The Second Wives Club

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The Second Wives Club By Jane MooreThe Second Wives Club‘ is an absolutely brilliant read! I had not read anything by the author, Jane Moore, before but I was drawn to the title because it sounded intriguing, and also as I could be classified as one of the ever growing band of second wives myself! So, I was interested about what she had to say purely through a fictional point of view.

The second wives club consists of four women, all who are married to or live with men who have been married before! Having said this though, all their situations are quite different. The four meet together quite regularly for lunch in order to provide moral support and practical advice for each other.

The way the book is written, each chapter tends to follow each of the women in turn, and then after we have done the rounds of all four, the next chapter tends to cover the lunch where they share all their tales of woe, etc.

The first of the four wives is Alison. We know right from the start of the book that she is going to be in for a rough ride when her new husband’s ex-wife gatecrashes their wedding and drags away their children. From then on, the ex-wife Sofia does not allow Alison any contact with the boys, and this of course creates a division of loyalties for her new husband, Luca.

The second of the wives is Fiona who is married to David. They have a young daughter, Jessica, but David also has a teenage son, Jake, from his first marriage. Fiona struggles to have a reasonable relationship with Jake, which is difficult because he keeps hearing bad things about Fiona from his mother.

Thirdly, there is Julia. Her situation is different again, as she is married to James who has no children, but he has an overly friendly relationship with his ex wife Deborah. Julia can’t understand this as she is everything Deborah is not – she is classy and sophisticated whereas Deborah is frumpy and dowdy! (at least in her eyes, she is!)

Finally, there is Susan, who I think has the most difficult situation of all. She used to be friends with both Nick and his wife Caitlin, who tragically died suddenly one day. Susan came along and helped Nick with his daughter Millie until eventually the relationship grew and they started living together. Susan forever seems to be competing with a ghost – there are photos of Caitlin all over the house, and Caitlin’s parents forever hovering at the sidelines! Susan often feels just a little taken for granted as you could well imagine!

All of their stories are interwoven together well, and I feel that each of the four women is sensitively portrayed. As the book progresses they each have their own crises and difficulties to overcome, and all are too patently aware that it is not always easy being the second wife!

About halfway through the story the issue of babies emerge for the majority of the women. Some want them whereas others do not or the husbands do not. This is often quite a tricky area in a second marriage, particularly when the husband already has children by the first wife. You really start sympathising with the women at this stage. There was one part which was so well written and so astute and reminded me of many times in my own life, and I’m sure many other women will recognise this too! – One of the women’s period is late so she does one of those two minute pregnancy tests. While waiting to discover the results she covers a full gamut of emotions – convincing herself that her breasts are tender and her stomach bloated, fiddling with all sorts of things to pass the time (two minutes can feel more like two hours when you are waiting for something like this!), and then doing as many things as she possibly can in order to delay the moment when she finds out the truth! When I read this, I so recognised what I had been through many times myself – ‘been there, done that, got the t-shirt!’ I thought.

As I was reading this book, I was racing though it because I was enjoying it so much, but at the same time I didn’t want it to finish! It is written in such a way that you really feel involved in the story – and I’m sure that this would be the case for all women – not just second wives!

Partly, this enjoyment comes from the wry humour which accompanies a lot of the story telling. In the acknowledgements Jane Moore thanks a number of second wives who have so willingly and humorously imparted their frustrations! (I’m sure, like myself, there are many second wives out there who also feel they could write a book based on their situation and what you do need at times is a very good sense of humour!) Part of the humour comes in the title for each chapter starting with the first – ‘A first wife is for life, not just for Christmas!’, and as the story develops each chapter has a similarly amusing title.

The book has received a lot of acclaim too – from being on The Sunday Times Bestseller list to Richard and Judy! A quote from the telegraph reads as follows:

‘This is more than just a gripping and hilarious read; it deserves to be a set text for relationship counsellors’

Obviously this is a somewhat tongue in cheek comment but I think there is also some truth in it! I think that every second wife should read it, but also every first wife too! Overall, it’s a good read for everyone!

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Second Wives Club (The)
by Jane Moore

One Comment on "The Second Wives Club"

  1. Catherine Marmion
    04/09/2010 at 20:09 Permalink

    I liked it too. Just bought a copy to read on holiday and I found it very amusing.

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Written by kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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