- File Size: 2117 KB
- Print Length: 335 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 152474493X
- Publisher: Dutton (December 31, 2019)
- Publication Date: December 31, 2019
- Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07RPJMPGM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,598 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$26.00|
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Recipe for a Perfect Wife: A Novel Kindle Edition
|Length: 335 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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—Jenny Rosenstrach, New York Times Book Review
"A captivating read, full of twists and turns. Brown weaves a thrilling story that parallels the lives of two characters who struggle with being strong, independent women in a patriarchal world."
"Brown kills it; her latest is a winner so captivating that fans of modern and old-fashioned stories about women could easily read it in one day."
—Library Journal, starred review
"Recipe for a Perfect Wife is a bold, intoxicating, page-turner. Karma Brown has long been a favorite of mine and this book is proof she just keeps getting better and better. This is a thrilling, audacious story about women daring to take control."
—Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six
"[Brown] excels at bringing the complexities of women’s lives to the page, and her latest novel questions how much has really changed for women over the last 60 years. The pacing is brisk, the characters are appealing, and both time lines are equally well realized. Thoughtful, clever, and surprisingly dark."
"Recipe for a Perfect Wife masterfully bridges the lives of two women, living sixty years apart, who refuse to fall victim to the patriarchy. While Karma Brown’s signature style remains, it’s laced with something sinister and dark. A brilliant, brooding, timely novel, fraught with tension, that packs a punch. Brown knows how to keep readers riveted until the very last page."
—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl
"Strong, well-drawn women anchor Brown's deeply thought-provoking, feminist novel. The spellbinding dual stories complement each other, raising themes of self-discovery, self-preservation and liberation for two women living eras apart."
"A sly, smart look at two women across two different decades as they navigate marriage, secrets, and society’s expectations. Brown’s vivid storytelling deftly explores the joys and limitations of the role of wife – a wonderful read."
—Fiona Davis, national bestselling author of The Chelsea Girls
"Brown skillfully alternates between Alice's modern world and Nellie's in the 1950s. With plentiful historical details (including recipes and depressingly hilarious marriage advice), the pages devoted to Nellie come to life. . . . An engaging and suspenseful look at how the patriarchy shaped women's lives in the 1950s and continues to do so today."
"I already knew that Karma Brown’s contemporary novels are exemplars of thoughtful, compelling, and truly original fiction. What I didn’t know before reading Recipe For a Perfect Wife is that she is equally at home when writing historical fiction. In her hands, the constrained and often suffocating lives of 1950s women--illuminated in a deftly handled dual narrative that alternates between the present day and 60 years ago — are revealed with real sensitivity, depth, and at times tenderness. And true to Karma Brown, this is also a nail-biter of a tale, and one that kept me up long past my bedtime. This is a delicious and thoroughly satisfying book."
—Jennifer Robson, bestselling author of The Gown
"Karma Brown has outdone herself with best book yet. Dual storylines set decades apart offer one of the most emotionally stirring explorations of women’s lives I have ever read. Recipe for a Perfect Wifeis page-turning look at identity, love, legacy, marriage, and yes--food. I devoured it!"
—Jamie Brenner, bestselling author of Drawing Home
“[A] captivating novel. . . . Clever, dark and empowering.”
"Recipe for a Perfect Wife is as witty, charming, and insightful as anything Karma Brown has written to date, but it’s also got something more: it cuts straight to the heart of modern marriage by going back in time. Flawless transitions between past and present remind us of how far we’ve come while Brown’s penetrating prose deftly underscores the importance of staying the course on the journey ahead. This timely novel is alarming and unforgettable, illuminating and ominous—and perfect for your next book club discussion!"
—Marissa Stapley, bestselling author of The Last Resort
"Recipe for a Perfect Wife is that wonderful combination of fun to read, thought provoking, and mystery. Told in the voices of two women living in different decades and sprinkled with recipes and advice on how to be a good wife, it makes the reader consider how the roles of women have changed and how they’ve stayed the same. Karma Brown made me smile and gasp in equal measure, and to reach for my mom’s old recipe box."
—Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Club
"Recipe for a Perfect Wife is a time-hopping, dark domestic mystery, sprinkled with a dash of female empowerment and a few vintage baking tips. . . . Recipe for a Perfect Wife ends in a wonderfully sly way, best served without any spoilers, other than to say that sometimes history does repeat itself."
"A positively captivating story awaits you in Recipe For A Perfect Wife. . . . A page turner from start to finish."
—Seattle Book Review
"As always, Brown entertains as she provokes thought and discussion. Perfect Wife is not as straightforward as it seems at first glance . . . (We won’t reveal the intriguing plot twist.) Let’s just say that Nellie brings an increasingly sinister and unexpected element to the plot, which is all the richer for it."
—The Florida Times-Union
"Readers will enjoy watching both women take charge in their lives no matter what the cost."
—The Parkersburg News & Sentinel
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Reflecting on Nellie, a 1950s housewife, whose connection to the past is her mother. She taught young Nellie how to garden and to cook. Both skills that have come in handy and made her self-sufficient. But does a girl ever stop needing or loving her mother?
In the present day, we see Alice and her husband who arrive in Nellie’s long vacant house, unaware of the previous residents or their history. With troubles of their own and secrets that they are keeping from each other, slowly, the dilapidated house has a way of shedding light.
Two women. Two different eras. One will help another in ways never imagined. While the 1950s might seem so far removed and irrelevant from today, this story allows a closer look at just how similar things might be. Especially for women. It’s about women taking control of what they want, need, and ultimately standing up for themselves.
A fascinating look at what was yesterday and what is today.
The husband is barely drawn. The "best friend" takes vapid to a new level. The mother is presented as a has-been (at 60?) when actually she could have been a rich character.
The 1960's character is no more believable, although her victimhood borders on credible. Her skill with herbs is a poorly presented gimmick. Her husband is a pitiful and mean but barely revealed.
Like the author, I have an affinity for all things midcentury. My collection of 1950's-60's women's magazines is not to be outdone. I have the further advantage of having been alive in the 50's, with genuine if pediatric memories of how women actually lived in that era. Yes, housewives read Good Housekeeping (GH) and Better Homes & Gardens, and even McCall's. They sometimes clipped recipes or "escaped" into the fiction, tried out sewing patterns or read the ads. But beyond an occasional stolen half-hour with GH here or there, their lives were no more about following the dictates of Good Housekeeping than any 21st century woman's life is about living life based on a current women's magazine's blueprint.
For the record, in the 50's people did not say they were "over the moon," nor did they wear tennis bracelets.
It's fun to be into the 50's. But the recipe here is for poorly presented characters doing absolutely idiotic things under the guise of "finding their way." Or something. . If you want some nostalgia, stick with the magazines.
As the book wore on, I found myself strongly disliking the "modern" character. The juxtaposition of these two just became too stark. The woman in the past dealt with seemingly insurmountable issues and terrible situations; whereas the modern protagonist seemed to be dealing with trivialities by comparison. Trying to equate the two just cheapened the parallel the author was trying to draw.
Overall, I'd say this is a reasonably enjoyable casual read, but it won't be making any "best" lists for me.