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Wives Behaving Badly

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Overview

What could be sweeter than Revenge? The sequel.

American readers fell in love with Elizabeth Buchan's Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman. Now, with the delicious sequel to that beloved New York Times bestseller, Elizabeth Buchan answers the intriguing question: What happens when the mistress becomes the wife?

Minty Lloyd has what she always wanted, her prized Nathan and twin boys, but she is haunted by the glamorous new life of her predecessor, ...

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Wives Behaving Badly

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Overview

What could be sweeter than Revenge? The sequel.

American readers fell in love with Elizabeth Buchan's Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman. Now, with the delicious sequel to that beloved New York Times bestseller, Elizabeth Buchan answers the intriguing question: What happens when the mistress becomes the wife?

Minty Lloyd has what she always wanted, her prized Nathan and twin boys, but she is haunted by the glamorous new life of her predecessor, Rose. Then an unforeseen event forces the rivals to renegotiate their relationship. With Buchan's signature talents, Wives Behaving Badly is a delightful novel that reaffirms its author as our wisest and warmest revealer of women's intimate lives.

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Editorial Reviews

O The Oprah Magazine
Hats off to a title that titillates before you crack the covers. Wives Behaving Badly smartly lives up to its name.... Unusually tasty.
USA Today
Elizabeth Buchan spells delight ... for well-done domestic drama, there's only one writer for this reader.
Publishers Weekly
Rose, the protagonist in the bestselling Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman, stood tall when Minty Lloyd stole both her husband and her job. Buchan now gives Minty the spotlight as she discovers the dangers of getting what you want. Picking up seven years later, Minty and Nathan are married and have twin boys, but Minty's life as a second wife is more difficult than she'd anticipated: Nathan's friends shun her, she's deemed a threat by other married women, Nathan's adult children despise her and full-time motherhood isn't her cuppa tea. So Minty goes back to work at a London television production company, only to find young, unattached and ambitious colleagues nipping at her heels. Things go from manic to molten after Rose reenters the picture and a tragedy sends what's left of the family into a tailspin. Buchan keeps a lot of balls in the air, but readers may wish she'd written for depth and not breadth, as the narrative can feel like a series of vignettes hemmed together. Still, readers who appreciate Buchan's blend of humor and poignancy will find a trove of it. (On sale July 24) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
When trouble strikes, Minty gets support from an unlikely candidate: her husband's first wife. With an eight-city tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Second wife gets short shrift in Buchan's sequel to Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman (2003). Seven years have passed since Minty stole Nathan, chief exec of a London media firm, from his first wife Rose. She now has everything Rose had-a lively brood (six-year-old twins Lucas and Felix) and Rose's beloved home and now neglected garden. In Revenge, Rose's loss of Nathan was immediately followed by the loss of her job at Vistemax, where she was supplanted by her assistant and former confidante, 29-year-old Minty. But marriage to Nathan is far from, er, rosy. Minty has never felt accepted by her husband's friends. His adult children, Poppy and Sam, alternately manipulate and marginalize her. Poppy racks up Internet poker debt and Minty strives to do damage control before daughter hits Dad up for funds. Sam has a career opportunity in Texas but his wife won't leave the U.K. Minty, snooping in Nathan's diary, finds regretful musings. Despite Nathan's new lease on life, he's grown taciturn and cranky. Though visibly unwell, he refuses to see a doctor. Meanwhile, he resists Minty's desire to work full-time at her TV production job. At Vistemax, Nathan's malaise leaves him open to a palace coup. Rose is annoyingly self-possessed and well-dressed for a dumped, 50-ish ex-wife, and Minty is paranoid about Nathan's nostalgia for his old life. Nathan drops dead of a heart attack while visiting Rose-he sought her out after being downsized-while Minty is left to sort out her less-than-optimal inheritance and balance her increasingly precarious position at work with single motherhood. Rose keeps cropping up like a sleekly groomed Marley's ghost. Two girlfriends with marital breakdown and fidelity issuesare dropped into the plot, adding little except padding. Weighed down by so much poetic justice, Minty garners no reader identification. Buchan seems mainly intent on continuing Rose's revenge. Nathan is a cipher and what either woman saw in him remains a mystery. Flabby, meandering and emotionally vacuous.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670034888
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/6/2006
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Buchan

Elizabeth Buchan is the author of several highly acclaimed and bestselling books of fiction, including the bestselling Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman, The Good Wife Strikes Back, Everything She Thought She Wanted, and Consider the Lily.

Biography

Elizabeth Buchan has seen success on both sides of the publishing fence. She began her career writing for Penguin, then took a job as a fiction editor at Random House. When she began writing for herself, she managed motherhood, writing and editing. Her medium is the romance novel, but Buchan produces much more than just escapist love stories. In an interview with iMagazine.com, she explains, "Romantic fiction is a wider, richer and more honorable tradition than it is given credit for. It includes some of the greatest novels ever written -- Jane Eyre, Tess of the D'Urbevilles, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina."

Although Buchan is best known for her romance novels, her first book was actually a biography of one of the world's most beloved children's authors. Beatrix Potter: The Story of the Creator of Peter Rabbit was released 1988. Written for young readers, the book covers Potter's extraordinary life, her art and her lasting contribution to children's literature.

Her first novel, Daughters of the Storm (1989), intertwines the fates of three women as the fate of a nation hangs in the balance. On the eve of the French Revolution, Sophie, Heloise and Marie each seek freedoms of their own -- in love and society -- and forge a friendship that will change their lives forever. In Light of the Moon (1991) Evelyn St. John is in occupied territory in France during World War II. When she meets and falls in love with someone who is supposed to be the enemy, political truths are redefined in the name of love.

London's Sunday Times called Buchan's third novel "the literary equivalent of the English country garden" when it was released in 1993. Consider the Lily is the story of two cousins -- one rich, the other poor -- and their competition for the love of the same man. Set against the backdrop of the English countryside in the years between the two world wars, the novel became an international bestseller and Buchan won the 1994 Romantic Novelists' Association Novel of the Year Award.

Eventually, after the success of Consider the Lily, the call to write became so loud that Buchan retired from her publishing career. Her fourth novel, Perfect Love (1996) also marks a shift in Buchan's novels. Her first three were historical romances, but with the fourth, characters and settings are brought into the 20th century. Here, Prue Valor has been in a proper English marriage with the much older Max for twenty years. Without explanation, but certainly with much guilt, Prue begins an affair with her stepdaughter's new husband (they are the same age) when they realize they cannot deny their attraction for each other. Living magazine said of the book, "The real battle in this novel is between raging passions and English restraint."

Set in the high-finance world of London in the 1980s, Against Her Nature (1997) tells the story of the fallout from being the subject of rumors of incompetence amid a devastating Lloyd's crash. Two women, Tess and Becky balance their fast-paced game of success with every opportunity afforded them, including children. In Secrets of the Heart (2000), four thirty-somethings have found love and must now find a way to hold on to it. Only two succeed in this clever story about the deals we make for love.

Buchan's next novel, Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman (2003) was released to much critical acclaim. This is the story of what happens during the "happily ever after." Shocked at her husband's affair and the collapse of their marriage, Rose reviews the last twenty years of her life, remembers the carefree woman she used to be, and makes a triumphant decision to fight back by moving on. The book became a New York Times bestseller, film rights to the book were snatched up almost immediately, and The Boston Globe called it "a thoughtful, intelligent, funny, coming-of-middle-age story."

Questions of fulfillment are also the subject of 2004's The Good Wife. Fanny is the devoted woman behind a very public, very busy politician -- yet her own ambitions disappeared somewhere along the way. Likewise, in Everything She Thought She Wanted (2005), two women must decide just how much happiness they can sacrifice in order to stay with their husbands.

In her earlier books, Buchan brought intelligence and depth to the historical romance novel. Her later books have also captured the hard choices women must make in love, in family and in society. With humor and intelligence, her contemporary characters are Bridget Jones aged 25 years, at the point where she has attained the life she sought so long ago, but finds that the searching never ends.

Good To Know

Buchan is married to a grandson of John Buchan, the author of The Thirty-Nine Steps.

In our interview, Buchan reflects that "one of the great joys that hedges around the business of writing is making contact with other writers. I belong to a group that meets every month or so in a shabby old pub in north London, and we sit down to dinner, all of us writers, all of us totally absorbed by the problems, pleasures, and rewards of the process."

Buchan has had several books published in the UK, includiing: Daughters of the Storm (1988), Light of the Moon (1991), Consider the Lily (1993), Perfect Love (1995), Against Her Nature (1997), and Secrets of the Heart (2000).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Lizy
    2. Hometown:
      London, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 21, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Guildford, Surrey, England
    1. Education:
      Upper Second Honours Degree in English Literature and History, University of Kent at Canterbury, 1970

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2011

    Don't bother

    Having read and enjoyed several Buchan books, I looked forward to this as a fun, easy read. Wrong! I had to plod and plod and plod through, working hard to get to the end, amazed that it went on and on and on as it did. The point was made almost at the beginning: Minty was miserable and hated by everyone--as she deserved to be, Nathan was unhappy and ladden with guilt--as he deserved to be, and Rose smelled like a Rose--as she deserved to. The first two people were unlikable and full of self-pity, the third was an understanding saint. Blah! I finished it just to see where it went, but it wasn't worth the ride. Most distressing however, was the writing. It was stilted, and phony, and very affected, like it's characters. Every person in every scene was described by the clothes they were wearing, right down to their shoes. They spoke English, but often said nothing, or nothing intelligible. I enjoyed "Revenge" and thought the sequel was a good concept. But, in reality, the book was a great disappointment.I really wanted to give it 0 stars rather than the 1 shown. That says it all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2006

    Another good one by Buchan

    First, this book is by Elizabeth Buchan, not the other Elizabeth named. Secondly, the book is excellent. Was a sequel 'needed'? Perhaps not because the first book does stand on its own but it does provide excellent insight into Minty. This book is about Minty not Nathan and not Rose. Sure, they are there but it's Minty's story. And an excellent one it is. Even if you disliked Minty at the end of Revenge, as I did, you should read this book and get an idea of what has been going thru her mind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2006

    HEAR WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN THE SECOND TIME AROUND

    All who cheered for Rose, the wife who was usurped by a young mistress, Minty, in Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman will undoubtedly want hear Wives Behaving Badly in order to follow the fortunes of these women and, of course, Nathan, ex husband to one and now husband to another. It's an interesting scenario Elizabeth Buchan has crafted. There are jillions of stories about the fate of mistresses but few follow a mistress who becomes a wife. At first, Minty was ecstatic at the thought of actually becoming Nathan's wife. But, for her, matrimony isn't the exact bed of roses that she had anticipated. It is now some seven years later and the joys of parenting their twin boys aren't quite as pronounced as they once were. (This feeling is exacerbated after Minty takes a sneak peek at Nathan's diary). Perhaps this is because Nathan's job is at a bit of a standstill and, after all, he does have two grown children from his first marriage, Poppy and Sam. Poppy doesn't care for her stepmother one little bit and she's not shy about showing it. On the other hand Rose has really blossomed. She's now a successful travel writer with TV appearances to her credit. Just how Minty copes with life not turning out as she had once planned is what this story is all about. Don't expect Wives Behaving Badly to deserve the subtitle Rose's Revenge because Buchan has a few surprises in store. Ably read by classically trained actress Justine Eyre, this is a fresh look at what could happen the second time around. - Gail Cooke

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2006

    One Book Was Enough

    When Elizabeth Berg wrote 'Revenge of the Middle-Age Woman' I thought it was one of the best books of the year, especially for woman who were in the situation that was the main theme of the book. However, she decided to write a sequel which, in my mind, was totally unnecessary. I think at the end of the first book, the story was complete, knowing how the situation would turn out. Are we supposed to feel sorry for Minty???? Do we need to know that Nathan had made a tragic mistake and, the more he suffers, the happier we are. Forget this one....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2011

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