Customer Reviews for

The Last Original Wife: A Novel

Average Rating 4
( 181 )
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(78)

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(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

25 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

When a woman falls and spends 45 minutes in an empty catch basin

When a woman falls and spends 45 minutes in an empty catch basin on a trip to Scotland, you know that things are not going to well in her life. Leslie Carter has seen her friends get cast off by their husbands for wife 2.0 until she feels like she is the LAST original w...
When a woman falls and spends 45 minutes in an empty catch basin on a trip to Scotland, you know that things are not going to well in her life. Leslie Carter has seen her friends get cast off by their husbands for wife 2.0 until she feels like she is the LAST original wife. She has had to put up with dinners and events with these younger women and then finds herself on vacation with the replacement wife for her best friend. Her husband, Wesley has dreamt all of his life about golfing at St. Andrews and off the foursome goes to Scotland. When Les has her accident, the rest of the group keeps walking back to the hotel and doesn’t even realize she is missing. After she is located, Wes leaves her at the hospital so he doesn’t miss his tee time.
Back home, Les realizes that her life has not turned out to be what she expected it to be. Yes, she is still married but it’s a marriage by rote not of passion or caring. Her two adult children are irresponsible and users. Wes is a controlling guy and has no appreciation for what Les has done for him over the years. She discovers that financially they are in a much better situation than she was aware of and this is the impetus for her to take a trip to Charleston to visit her brother. Les has time to think and really assess what her life means and what she really wants to do with her future.
So many books lately feature the discarded wife being screwed by her cheating ex and having to rebuild her life on nothing but pluck. Then she gets financial revenge and a new man and everything is great. I love a good revenge plot as well as the next person, (Note: Pawley’s Island by this author is one of the absolute best of that genre) but this book is different. Les decides to take a break from her marriage after a period of reflection and increased self-awareness. She does meet up with an old flame but that is not the answer to her problems. Les needs to see what it is about herself that put her in the position she is presently in. How did she become ok with settling for less than she deserved? Why does she let other people make her feel that her wants and needs are less important than her husband’s and children’s? Is fear of what your life will be without your marriage a good enough reason to stay?
Wes is not really a bad guy, just self-absorbed and oblivious. When the couple goes to counseling, the real difference between them is highlighted. Les wants to find out if this marriage can be saved and Wes just wants his old life back with no changes on his end.
There is an interesting side story about a woman writer from earlier times in Charleston in whose story Les becomes interested. The descriptions of the “Barbie” wives are funny and pathetic at the same time. One of Ms. Frank’s skills is how she defines her characters and integrates the Southern mystique into her books. I thought that this book was a little less South-centric than some of her other books. That said, I enjoyed reading this book but I expected no less from one of my favorite authors.


posted by SharonRedfern on June 11, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Easy beach read

I had trouble adjusting to the author's style at first. It didn't take me long after to get immersed in the plot. Fun, light read.Found myself grinning or laughing out loud. Only gave it 3 stars because of the unrealistic, fairytale ending. Overall, good book.

posted by Anonymous on June 25, 2013

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  • Posted June 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    When a woman falls and spends 45 minutes in an empty catch basin

    When a woman falls and spends 45 minutes in an empty catch basin on a trip to Scotland, you know that things are not going to well in her life. Leslie Carter has seen her friends get cast off by their husbands for wife 2.0 until she feels like she is the LAST original wife. She has had to put up with dinners and events with these younger women and then finds herself on vacation with the replacement wife for her best friend. Her husband, Wesley has dreamt all of his life about golfing at St. Andrews and off the foursome goes to Scotland. When Les has her accident, the rest of the group keeps walking back to the hotel and doesn’t even realize she is missing. After she is located, Wes leaves her at the hospital so he doesn’t miss his tee time.
    Back home, Les realizes that her life has not turned out to be what she expected it to be. Yes, she is still married but it’s a marriage by rote not of passion or caring. Her two adult children are irresponsible and users. Wes is a controlling guy and has no appreciation for what Les has done for him over the years. She discovers that financially they are in a much better situation than she was aware of and this is the impetus for her to take a trip to Charleston to visit her brother. Les has time to think and really assess what her life means and what she really wants to do with her future.
    So many books lately feature the discarded wife being screwed by her cheating ex and having to rebuild her life on nothing but pluck. Then she gets financial revenge and a new man and everything is great. I love a good revenge plot as well as the next person, (Note: Pawley’s Island by this author is one of the absolute best of that genre) but this book is different. Les decides to take a break from her marriage after a period of reflection and increased self-awareness. She does meet up with an old flame but that is not the answer to her problems. Les needs to see what it is about herself that put her in the position she is presently in. How did she become ok with settling for less than she deserved? Why does she let other people make her feel that her wants and needs are less important than her husband’s and children’s? Is fear of what your life will be without your marriage a good enough reason to stay?
    Wes is not really a bad guy, just self-absorbed and oblivious. When the couple goes to counseling, the real difference between them is highlighted. Les wants to find out if this marriage can be saved and Wes just wants his old life back with no changes on his end.
    There is an interesting side story about a woman writer from earlier times in Charleston in whose story Les becomes interested. The descriptions of the “Barbie” wives are funny and pathetic at the same time. One of Ms. Frank’s skills is how she defines her characters and integrates the Southern mystique into her books. I thought that this book was a little less South-centric than some of her other books. That said, I enjoyed reading this book but I expected no less from one of my favorite authors.


    25 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2013

    Love this story.

    I have read all Dorothea's Books. I have enjoyed them all and would recommend them to all who enjoy a good story and of course a laugh.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2013

    Easy, fun beach read! Good plot, great characters, the usual sas

    Easy, fun beach read! Good plot, great characters, the usual sassy and on point Dorthea Benton Frank novel.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    Awesome

    Love the southern charm

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2014

    Delightfully Delicious!

    This is such a great read. I am so glad I bought this in book form so I can stash it in my dresser to read again. I have read other Dorothea Benton Frank novels and have loved many of them. This, however, is my current favorite.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2013

    Good book!

    I love this writer. This is a totally different book for her, but I enjoyed it. I live in the Lowcountry, so I always enjoy her references to Charleston, etc.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2014

    I was a little hesitant to start this book. I wasn't really int

    I was a little hesitant to start this book. I wasn't really into the first book of hers I had read, but this book was much better than I had expected. The plot sounded really interesting, seeing how life can be when you get so far into marriage. There is so much written about young love and the infatuation about that, but then there is this uglier side of marriage and getting old that I at least don't see too much of.

    The problem that I had with the first book I read by her was that I hated the characters. The way that they acted was a little strange. They were total extremes, like Wes wasn't just a bad guy, he was awful, and Les seemed like an angel the entire time. He did things like forget about her and ignore her while she literally lay in a pothole with a broken arm in a foreign country.

    And then Les was someone that you could feel compassion for, but was constantly the goodie goodie. Even when she decided to rip her kids a new one, she was the one that as in the right. I felt like there was really no depth to the characters as they rehashed their sides of the story. Les was clearly taken advantage of and she let herself and Wes was a total bully. There were no two ways about it.

    I actually enjoyed this story though as much as I am dragging my feet about it. I felt sympathetic for Les and didn't like Wes, he felt entitled and like Les was only there to serve him which was infuriating. He had no respect for his wife and it was down right degrading at some parts. The fact that he thought sleeping with hookers in Atlantic City was okay was awful.

    I felt into the story, even though I had problems with the characters, I wanted to know how it was going to resolve itself. All in all, I think I would be willing to check out another book by Frank. As a side note, today is the release date, so be sure to drop by the store and check it out!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    reommended

    A well written, fast read. Funny but with serious undertones. I thought Wes should have gotten another chance, but that's one of the serious undertones that I think adds depth and makes it more than just summer fluff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2014

    Great book

    I agree with the reviewer wbo said you do have to keep reading,because it does and get better,loved the story and the characters especially little miss jo! And harlan

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  • Posted April 22, 2014

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Leslie is the l

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    Leslie is the last remaining original wife in their group at the club and she is not enjoying the new spouses that her husband's friends have brought into the group, mainly because they are all half her age!  

    The book begins with her and her husband going through therapy separately to see if they are able to repair their marriage.  Then the second part is the meat of the book and the author takes you back in time to see how they ended up in therapy and the why.  I loved it.  I liked the format that you knew that they were going to end up in therapy, but had no clue what brought them there - the therapy sessions weren't too obvious. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    Another winner!

    Its like going back home. Another great book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Great summer read!

    Enjoyed book over a week at the beach! Had me laughing out loud!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    Jack

    He sighed, shoving his hands in his pockets and sauntering out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Easy summer read

    Enjoyed the book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    The End was Worth it

    I didn't like the beginning of this book, but kept reading and it was worth it. The book got better and better and by the end I was hooked. This book has fun characters and a happy ending, which is a necessity for me.

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  • Posted November 3, 2013

    nice, easy read

    a good solid story of a a woman easy to relate too. DBF does a good job creating and explaining the evolution of a woman, her marriage and her desire to change. The story rings true and funny.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

    I read all of Dorothea Frank's books

    Loved this one and all of her books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    Good

    I found this to be a fun/good read. Since the female lead happens to be my age and loves Charleston, SC as much as I do have anything to do w/ the enjoyment of the story?!?!! I find myself revealing bits & pieces to friends.

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  • Posted July 30, 2013

    Easy Breezy Beach Read

    The Last Original Wife was an easy and enjoyable summer or weekend read. I enjoyed the main character, although I wondered what took her so long to wake up. Overall, it's not worth much analysis, but just go for the ride!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Recommend

    Awesome book..but I really didnt like the way they needed it

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