For fans of Helen Fieldingís Bridget Jonesís Diary and Allison Pearsonís I Donít Know How She Does It comes an irresistible novel of a woman losing herself . . . and finding herself again . . . in the middle of her life.
Maybe it was those extra five pounds Iíd 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 ďMarriage in the 21st CenturyĒ showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life. It wasnít 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 heís snoring when heís not snoring so heíll 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 manís children.
67. To not want what you donít have. What you canít have. What you shouldnít have.
32. That if we werenít careful, it was possible to forget one another.
Before the study, my life was an endless blur of school lunches and doctorís 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, Iím also Wife 22. And somehow, my anonymous correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpectedly personal turn. Soon, Iíll have to make a decisionóone that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life. But at the moment, Iím too busy answering questions.
As it turns out, confession can ...
Melanie Gideon is the bestselling author of The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After, which was named an NPR and San Francisco Chronicle best book of the year. She is also the author of two young adult novels: Pucker and The Map That Breathed, both New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, More, Shape, The Times, the Daily Mail, and Marie Claire. She was born and raised in Rhode Island. She now lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son.
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