Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Waste of timeSept. 20 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
What a vapid collection of women. With the exception of Susan, none of the women are sympathetic. If there is one thing to take away from the novel it is this: don't go out with ANY man who claims his marriage is far from over. Wait until it actually is over. If a man can be "stolen" or if he wants to be "stolen" then he isn't worth your time and the legacy of frustration that will follow you for the rest of your life. And the women just sit back and talk about how the first wives need to get on with their life - as if having one's life thrown upside down is something that is as easily recovered from as having a cold. One of the characters spent two years stalking her then-married boss and is surprised when the first wife doesn't just rollover and be satisfied with the new changes to her life. What do you expect? And for the record, I am not a first or second wife, but I hated this book nonetheless. If I want to read about selfish, vapid people attempting to control the world around them and then being unable to cope when the world bites back, I'll pick up a newspaper.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Let the fun beginJune 12 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
As The Second Wives club opens we meet Alison on her wedding day where everything was going along just fine until her husband Lucas overbearing first wife Sofia walked into the middle of the reception, caused a scene, and stormed off with their two kids. Alison needing a moment to compose herself, snuck off the to ladies room where she meets up with Fiona. The two women start talking about how hard it is to be the second wife and Fiona invites Alison to a support club meeting for other women in her situation. At the first meeting of the Second Wives Club we meet the other two women in the club and learn a bit about each one of them and their situations.
Julia, is the trophy wife. She is perfect in looks, the kitchen, at business functions, and bed. Her problem is the fact that her husbands ex-wife seems to be his best friend. They are always in contact with each other and it drives Julia crazy. Fiona, has a 16 year old stepson from hell. With the help of Jakes mom whispering in his ear, he is not willing to give Fiona the time of day and is causing constant problems between her and her husband David. Susan, whose situation is a bit different from the other womens. Her boyfriends ex-wife was the perfect mother and wife but unfortunately it is hard to compete with a women who died. Susan always feels as though she is not loved as much and Nick does not show her enough how much he really cares.
Over the course of a couple of years, we watch these 4 women battle it out with the ex-wives and husbands all in the hopes of seeing better days. Some make it, others don't.
Even though I found myself routing for the ex-wives from time to time, and did not like every one of the second wives, this was still a fun easy to read book. If you have read other books by Jane Moore including Fourplay and the The Ex Files, you will want to pick up The Second Wives Club as well.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Long on Theme, Short on DepthJuly 24 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
I read this book because suddenly I am a second wife and experiencing questions and challenges that no one I know has ever felt. I read it to relate, and to determine whether I am alone and/or insane. Having read the book, I only have an answer to the first question, and that's good enough for me from a summer read. I'm not.
These characters are worse. But it's not their fault; it's mostly the fault of the author, who isn't too interested in developing them with any depth. Don't read this book to listen in on conversations the way people really talk. But the fictional women's questions are eerily familiar, and worth thinking about when you know they are based on real people's experiences:
Will my new in-laws ever take down the pictures of my husband and his former wife? How do I have a natural relationship with my stepchild? Will my husband always put the kids before our relationship? If we have kids, will he be around enough, or off with his other kids? Will his guilt over leaving his marriage ever subside? Will mine? Do I deserve every problem I have?
I liked how many different themes and scenarios come up through the four characters. Everyone will relate to at least a few of the situations, and I bet more than half, while not recommending the book for its literary merits, will go online looking for a second wives support group of some kind or other. Just to see. Meanwhile, you can start with the book.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Does Second Wife have to mean Second Best?July 21 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
The Second Wives Club is a group of four women who are bonded by their status as second wives, and their need to have a sense of camaraderie with others who are going through the same things. Marriage is more difficult the second time around and Moore doesn't give the stereotypical story book ending. Not everyone winds up living happily ever after in this so-so chick lit title.
The four women are:
Alison steals her husband Luca from his wife, Sofia, in classic fashion (the boss/secretary situation) and gets repaid in kind. At Alison's wedding reception, Sofia crashes the party to pick up her two sons and when Luca refuses to stand up to her the stage is set for their relationship. Alison wonders if she will always be the second most important thing in his life, with his children being first.
Fiona's husband David has a 16-year old son from his first marriage and they have a one-year old daughter together. Fiona has to deal with being a stepparent to a son who thinks she's the reason his parents aren't together. Their strained relationship adds extra pressure to her marriage and she has to wonder if it will ever get any easier.
Julia is married to James and thinks herself the perfect trophy wife. She cooks like a gourmet chef, exercises and eats right, is active in local charities, and is creative and insatiable in bed. Surely that should be enough, until James decides he wants more from her than she's willing to give.
Susan is the only member of the group who isn't actually married, but she lives with her boyfriend Nick. Nick's first wife, Caitlin, died and Susan stepped in to act as a surrogate mother to his six-year-old daughter. When Caitlin's parents start to resent Susan's place in their granddaughter's life it makes her wonder if she can ever climb out of the Caitlin's shadow.
Overall this book was fine, but it didn't really shine in any way. It was kind of boring for the most part and I actually had to make myself finish it. Time passes without mention in this book and you sort of have to guess if it's one week later or several months just by what's going on in the characters' lives. Furthermore, the characters were flat and I felt no connection or reason to care what happened to them. Though the story has elements of a number of other chick lit titles that I liked (BABY PROOF by Emily Giffin and THE OTHER WOMAN by Jane Green are the two that stick out the most), for some reason this just didn't do it for me. It wasn't awful though and it could have been worse, but in my opinion it wasn't worth the time it took to finish it.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A fun summer readJune 15 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
They say that love is better the second time around, and while it may be true for some, it simply isn't so for Alison, Fiona, Julia and Susan, all second wives who are fed up with coming second in the lives of their men. The catch is that all the guys have previous attachments of varying degrees to their former wives; while it may seem that divorce or even death would be a sufficient way to cut old ties, the ex-wives apparently didn't receive the memo.
Now I admit it, I've had leftovers for a late-night snack and enjoyed them immensely. I have older sisters and occasionally have worn hand-me-down clothes that I really liked. I've even driven a secondhand car, which was in great condition and enabled me to drive a better vehicle than what I could have afforded new. Cars, clothes and late-night snacks are one thing, but a second husband is yet another. Baggage doesn't even begin to describe what these men bring to their new relationships.
That's the predicament the girls have found themselves in, and now it's up to them to make the best of their situations. That's exactly what they do when they form the illustrious Second Wives Club. The meetings provide these harried women with a forum for cussing and discussing. More than anything, it's a way to hang on to their sanity and share the indignities they suffer at the hands of the dreaded ex-wives with other women who understand their pain all too well.
While the book's premise --- the trials and tribulations of second wives --- is already an amusing idea, it takes on an even richer flavor from the fact that all of these women are British. The British have a wry sense of humor, unique phrases and an ironic point of view that made this read all the more enticing.
THE SECOND WIVES CLUB begins with the wedding of Alison and Luca. Everything is proceeding swimmingly until Luca's ex-wife, Sofia, storms the reception and reclaims the two young sons she shares with Luca from the party. As if that isn't enough, Sofia also has a few choice words for the now blushing (with embarrassment) bride. Luckily, Fiona, a guest at the wedding and a woman who knows the pain of being a second wife, takes Alison under her wing and invites her to a meeting of the Second Wives Club.
Fiona could use another friend herself as she's dealing with a lackadaisical hubby and an angry teenage stepson. While she wasn't to blame for the breakup of his parents, try telling that to Jake who is an expert at wreaking havoc in his stepmother's life.
At the meeting, Alison also meets Julia, a beautiful trophy wife who, in spite of her physical beauty and impressive repertoire of sexual skills, still can't seem to compete with her husband's friendship with his ex-wife.
Then there's Susan. While Susan has yet to marry her man, they've lived together for years with her stepping into the shoes of his now deceased and sainted wife, Caitlin. While she has done everything from raising his daughter, Ellie, to keeping his house, cooking his meals and warming his bed, Susan has a relationship that leaves her feeling disappointed and devalued.
These women though aren't about to sit passively by and allow their men's previous loves to tread on their territory any longer. They take definite and sometimes risky steps to improve their situations. While I won't ruin any of the wonderful surprises this book contains, I will tell you that it's fast-paced and laugh-out-loud funny.
THE SECOND WIVES CLUB is a great summer read, a frivolous beach book or even a therapy manual if you're a woman who experiences the unique position of being the second wife. I highly recommend it.