The pretend wife

Bridget Asher

Large print - 2009

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Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press 2009.
Large print ed
Physical Description
379 p. (large print) ; 23 cm
Main Author
Bridget Asher (-)
Review by Booklist Review

Gwen is happily married to affable, dependable Peter when an old college boyfriend returns to her life. Elliot needs her help: he wants to grant his dying mother's last wish by bringing a wife to his family's lake house. At Peter's playful urging, she agrees to pretend to be Elliot's wife for one weekend. In the idyllic setting, with Elliot and his sister focused on making the most of their mother's last days, it's easy for Gwen to question what might have been. Back home, her relationship with Peter seems superficial. When faced with betrayal and confusion, she turns to her widowed father for long-needed advice about love. Asher follows up My Husband's Sweethearts (2008) with another novel that balances the lighter side of life with the sadder realities. Surprising, poignant moments pave the way for a too-pat yet still satisfyingly happy ending.--Walker, Aleksandra Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

With still more to say about marriage, fidelity and the importance of being wittily earnest, Asher (My Husband's Sweethearts)-Julianna Baggott's adult fiction pseudonym-brings an abundance of warmth and wisdom to this tale of lost-and-found love. Married woman Gwen Merchant agrees to pretend to be the newlywed of former beau Elliott Hull to appease his dying mom. Gwen, smothering in a marriage to Peter, jumps at the chance for a redo at an abruptly ended college romance, and it's a slippery slope that Gwen slides down with passion and verve, falling in love with Elliott and becoming attached to his sister and her precocious kids and the imperious and uncannily perceptive matriarch, Vivian. But while weaving one faux relationship, Gwen unthreads the very real sadness in her own tattered family, including a widowed dad and a marriage that hides more than it confides. It's more than a little disappointing, if not surprising, that Asher inserts an improbably happy ending to push the sweet and funny Gwen into a trite epiphany. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Kirkus Book Review

Flippancy gives way to more affecting emotions in a second novel from Asher (My Husband's Sweethearts, 2008) about a married woman who, as a favor, pretends to be the wife of her ex-boyfriend. Gwen Merchant lost her mother when she was five in a drowning accident from which she was mysteriously saved. Her caring but undemonstrative father spoke little of the tragedy and never filled Gwen's emotional gap, and neither does Peter, her perfectly nice yet somehow underwhelming anesthesiologist husband of three years. Then Gwen bumps into Elliot, a boyfriend from college days, and ends up agreeing to stand in as the wife he lied about to his cancer-stricken mother Vivian. The weekend visit to Vivian at her lovely lake house is both idyllic and disconcerting, throwing into the air many of Gwen's ideas about family and marriage. Vivian sees through the deception but gives her blessing to Gwen, who must now come to terms with her feelings for Elliot, Peter and most of all her mother. Some clunky bits of plot mechanism and meditations on love and commitment are required before all players are liberated to reach desired conclusions. Although the book could have used a stronger foundation, it largely succeeds with the aid of humor, insight and an appealing heroine. If this one has not yet been optioned for film, it soon will be. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.