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As troubles mount, Ellie turns to her ...
As troubles mount, Ellie turns to her friends—glamorous Lisa, who always looks like she’s just stepped off a runway, and wonderfully frazzled Trish—and tries to rediscover the independence she once had, and the man she still loves. But it seems that having a child and saving a marriage means growing up in ways she’d never imagined . . .
A warm, witty, and wise look at mothers-in-law and what they teach us about ourselves, The Other Woman is sure to please Jane Green’s growing legion of fans.
Pulling a sickie is not something Iím prone to do. And, while Iíd like to say I feel sick, I donít. Not unless prewedding nerves, last-minute jitters, and horrific amounts of stress count.
But nevertheless this morning I decided I deserved a day offóhell, possibly even twoó so I phoned in first thing, knowing that as bad a liar as I am, it would be far easier to lie to Penny, the receptionist, than to my boss.
ìOh, poor you.î Pennyís voice was full of sympathy. ìBut itís not surprising, given the wedding. Must be all the stress. You should just go to bed in a darkened room.î
ìI will,î I said huskily, swiftly catching myself in the lieómigraine symptoms not including sore throats or fake sneezesóand getting off the phone as quickly as possible. I did think vaguely about doing something delicious for myself today, something Iíd never normally do. Manicures, pedicures, facials, things like that. But of course guilt has managed to prevail, and even though I live nowhere near my office in trendy Soho, I still know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that should I venture outside on the one day Iím pretending to be sick, someone from work will just happen to be at the end of my street. So here I am. Watching dreadful daytime television on a cold January morning (although I did just manage to catch an item on ìupdos for weddings,î which may turn out to be incredibly useful), eating my way through a packet of custard creams (my last chance before the wedding diet goes into full acceleration), and wondering whether there would be any chance of finding a masseuseóa proper oneóto come to the house at the last minute to soothe the knots of tension away.
I manage to waste forty-five minutes flicking through the small ads in the local magazines, but somehow I donít think any of those masseuses are what Iím looking for: ìguaranteed discretion,î ìsensual and intimate.î And then I reach the personal ads at the back.
I smile to myself reading through. Of course Iím reading through. I may be about to get married but Iím still interested in seeing whatís out there, not that, I have to admit, Iíve ever actually gone down the personal-ad route. But I know a friend who has. Honestly. And a wave of warmth, and yes, Iíll admit it, smugness, comes over me. I donít ever have to tell anyone that I have a good sense of humor or that I look a bit like RenÈe Zellwegeróbut only if I pout and squint my eyes up very, very smallóor that I love the requisite walks in the country and curling up by a log fire.
Not that any of thatís not true, but how lovely, how lucky am I, that I donít have to explain myself, or describe myself, or pretend to be someone other than myself ever again.
Thank God for Dan. Thank you, God, for Dan. I slide my feet into huge fluffy slippers, scrape my hair back into a ponytail, and wrap Danís huge, voluminous toweling robe around me as I skate my way down the hallway to the kitchen.
Dan and Ellie. Ellie and Dan. Mrs. Dan Cooper. Mrs. Ellie Cooper. Ellie Cooper. I trill the words out, thrilling at how unfamiliar they sound, how they will be true in just over a month, how I got to have a fairy-tale ending after all.
And, despite the cloudy sky, the drizzle that seems to be omnipresent throughout this winter, I feel myself light up, as if the sun suddenly appeared at the living-room window specifically to shine its warmth upon me.
The problem with feeling guilty about pulling sickies, as I now discover, is that you end up too terrified to leave the house, and therefore waste the entire day. And of course the less you do, the less you want to do, so by two oíclock Iím bored, listless, and sleepy. Rather than taking the easy option and going back to bed, I decide to wake myself up with strong coffee, have a shower, and finally get dressed.
The cappuccino machineóan early wedding present from my chief executiveóshouts a shiny hello from its corner on the kitchen worktop, by far the most glamorous and high- tech object in the kitchen, if not the entire flat. Were it not for Dan, Iíd never use the bloody thing, and thatís despite a passion for strong, milky cappuccinos. Technology and I have never got on particularly well. The only technological area in which I excel is computers, but even then, now that all my junior colleagues are messing around with iPods and MPEGs and God knows what else, Iím beginning to be left behind there too. My basic problem is not so much technology as paper: instruction manuals, to be specific. I just havenít got the patience to read through them, and almost everything in my flat works eventually if I push a few buttons and hope for the best. Admittedly, my video recorder has never actually recorded anything, but I only ever bought the machine to play rented videos on, not to record, so as far as Iím concerned it has fulfilled its purpose admirably.
Actually, come to think of it, not quite everything has worked that perfectly: The freezer has spent the last year filled with ice and icicles, although I think that somewhere behind the ice may be a year-old carton of Ben & Jerryís. And my Hoover still has the same dust bag itís had since I bought it three years ago because I havenít quite figured out how to change itóI cut a hole in it when it was full one time and hand-pulled all the dust out, then sealed it back up with tape and that seems to do the job wonderfully. If anything, just think how much money Iíve saved myself on Hoover bags.
Ah yes, there is also the superswish and superexpensive CD player that can take four hundred discs at a time, but has in fact only ever held one at a time.
So things may not work the way theyíre supposed to, or in the way the manufacturers intended, but they work for me, and now I have Dan, Dan who will not lay a finger on any new purchase until he has read the instruction manual cover to cover, until he has ingested even the smallest of the small print, until he can recite the manual from memory alone.
And so Danóbless himónow reads the manuals, and gives me demonstrations on how things like Hoovers, tumble dryers, and cappuccino machines work. The only saving grace to this, other than now being able to work the cappuccino machine, is that Dan has learned to fine-tune his demonstrations so they last no longer than one minute, by which time Iíll have completely tuned out and will be thinking either about new presentations at work, or possibly dreaming about floating on a desert island during our honeymoon. But the cappuccino machine, I have to say, is brilliant, and God, am I happy I actually paid attention when Dan was showing me how it worked. It arrived three days ago, and thus far Iíve used it nine times. Two cups in the morning before leaving for work, one cup when I get home, and one, or two, in the evening after dinner, although after 8:00 p.m. we both switch to decaf.
And as Iím tapping the coffee grains into the spoon to start making the coffee, I find myself thinking about spending the rest of my life with only one person.
I should feel scared. Apprehensive at the very least. But all I feel is pure, unadulterated joy.
Any doubts I may have about this wedding, about getting married, about spending the rest of my life with Dan have nothing whatsoever to do with Dan.
And everything to do with his mother.
Posted December 9, 2010
This is my first Jane Green book, and I am anxious to read others by her. Tugged at emotions at times, for the young wife and also for the mother in law. This story held my interest from beginning to end. Each character was so different and unique...I liked that they didn't get jumbled up, and there were a few surprises thrown in too.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2009
Jane Green's writing style is awesome and I love her, but the characters in this book bugged me. The main woman in particular was just annoying to me. She made me angry and like I wanted to kill her. It was hard getting through the book because of that, but the concept of the story itself was really good, what with the whole relationship between the mother and the wife, that was pretty original, but her main character was hard to love. I liked the freaking mother in law more!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 15, 2009
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Posted July 6, 2008
This was my first Jane Green book and I really liked it. There were some pretty funny parts in it! I went out and bought Second Chance by Jane Green....looking forward to reading that one!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 7, 2007
When I bought this, I thought it would be a fun, Summer-read about a wicked mother-in-law. However, the book was much deeper and more interesting than that. As a mother of twin todders, I could relate to the angst a new baby brings to a marriage. For me, the book was a great family character study. I loved it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 19, 2007
A fairly entertaining book, though definitely not outstanding. An easry read that doesn't require much thought, and doesn't include a lot of originality. if you want something relatively mindless and forgettable to read, this is the book for you.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 2, 2007
Awesome book, not as good as the rest of Jane Greens novels but an overall success, I thought of it as a hilarious comedy into a relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, the ending had some amazing surprises!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 18, 2006
What a disappointment this book was. The central character was a whiny brat who just could not be happy about anything. Most women would appreciate a mother-in-law that was willing to babysit whenever possible and include them so openly into the family. Sure the mother-in-law was a little over-bearing, but her heart was always in the right place. Ellie came across as a childish, bitter woman towards all around her.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 24, 2006
I enjoyed reading this book. Even though the main character was depicted as a self-centered brat, when reading the book you have to keep in mind that not all personalities are loving and appreciative of their mother-in-laws. Her husband is a mama's boy who does not stand up for his wife, but those 2 characters are what kept my interest. It is ok to dislike the main character but it does not mean the book is not interesting or enjoyable to read. Isn't that precisely the point, to either love or hate the main characters? I was a bit disappointed in the ending and wish the writer had not skipped ahead by a couple of years and had filled in what happened during that time to lead up to the ending, but overall, I really enjoyed reading this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 6, 2006
I enjoyed reading this book! There were times you wanted to feel bad for Ellie and other times where you thought she was quite selfish. Truly enjoyed reading about relationship between mother and daughter-in-law. Love Jane Green books for a fun read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 27, 2006
Loved this book. Although Dan made me so mad at the way he was with Ellie and his mom. Couldn't he see how upset she would get. What a putz!! But the dyanmics of this family made me go to my mother-in-law and thank her for not being in my marriage :)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 28, 2006
At times it got boring, and the main character's ranting got on my nerves a couple of times. The storyline nor the writing was exceptional. It's good for a light read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
Ellie knows she has found the right man for her as she falls in love with kindhearted Dan Cooper and he reciprocates. She welcomes the warmth extended by his family welcoming her as one of them with hugs and kisses having missed that since her mother passed away when she was thirteen. However, Ellie is unprepared for how far Dan¿s mother Linda is willing to go to get her way though she rationalizes that she does things out of love for her son. --- Engaged, her future mother-in-law telephones her three times a day at her job where personal calls are unacceptable. Linda takes charge of the wedding ignoring Ellie¿s desires her fiancé¿s dad Michael is indifferent while Dan tells his fiancé to go along to get along. After their marriage, the woman continues to meddle trying to get her son and daughter in law into fights though she claims it is for their good. When Ellie gives birth to a son Tom, grandmother no longer has need for her as she now has two generations of ¿gorgeous boys' to nurture while slowly extracting the woman who should be the center not on the peripheral of their lives. --- This is an interesting look at a newcomer joining a family (through marriage) that initially reminded this reviewer of While You Were Sleeping. However readers will lose empathy towards Ellie who makes little effort to adapt to her new milieu, dislike meddlesome Linda, and disrespect Dan and Michael. Still this is a strong family drama that showcases group dynamics and interrelationships as few novels do when change occurs in this case the outsider joining the close knit team. --- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 23, 2006
I loved the way this book started, it just caught my attention! Loved the first couple of chapters and i started to dislike it because of Ellie's attitude, i thought she was rude at times and horrible to her mother-in-law. Anyway, i kept reading to see if it went back to the beginning, and it never did!! The end sucked!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 28, 2006
While I enjoyed the book (it was entertaining and kept my attention) I often found myself annoyed with the main character. Like someone else mentioned, Ellie was rather heartless and I found this to be quite bothersome throughout the entire book. Maybe the author was trying to portray a complex character I saw a childish, selfish brat who needed to get a clue--did she ever?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 19, 2005
I have to be honest and say that I have never been a fan of Jane Green's. I tried to get into her books, but I just couldn't....until THE OTHER WOMAN. The style in which it was written, the depth of the characters, and the plot were perfect to keep my attention. DEFINITELY A GOOD READ!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 23, 2005
Posted July 18, 2005
I absolutely love Jane Green, so it's really no wonder that I enjoyed this book. I could easily relate to the characters in the book, and found the story to be entertaining and amusing. I highly recommend this for any chick lit fans!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 9, 2005
Posted August 11, 2005
I picked up this book because I am getting married soon and thought, by reading reviews and the synopsis on the book sleeve, that this book was about a nosy mother-in-law trying to butt in the wedding planning. While the book started off great, the wedding part was only a couple of chapters, and the rest was very disappointing. I could not sympathize with Ellie, and at times I thought she was rather heartless. While the book was well-written, this was my least favorite Jane Green book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.