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Maybe it was those extra five pounds I'd gained. Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was when I lost her. Maybe it was because after almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I seemed to be running out of things to say to each other. But when the anonymous online study called "Marriage in the 21st Century" showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life. It wasn't long before I was assigned both a pseudonym (Wife 22) and a caseworker (Researcher 101).
And, just like that, I found myself answering questions.
7. Sometimes I tell him he's snoring when he's not snoring so he'll sleep in the guest room and I can have the bed all to myself.
61. Chet Baker on the tape player. He was cutting peppers for the salad. I looked at those hands and thought, I am going to have this man's children.
67. To not want what you don't have. What you can't have. What you shouldn't have.
32. That if we weren't careful, it was possible to forget one another.
Before the study, my life was an endless blur of school lunches and doctor's appointments, family dinners, budgets, and trying to discern the fastest-moving line at the grocery store. I was Alice Buckle: spouse of William and mother to Zoe and Peter, drama teacher and Facebook chatter, downloader of memories and Googler of solutions.
But these days, I'm also Wife 22. And somehow, my anonymous correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpectedly personal turn. Soon, I'll have to make a decision - one that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life. But at the moment, I'm too busy answering questions.
As it turns out, confession can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Vivian on 06-14-12
Did not keep my attention
The narration was fine, but I did not care for the form of the narration or the substance of the book. As much of the book takes place in emails, the narrator is forced to read the ENTIRE email address of the sender and recipient, along with the subject line, date and time. This alone was just about enough to make me stop listening, as it became really tedious to hear. The substance of the book was not new, or clever, or especially sad, moving, or even pathetic - just wasn't much of anything. The subtitle of this book could be: "the musings of a vaguely unsatisfied woman".
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Pamela Harvey on 05-31-12
A totally grinworthy read. Moliere (sorry no accent grave on this keyboard) meets Facebook, a comedy of manners for 2012. Mixed in with all the endlessly repeating email addies, tweets and status reports, and tucked away inside a boatload of trendy buzz words and brand names ("bento boxes"? Really?) and oh-so-precious food chit chat is a good story with some serious pondering of a few realistic "issues". Just what this reader needed.
Cassandra Campbell did a masterful job of narrating this performance - but I can't help wondering how the read would sound if rendered in a more ironic narrative style. Just an idle speculation.
Whatever, 5 stars!
23 of 27 people found this review helpful