Melanie Gideon is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir The Slippery Year, which received huge critical acclaim. She has written for The Times, the Daily Mail, the Guardian, More and Marie Claire.
In her superb first novel, Gideon (The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After, a memoir) artfully traces the contours of a dull marriage in the age of Facebook. Alice and William Buckle start out happy, but two kids and nearly 20 years later, Alice is bored and desperate for stimulation. When she gets an e-mail asking her to participate in a study about modern marriage, Alice impulsively agrees. Dubbed "Wife 22" and assigned a caseworker called "Researcher 101," Alice begins answering his probing questions (though readers are usually privy only to her responses), rendering Alice and her marriage in impressionistic strokes vibrantly textured with succinct, revealing details: "15. Uncommunicative. Dismissive. Distant. 16. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"). However, as the confessions pour forth, Alice and Researcher 101's relationship takes a romantic turn. Comprising a tapestry of traditional narrative, e-mails, Facebook chats, and other digital media, Gideon's work is an honest assessment of a woman's struggle to reconcile herself with her desires and responsibilities, as well as a timely treatise on the anonymity and intimacy afforded by digital communiques. Fully formed supporting characters and a nuanced emotional story line make Gideon's fiction debut shimmer. Agent: Elizabeth Sheinkman, Curtis Brown. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Chick-lit fans over the age of 30 will want to rush home from work, kick off their shoes, mix themselves tart cocktails, and settle down to read this wry debut novel by the best-selling author of The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After. Alice Buckle, a 44-year-old from Massachusetts, has been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for years when she realizes she and her husband have drifted apart while advancing their careers (mostly him) and raising their children (mostly her). Dissatisfied, Alice agrees to participate in a marriage study and, as "Wife 22," is paired with "Researcher 101." After weeks of anonymously sharing increasingly intimate details about her marriage, Alice begins to feel that Researcher 101 understands her better than her own husband does. VERDICT Peppered with Facebook updates, email messages, and chat logs, this book is a skillful blend of pop-culture references, acidic humor, and emotional moments. It will take its rightful place in the chick-lit canon alongside Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary, Anna Maxted's Getting Over It, and Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It. [See Prepub Alert, 12/12/11.]-Laurie A. Cavanaugh, Wareham Free Lib., MA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
`I loved it, loved it, loved it. It's so funny and true and sad and real and clever and of-the-moment. Also so hopeful and wise and ultimately heartwarming.' Marian Keyes`With a quirky narrative that mixes Facebook statuses, questionnaires, Google searches and chatty prose, this is a funny and poignant story that explores how confession can sometimes be the ultimate aphrodisiac' Easy Living`Clever and original...witty and profound. Hugely enjoyable with a controversial ending.' Red`A wonderfully clever, sad and funny read.' Daily Mail`A juicy story of love, sex, parentlng, ageing and everything in between with a load of originality thrown in. Great stuff.' Closer