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

4.2 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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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
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439173176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439173176
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.2 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: #2,127,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just happened on this book and after reading the reviews I thought that this would be a book that would capture my attention. It was!!! I loved the storyline and the book is written from the different views of a number of people. This is my favorite style of writing. I read this over two days. It was also very captivating and I was never bored.

I look forward to reading her next book. This author will go on my auto purchase list.
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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition
editMy Review
Apr 16, 2014
rating 4 of 5 stars
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status Read in April, 2014
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review I couldn't have been more surprised. When going on a long ride, I amuse myself with listening to a book on CD (or tape since my car is actually old enough to have a tape player! ) The Flying J Truck stop carries many items including DVD's, CD's, and Audio Books. I often stop and check them out since the prices seem to be reasonable but I don't usually expect to find something great. This book was one that I found there and I figured I would give it a try.

Josie Brown nailed it! Her depiction of an affluent suburb and the adults and children that live there was perfect. Lyssa finds herself reflecting on the life of a neighbor, Harry after his wife has left him and rumors have been flying. She wonders what it is like to be a man at home taking care of the house and kids and figures he might need some support. Being a kind hearted person, Lyssa invites Harry to meet the other wives on the neighborhood board. Harry accepts Lyssa's invitation and meets the other women only to find that they are looking for a far "deeper" friendship than he wants to offer. By setting boundaries, he puts off the other women and finds himself not quite so welcome in the group anymore. Lyssa then gets the idea that perhaps it would be good for him to become friends with the two other men that she knows that work from home. Oddly enough, Lyssa finds herself more comfortable with the men than with the women on the board. She and Harry have become good friends and are strong supporters of one another so of course, rumors begin to develop about their relationship.
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book? Why did it have to end? It was such a fun read, I was honestly mad when I realized I had just flipped the last page. It had drama, love, mystery and even a little twist at the end. Read it. You won't want to put it down!
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