole both her husband and her job. Buchan now gives Minty the spotlight as she discovers the dangers of getting what you want. Picking up seven years later, Minty and Nathan are married and have twin boys, but Minty's life as a second wife is more difficult than she'd anticipated: Nathan's friends shun her, she's deemed a threat by other married women, Nathan's adult children despise her and full-time motherhood isn't her cuppa tea. So Minty goes back to work at a London television production company, only to find young, unattached and ambitious colleagues nipping at her heels. Things go from manic to molten after Rose reenters the picture and a tragedy sends what's left of the family into a tailspin. Buchan keeps a lot of balls in the air, but readers may wish she'd written for depth and not breadth, as the narrative can feel like a series of vignettes hemmed together. Still, readers who appreciate Buchan's blend of humor and poignancy will find a trove of it. (On sale July 24)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

When we last saw Minty (Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman, 2003), she had successfully lured Nathan Lloyd away from Rose, his wife of 25 years, and established herself in his comfortable life and in his house. Now the mother of twins, Minty has little time for Nathan or the boys as she tries to restart her career. She knows Nathan is unhappy and maybe unwell, but she's too busy to worry too much about it until she discovers that he has been seeing Rose again. Suddenly Nathan is gone, leaving Minty alone with children she didn't know she wanted, a career she's not sure she can handle, and money problems she thought she was done with. But worst of all is the guilt on so many fronts. Told through the befuddled but honest voice of Minty, the book moves carefully and realistically through the stages of grief and growing self-awareness to a satisfying and realistic conclusion. Not as heartwarming as the first installment, but no less involving. Elizabeth Dickie
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; 1st edition (July 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670034886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670034888
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,516,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It is this maturity that helps the reader to feel compassion for Minty.
Marcy G. George
We didn't know too much about Minty in that book, other than from Rose's point of view, and frankly, there was little to like.
Wendy Kaplan
Unfortunately, Minty was the most one-dimensional character in "Revenge," and this book did little to add meat to her bones.
Julie Hedlund

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marcy G. George on July 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
While this book is written from Minty's point of view, Buchan brings to the fore all the feelings of the various people that were affected by the second marriage. You feel the anger radiating from Rose's adult children. Rose and Minty maintain their icy relationship, and family friends have mixed loyalties. Rose's successful career and personal happiness assure the reader that there can be life after divorce. Nathan seems to be drowning in the turmoil created by his two families and appears to regret having created a second family to support and is often worn out by the demands of being a 54 year old father of 7 year old twins.

Love, anger, hurt and sadness are interwoven in a realistic and difficult second marriage. It is hard to be a second wife to Rose. As Minty matures, she begins to understand how she actually broke up Nathan's first family and will never replace Rosé. It is this maturity that helps the reader to feel compassion for Minty. While you "Can't go back", and undo the past, you can make the best of a difficult situation. And things do get very difficult! A very satisfying read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Martin on July 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No, this book wasn't as good as "Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman" but what I think this book has too is a true connection to the way people really act and are - it is definitely not a part of the "chick-lit" that is popular and which the title may suggest. As a woman long married and about the age of Rose (the wronged wife), I felt that her reactions to the younger woman who stole her husband are realistic - I think she and the second wife behave like real people might - the dialogue seems natural and heart breaking at times - all factors that made me like the book.

In the second half of the book when the young wife begins to question her actions of taking a man away from his wife and children, I became fully engaged in reading the book. If you want to read something different from any other book you've read, then give this book a chance.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD
All who cheered for Rose, the wife who was usurped by a young mistress, Minty, in Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman will undoubtedly want hear Wives Behaving Badly in order to follow the fortunes of these women and, of course, Nathan, ex husband to one and now husband to another.

It's an interesting scenario Elizabeth Buchan has crafted. There are jillions of stories about the fate of mistresses but few follow a mistress who becomes a wife.

At first, Minty was ecstatic at the thought of actually becoming Nathan's wife. But, for her, matrimony isn't the exact bed of roses that she had anticipated. It is now some seven years later and the joys of parenting their twin boys aren't quite as pronounced as they once were. (This feeling is exacerbated after Minty takes a sneak peek at Nathan's diary). Perhaps this is because Nathan's job is at a bit of a standstill and, after all, he does have two grown children from his first marriage, Poppy and Sam. Poppy doesn't care for her stepmother one little bit and she's not shy about showing it.

On the other hand Rose has really blossomed. She's now a successful travel writer with TV appearances to her credit. Just how Minty copes with life not turning out as she had once planned is what this story is all about. Don't expect Wives Behaving Badly to deserve the subtitle Rose's Revenge because Buchan has a few surprises in store.

Ably read by classically trained actress Justine Eyre, this is a fresh look at what could happen the second time around.

- Gail Cooke
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Magda S. on February 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like Elizabeth Buchan's incisive yet gently writing style and her sharp characterizations, but I had a few problems with this novel. First, Minty seems too different from her character in Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman. Second, there was little plot in this book, so the narratve had to be very character-driven, but without strong characters, it went almost nowhere. The wives in question did not behave badly at all, under the circumstances of the one "big event" of the plot. But then again, there was not much revenge in the first book so maybe this author's book's titles are wildly exaggerated to hint at things more exciting than they really are. She does have a really nice eye for detail, and for the ups and downs of modern life, marriage, and childrearing. but can a person like MInty, who was so shallow in the first book, truly become so transformed in six years?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Kaplan on March 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This sequel to "Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman" gives us a look at the "other woman," Minty Lloyd, 7 or so years after she stole Nathan, her friend and colleague's husband. That friend and colleague, Rose, was someone to greatly admire in the first book, as she reeled from the blow but handled her pain and anguish with grace and strength, and prepared to move on with her life.

We didn't know too much about Minty in that book, other than from Rose's point of view, and frankly, there was little to like. How could there be?

Now we see life from Minty's point of view. She is now the mother of twin boys, Felix and Lucas, and an unhappy wife, unhappy mother, unhappy woman and VERY VERY hard to like. Her boys are a drain on her. Her husband is a drain on her. Even her au pair, Eve, is a drain on her. She is working part time but wants to leave her boys, against Nathan's wishes, to work full time. She is miserable and whiny and so awful that it was hard to even turn the pages. Was this on purpose, or was there something the author wanted me to see that I missed?

Anyway, as another reviewer so aptly pointed out, Minty whines her way through her life, unspeakably hard and even cruel, in my mind, to her husband, and even her children on a different level, although she loves them. Then tragedy hits.

The second half of the book is the forced interaction between Rose and Minty, Rose's adult children, Poppy and Sam and their respective spouses, Minty's loyal (or maybe not) friends, and other interesting characters. But it is Rose and Minty who must finish the dance Minty started when she stole Nathan, and for the life of me, I found it hard to care.

This book is well-written, as are all of Buchan's books, but very hard going and a difficult read.
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