Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives by Josie Brown

Book Details
Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives by Josie Brown
Paperback, 331 pages
2010, Downtown Press
ISBN: 1439173176

Suburbia is a jungle, filled with lots of vicious creatures.

Take the Paradise Heights Women’s League board. Lyssa Harper should have warned golden-haired DILF du jour Harry Wilder what he was getting into when she invited him to meet the mommies who run their suburban, gated community. At least he brought cupcakes. Since meeting the former Master-of-the-Universe turned stay-at-home single dad, Lyssa has been his domestic Sherpa, teaching him the ins and outs of suburban life. She just didn’t realize her friends would show up at his house unannounced with casseroles, leopard-print bikini briefs, and plans to rearrange his kitchen cabinets.

The truth is, if Harry and his wife, the neighborhood’s "perfect couple," can call it quits, what does that mean for everyone else? Lyssa’s husband, Ted, is a great father, but he pays her Pilates-pumped momtourage more attention than he does his own wife. Her friends gossip about the neighbors while ignoring their own problems: infertility, infidelity, and eating disorders.

When Harry sets boundaries with his new fan club, he is exiled from the neighborhood’s in-clique. But Lyssa refuses to snub him. What she never expects is the explosive impact her ongoing friendship with Harry will have on her close-knit pals—and on her marriage.

Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is a look at the dark underbelly of the moneyed suburbs where extramarital affairs run rampant. The pitiful "Desperate Housewives" style attempts at attracting newly single Harry make are both hilariously funny and deeply disturbing. The book is surprisingly deep at times and gloriously scandalous throughout.

Each chapter starts off with a famous quote about marriage. These aren't romantic, gushy quotes, but rather funny and realistic ones that pair nicely with the tone of the book.

Lyssa has a tendency to be extremely naive, which makes her both endearing and occasionally annoying. She's a solid mom, with her children always as her top priority. Her marriage is in obvious shambles - her husband is only willing to have sex while watching sports and has admitted to her that he never actually fell in love with her - but she remains blissfully unaware of any trouble.

Denial runs rampant in Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, which is on par with reactions to real life relationship problems as a general rule. It's almost scary how much you can see the traits of people you know in these characters.

Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is a funny, touching book with a down and dirty tell-all feel. Frivolity and deeper meaning collide in this book, making it a surprising treat.


Josie Brown's


  1. OK so I've known what a MILF is for a while now. Never heard of the term DILF before now. Makes sense, really. Yay equality!

    I may pick up this book in the same sense a spy would pick up a code book from across enemy lines. Got to know what the other side is thinking, right?

  2. Oh, this sounds like an interesting book! I'm going to check it out, sounds like fun :) Great review.

  3. I do like Desperate Houswives ... sometimes. I wonder if I'd like this one.

  4. Everyone is reading this book and loving it! Going to have to add it to my TBR list.

  5. This sounds like a fun read!x

  6. Thanks for the review, this sounds like something I'd like to read.

  7. This book sounds so fun!! I must read it... it's in my box of books from BEA that appear to have gone lost in the mail. =( I love how you called it "gloriously scandalous".

  8. This sounds like one I will giggle through and love. Great review.

  9. Cool! I had my eye one this one and was pleased to get it at BEA. Thanks for the good review!

  10. I always love your reviews, Jennifer. This one is on my wish list. Can't wait to read it now!

  11. Oh man, I was offered this book for review and turned it down and now you really liked it. Oh well!

  12. Looks great! Added it to my TBR! Thanks!