Young Wives

Young Wives

3.9 16
by Olivia Goldsmith

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Unflinchingly honest and powerfully insightful, Olivia Goldsmith captures the true essence of today's woman as few writers can. And she's funny while doing it. "Olivia Goldsmith's forte has always been the writing of revenge novels with great, good humor," Washington Post Book World wrote, praising her talents, and Newsweek proclaimed she is "like

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Unflinchingly honest and powerfully insightful, Olivia Goldsmith captures the true essence of today's woman as few writers can. And she's funny while doing it. "Olivia Goldsmith's forte has always been the writing of revenge novels with great, good humor," Washington Post Book World wrote, praising her talents, and Newsweek proclaimed she is "like Jane Austen dealing blackjack... you keep licking your fingers and reaching for the next page as if it was another potato chip." Now the acclaimed author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller The First Wives Club returns with her most powerful and moving novel yet, the contemporary story of three young women's initial illusions, desperate reality, and clever responses to their dirty rotten husbands.

Meet the Young Wives: Angela, Michelle, and Jada, thirty-something women who appear to have lives as delicious as dessert. A typical New Yorker, half-Jewish, half-Italina, Angela is a lawyer married to Reid, a handsome old-money WASP. Michelle, a traditionalist at heart, adors her childhood sweetheart husband, Frank, and the dream house he's provided for her and their two beautiful children. Married to Clinton, Jada is a suburban African American wife working hard to maintain a happy home despite her husband's failing business. She's determined to give her family the privileges she never had.

But then, like a bad souffle, the lives of Angela, Michelle, and Jada separately collapse as they each discover lies embedded in their marriages. Betrayed, their love and trust crushed, their families virtually destroyed, they unite for solace and support. While their nefarious husbands have won the first battle, the war has only just began. Sharing their misery and their dreams, they draw on one another's friendship and strength to heal their wounds—and reconstruct their lives. Bowed but not beaten, this smart, audacious trio concocts a brilliant recipe to take back what's theirs and render justice on their duplicitous men—and transform them from victims to victors...

The perfect anti-Valentine's Day story, Young Wives is an addictively funny novel with an edge. Nobody understands "female problems" as well as Olivia Goldsmith, and here she is at her smart and satisfying best.

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Editorial Reviews

Robert Allen Papinchak
Goldsmith hits the ground running from the first chapter and doesn't let up in her heady search for justice until the final screw is turned. Ultimately, Young Wives is an entertaining but predictable cautionary tale about the marital loop-the-loop. Who really wins in this postmodern war of the sexes? If you know Goldsmith, you know women end up on top.
USA Today
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Delightful... frothy.. slapstick comedy at its best.
An oasis in the emotional desert of popular fiction.
There's almost nothing more satisfying than a good satire of the fashion biz.
New York Daily News
Witty.... Perfect comic relief.
Washington Post Book World
Lots of romance and revenge... all of it pleasing....Charming.
Los Angeles Times
A wicked litle fairy tale.
International Herald tribune
A zany treat.
International Herald Tribune
A zany treat.
Library Journal
Three young wives discover what they should have known all along: that their husbands are rotten. Optioned for film, of course. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.57(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

In which we meet the improbability named Angela Rachel Goldfarb Romazzano Wakefield, on the occasion of her paper anniversary, and the strange outcome of that celebration

Angela Wakefield had arrived early, partly because she was a compulsively prompt person--law school had taught her the wisdom of that--but equally because she wanted to savor these moments before their little party began. So she sat, her legs neatly crossed at the ankle, her purse on the third chair, and stared out the window at the water. Marblehead, Massachusetts, was so beautiful that it was not a place she'd ever imagined making her home--her, a dago Jew mongrel from Queens, New York. Even now, though it was well into autumn, sailboats were tacking their way across the harbor, fishing boats were pulling into dock as the sunset turned to twilight. Distant lights had begun to twinkle in homes along the water.

Reid had picked the restaurant and, just like Reid, the club was perfectly groomed. The white cloths on the table glowed in the waning light; the glass and silverware gleamed. The starched napkins had been folded into complicated shapes, kind of like the newspaper soldier hats she used to make to play army, though these napkins were much prettier.

Angie looked around self-consciously. She was never so neat, so well--pressed as the napkins. Her hair was wild, black and curly, long and not really styled; her clothes were always wrinkled or losing a button. She was told often by Reid that it was part of her charm. Why else would Reid have married her?

Angie looked around the club dining room. She knew not to expect much from the food inplaces like this: go to a Brookline deli or Boston's North End for good food. Here the martinis would be dry, the service impeccable. Angie never felt very comfortable alone in the club. She shifted in her chair. In just a little while--since he was usually late--Reid Wakefield III, her husband of one year today, would be sitting opposite her. Reid was comfortable anywhere. He belonged not only to this club but the birthright club welcomed by all.

When the waiter approached Angela inwardly groaned. He asked for her drink order, but she didn't want to start without Reid, so she apologized and said she'd wait, if it was okay. "He should be here any minute," she added, checking her watch. Reid was already twenty min-utes late, but he was chronic that way, always overscheduling, always so involved with whatever he was doing that he forgot about whatever he was committed to do next. Well, not forget about, exactly. He just juggled a little and--because of his charm--everyone forgave him.

Angie used the time now to pull out her makeup kit and surrepti-tiously check her face. It was a pretty face--roundish, with round dark eyes, and a generous mouth. Okay, let's face it--a big mouth in both senses of the word. Now her mouth needed more lipstick-why did it wear off her lips but not off her teeth? She ought to comb her hair, though she knew she shouldn't do that at the table.Angie sighed. She was what she was, and Reid had picked her, not one of these real blond, anemic poster girls for Miss Porter's School. They all had names like Elizabeth and Emily and Sloane, but they-in their understated, unwrinkled clothes and untreated hair--hadn't attracted the prince that she had. Take that, you Waspettes!

Reid represented sunshine, vitality, and the kind of life that did not have to acknowledge defeat. Cushioned by money and contacts, his family boated and played tennis and celebrated birthdays and weddings and even funerals in a dignified way that boasted of order and control.

Not that Angela was proud of her heritage. Anyway, all of them were new immigrants compared to Reid's family. The Wakefields had come over after the Mayflower, but only just. Reid's mother, on the other hand, was a Daughter of the American Revolution--and looked it. She didn't color her hair or worry about fashion. She was a Barbara Bush type, but prouder. She'd never said that she was disappointed in Reid's mate, but when Angie thought about it, she didn't know what they had to be so proud of--they'd stolen their land from the Native Americans. Angela figured they got some credit for stealing it early. And they still owned plenty of it in and around Marblehead.

Angie put her lipstick away and puffed out the wrapped gift she had for her husband. It was their paper anniversary and she had racked her brain to come up with the right present. Here it was: an autographed first edition of Clarence Darrow's autobiography. Reid--a newly minted lawyer working for Andover Putnam, the most old-line of Boston's old-line law firms--worshipped Darrow. He'd plotz. Angie patted the package and grinned.

She didn't allow herself to get too excited by the prospect of his gift to her, though. Men weren't that good with gifts or romance. Especially WASP men from old money. She'd learned that already: for their first married Christmas, Reid had given her a pair of ski gloves--even though she didn't ski. When she'd suggested they spend their first romantic weekend away, he'd opted for Springfield, to visit the Basketball Hall of Fame. As if. Worst, for her birthday he'd given her a coffee grinder. She shook her head now, remembering the scene when she'd opened the elaborately wrapped box. "But don't you like fresh ground?" Reid had asked, shocked when in answer she'd thrown the thing at him. They'd had a huge fight. Later she'd called her mother. "A coffee grinder?" she'd asked. "Is it a Braun? Hey, he's trainable. Your father once gave me an ironing board."

Angela had neglected to point out to her mother that she and Angela's father had divorced, and that she didn't want that to happen to her and Reid.

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