- Hardcover: 410 pages
- Publisher: Viking Adult (June 13, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0670034800
- ISBN-13: 978-0670034802
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,689,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Swapping Lives Hardcover – June 13, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
This fun but familiar novel from Green (The Other Woman) follows the seemingly perfect lives of two women—one married with children, one single with a high-powered job—who wish to see how the other half lives, only to have the misfortune to get what they wish for. When Amber Winslow, a wealthy Connecticut housewife replete with wealthy husband, full-time nanny and golden retriever, grows tired of her town's vicious social scene, she responds to British magazine Poise!'s search for a subject to swap lives with one of the magazine's London editors, Vicky Townsley. Serious and successful, Vicky is longing for the husband and children she doesn't have. While both women leave home on a yellow-brick-road quest to find the missing piece of their lives—a sense of purpose for Amber, a suitable mate for Vicky—what they find instead is the saccharine obvious: they already have everything they really want. Green's latest, like her more inspired ventures, is hard to put down, thanks to affable leading characters and interesting, if not particularly revealing, commentary on the cross-Atlantic cultural gap. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Reality shows and contests are a hot topic for fiction these days, and Green (The Other Woman, 2005) is the latest writer to jump on the bandwagon. Green's vehicle is a Poise! magazine contest that gives a married woman the opportunity to switch places with Poise! features director Vicky Townsley, who at 35 is professionally fulfilled but unhappy that she's not yet found a man. She's hoping she may have met the one in Jamie Donnelly, a handsome Irish comedian who has a reputation as a womanizer. Across the pond in Highfield, Connecticut, Amber Winslow has what seems like the perfect life with her husband, Richard, and her two adorable children. But Amber is tired of keeping up with her competitive friends, and she sends a letter in to Poise! never expecting to win. Readers probably won't be surprised that Vicky and Amber learn to appreciate their own lives thanks to the switch, but they will enjoy watching Green peel the layers of the women's lives back, highlighting that both women have issues they need to change and others they need to accept. Green is a popular chick-lit writer, so expect demand. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
Amber Winslow is a stay-at-home mom who had been a practicing attorney. She and her husband are extremely wealthy due to the husbands job on Wall Street. However, Amber is unsatisfied with her life. She has everything. She lives in a beautiful neighborhood outside of Manhattan. She spends tons of money on her clothes and her lifestyle.
The editor of "Poise" magazine comes up with a plan. She wants a successful single woman and a married mom to switch places to find out which lifestyle is the best. Vicky is chosen to switch lives with Amber the stay-at-home wealthy mom.
Once their lives are swapped, Vicky and Amber are surprised to find that they miss their lives. The insights that they glean from their switch help them to make changes in their lives going forward.
This is a fast chick lit read that I found enjoyable.
Vicki, the features director at Poise magazine in England, is single and wonders what it would be like to be married with children. She decides to find out by writing an article for Poise magazine after swapping lives with a married woman for a month. Amber, a housewife living in the Connecticut suburbs, exhausted by trying to "keep up with the Joneses", is the perfect swap partner. She is married with two beautiful children. It seems like an intriguing premise, but it took over halfway through the book before the swap even took place and honestly, the build up to the swap was rather boring.
Amber really got on my nerves. So caught up in her society lifestyle, she was forever buying all the expensive brand-name clothing and hiring ridiculously expensive interior designers to decorate her home, all to impress her society "friends" who were constantly judging her and talking behind her back. We're supposed to feel sorry for her choice to live this shallow lifestyle? She rarely spent time with her children, but I felt we were supposed to be sympathetic to her plight. I felt she was a shallow, neglectful mother, leaving the nanny to take care of everything in regard to her children.
When the two women swap lives, predictably, they miss their own lives. I didn't learn anything new here. It was an ok book and was an easy read, but seemed quite shallow (at times outright annoying). Very predictable.