Swapping Lives

Swapping Lives

3.4 61
by Jane Green
     
 

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What if a successful, single Londoner and a comfortable, Connecticut mother of two were to walk in each other's shoes for a month? Vicky Townsley is the director of Poise! magazine and lives a glamorous London life. She has everything she wants-except marriage, children, and a house in the country. Amber Winslow has a stone mansion in Connecticut, two kids,

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Overview

What if a successful, single Londoner and a comfortable, Connecticut mother of two were to walk in each other's shoes for a month? Vicky Townsley is the director of Poise! magazine and lives a glamorous London life. She has everything she wants-except marriage, children, and a house in the country. Amber Winslow has a stone mansion in Connecticut, two kids, and a nanny, but she hasn't found the fulfillment she had expected from being a wife and mother. When she spots an intriguing contest in Poise! Amber impulsively enters, never expecting to be picked.

A must-read for every modern woman who's ever considered the road not taken, Swapping Lives is a warm and realistic chronicle of two women who do more than wonder if the grass is greener on the other side of the Atlantic.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Green's writing is deliciously witty and her heroines authentic. This is a charming book that demands, 'Read me in one sitting!' (People)

A perfect summer read . . . funny, poignant. (Toronto Sun)

Green skewers Connecticut suburbia with gleeful relish, and she hits the right marks with sympathetic Londoner Vicky, a quirky, imperfect heroine. (Kirkus Reviews)

Hard to put down . . . thanks to affable leading characters and interesting . . . commentary on the cross-Atlantic cultural gap. (Publishers Weekly)

People
Green's writing is deliciously witty and her heroines authentic. This is a charming book that demands, 'Read me in one sitting!'
Toronto Sun
A perfect summer read ... funny, poignant.
Publishers Weekly
Vicky Townsley, single and successful features director of Poise! magazine in London, thinks that marriage and children are all she needs to be happy. Amber Winslow, wife and mother living in Highfield, Conn., feels like her life is out of control. When Poise! offers to help them switch lives in the interest of a magazine article, Vicky and Amber eagerly agree. What they find is that their own lives aren't so bad, and that happiness comes from within (nothing startling here). Landor's overly affected takes on British and American accents are more distracting than enhancing. Her high-pitched children's voices are annoying and her male characters ring false. The lightweight story is enjoyable but overlong. An abridged version that trimmed back on the nonstop inner dialogue and detail-filled scenes would have probably made for a less draggy audiobook. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 17). (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Vicky Townsley, stunning, single, and a successful features director at a hip London magazine, longs for the simple life: a country home, a couple of big dogs, gorgeous children, and a wonderful husband. Meanwhile, Connecticut housewife Amber Winslow is bogged down with the responsibilities of social climbing and motherhood that are part of her picture-perfect life in the idyllic suburbs. Vicky is so desperate to find out what life would be like as a happily married mother that she assigns herself a story that requires swapping lives. And Amber is the lucky recipient of this twist on Wife Swap and Trading Spouses. The experiment gives both women the excuse to get away from their lives and find out if the grass really is greener. Of course, it takes only a few short weeks for both to appreciate the paths they've chosen for themselves. Green's (The Other Woman) witty blend of chick lit and mom lit allows readers to escape and live vicariously through these two characters. Recommended for all popular fiction collections.-Anika Fajardo, Coll. of St. Catherine Lib., St. Paul, MN Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The British Green, master of the career-girl novel (if your idea of a career girl includes Manolos and a Birkin bag) switches the lives of a pampered American housewife and a London magazine editor, with predictable results. Thirty-five-year-old Amber Winslow seems to have it all: a McMansion in a Connecticut suburb, a walk-in closet filled with couture, two beautiful children and a doting husband. But of course life in-is it Stepford?-isn't as rosy as it seems. Her Jamaican nanny is all but raising the children; Amber lives in a state of anxiety that one of the League ladies is besting her; and she has this nagging feeling that her whole life is a useless sham. Across the Atlantic, Vicky Townsley is also yearning for what she doesn't have-a country home with kids, a big dog and a husband. At 35, she is the features editor at Poise! magazine and enjoys a glamorously hectic social life and a dishy friend (with benefits) who lives around the block. Thanks to a contest sponsored by the magazine, the two women swap lives for a month, bringing with them little more than a toothbrush and underwear. For both, the situation reaffirms that they really do love their life/family, but for Amber, there are some added realizations that the superficiality of her life is interfering with her sense of self. Good for Amber and Vicky and destination epiphany. The real question is whether the journey is enough for the reader-and it mostly is. Green skewers Connecticut suburbia with a gleeful relish, and she hits the right marks with sympathetic Londoner Vicky, a quirky, imperfect heroine who keeps a pair of fat pants at the back of her closet. Clothes, bags, shoes, romance, self-acceptance-all we've come toexpect and done well enough.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452288508
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/29/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
557,829
Product dimensions:
5.33(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

GreenÆs writing is deliciously witty and her heroines authentic. This is a charming book that demands, ÆRead me in one sitting!Æ (People)

A perfect summer read . . . funny, poignant. (Toronto Sun)

Green skewers Connecticut suburbia with gleeful relish, and she hits the right marks with sympathetic Londoner Vicky, a quirky, imperfect heroine. (Kirkus Reviews)

Hard to put down . . . thanks to affable leading characters and interesting . . . commentary on the cross-Atlantic cultural gap. (Publishers Weekly)

Meet the Author

Jane Green was born and brought up in London. After abandoning a Fine Art degree and a stint in journalism, she went into public relations and worked for a time on This Morning. Jane then went back into the newspaper world and became a popular feature writer with the Daily Express, before going freelance and starting her first novel. A string of international bestsellers and marriage to an American later, Jane now lives in Connecticut – but flies home to London as often as four children and lots of animals allow.

Jane's hugely successful books include; Straight Talking, Jemima J., Mr Maybe, Bookends, Babyville, Spellbound, The Other Woman and Life Swap. Her latest novel is Second Chance.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Westport, Connecticut
Date of Birth:
May 31, 1968
Place of Birth:
London, England
Education:
"Managed to drop out of Fine Art Degree at University."
Website:
http://www.janegreen.com

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Swapping Lives 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Swapping Lives is a cute, quick weekend read. Jane Green reminds us that the grass is not always greener on the other side. It's not her best book, but it is one that shouldn't be missed. The characters are real and likable, without being far fetched.
risuena More than 1 year ago
I think the whole appreciate your life and things are not always better elsewhere is a good theme, but the author's delivery is not very catching. I thought the story was very slow, and I didn't grow attached to any one of the characters. I had sympathy for their situations and saw how real their problems can be, but it wasn't enough for me. The book just didn't hook me. It had good intentions, therefore I finished it, but I probably wouldn't reread it.
NancyChase More than 1 year ago
I've always enjoyed Jane Green's books and "Swapping Lives" is no exception. The story was interesting, but not a surprise since the subject of swapping something, homes, mates, work, etc has been around for awhile. The characters in the story were believable, especially Vicky and Amber. I read the book over a two day period, so for me it was a fast read, but an enjoyable read. I won't say it was one of Jane Green best, but it was still a wonderful read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first picked up this book because I LOVE the show wife swap. This is probably my second favorite Jane Green book. You really get to now the characters in the story which make it so much more real than other authors do with their characters. At first I thought there was going to be a LOT more drama but was pleasntly surprised that there wasnt. (I didnt want another 'To have and to Hold' on my hands.) Read the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I will say that I was very interested in this book all throughout but Green did take quite some time to get to the point she intended to make. I wish she would have developed some of the characters more. The main point of the book was fantastic in that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I think we have all wondered at some point what it would be like to live our lives another way. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys witty writing and fun characters with vivid imagination.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While Jane Green's books are always very elementary, they are fun and a nice break from stressful, everyday life. 'Swapping Lives' is no exception. 'Jemima J', however will always remain my favorite of Ms. Green's books.
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