Young Wives

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Overview

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 ...

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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. Read more Show Less

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Overview

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 beauiful 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.
Herald
An oasis in the emotional desert of popular fiction.
People
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.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Delightful... frothy.. slapstick comedy at its best.
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060175535
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/26/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Olivia Goldsmith is the bestselling author of The First Wives Club, Flavor of the Month, Fashionably Late, The Bestsller, Marrying Mom,and Switcheroo. She lives in south Florida and is no longer young or a wife.

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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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Customer Reviews

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( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2004

    AWESOME NOVEL

    Three young women discover something about their husbands they should have known all along: they are rotten. Young Wives is about Jada, Michelle, and Angie and the bond that grows between them. All three of their husbands do absolutely awful things to them, much worse than cheating and lying. The three women work together and seek revenge on the men. Young Wives, by Olivia Goldsmith, is definitely worth reading because it is suspenseful and leaves you always wanting more. An exciting event literally happens every three pages; it is unbelievable. There is not one dull sentence in this fascinating novel. Girls would probably like this novel more, just because it talks about horrible things than men do. Young Wives is witty and funny, a good read for all women.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2004

    Funny, suspensful...a good read for anyone!

    Three young women discover something about their husbands they should have known all along: they are rotten. Young Wives is about Jada, Michelle, and Angie and the bond that grows between them. All three of their husbands do absolutely awful things to them, much worse than cheating and lying. The three women work together and seek revenge on the men. Young Wives by Olivia Goldsmith is definitely worth reading because it is suspenseful and leaves you always wanting more. An exciting event literally happens every three pages; it is unbelievable. There is not one dull sentence in this fascinating novel. Young Wives is witty and funny, a good read for anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2003

    SUPER GLUE HAS NEW MEANING FOR ME

    ALTHOUGH NOT AS GOOD AS 'FIRST WIVES' I ENJOYED THIS NOVEL. I REALLY ENJOYED THE PART ABOUT REID & THE SUPER GLUE.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2003

    funny,courage,love,and friendship.

    I really loved this book. I even cryed, but I recomened this book to all the young wives that his been cheated on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2002

    Too Poorly Edited to be Good

    While this is not my idea of a 'good' novel, it is, all in all, a fun lazy rainy day read. However, I noticed, not for the first time, Goldsmith's huge, glaring errors on almost every page (this seems to be a habit of hers, as I've noticed them in her other books). Example: At the beginning of the story, it is established that Michelle and Jada have been friends for four years 'ever since Jada moved into the neighborhood'. Later in the book they reminisce over their 'seven years' of friendship. I mean, what editor could miss that? Additionally, after Angie leaves Boston, she is shown lying in her father's den. It is made clear that she has been lying on the couch for several days. Angie idly wonders what day it is, and makes it clear that she has not bathed, ate, etc. for some time. On the very next page, however, Angie marvels that it 'was only yesterday' that she and Reid were celebrating their anniversary. Huh? And on it goes. When Angie does return to Boston, it is first stated that she has only been gone for one week (which would mean that Reid, who has begged Angie to renew wedding vows, plyed her with gifts, etc. has obtained a new live-in within a matter of days). Further down the page it states that she has been away for a few weeks and then that she and Reid had 'been separated for less than a month' (alright, a week is less than a month, but you get the point). Later in the book, there is an ENTIRE CHAPTER devoted to Angie's divorce proceedings that ends with Angie and her parents [divorced] boarding a plane. It states that the 'three divorced members of the Romanzzano family' got on the plane. However, as the book continues, we learn that Angie is able to lure Reid's lover into her trap because she knows the woman is desparate for Angie to speed up the divorce. And Reid tells Jada and Michelle 'My divorce is almost final.' I mean, enough is enough is enough. These are GLARING errors, here - and they really detract from the story. Further, there are pathetic factual errors. Assuming that Angie was at her father's house from anywhere between one week and one month before returning to Boston, are we REALLY expected to believe that she went from a size 6 to a size 10? ESPECIALLY considering the fact that her first several days were spent in a state of utter disbelief and depression, not moving, too spent to eat or bathe. It would take an incredible amount of overeating and lethargy to gain that much weight in such a short space of time. Just ridiculous. Additionally, I work for lawyers and there is no WAY that someone as inexperienced as Angie obviously is would have ever been allowed to first-chair a proceeding such as Jada's - especially considering the fact that she has NOT taken the bar in that state and is not licensed. My other complaint is the disgusting amount of prejudice shown in Jada's character. '[sigh] it's not easy being a black woman'; 'who would have thought I would have WHITE friends?', etc. It's just annoying and pathetic (and, quite frankly, stereotypical and prejudicial on Goldsmith's part). True friends don't even THINK about things like that. Overall, I laughed out loud at the crazy glue scenario and found the story to be reasonably enjoyable, though trite. However, because the few Goldsmith books I have read are so fraught with inconsistencies, I would definitely hesitate before reading another of her books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2001

    THIS BOOK WAS GREAT!!

    I enjoyed this book alot. I think it was better than the First Wives Club. It was funny and heart-warming.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2001

    NO THANKS

    I didn't read 'The First Wives Club,' but I hope it was better that this novel because it got alot of press and this book is not I repeat NOT good. It's driven by an unbelievable plot that should have ended a hundred or so pages earlier. The character are so stereotypical and naive the it's insulting to the reader. Mrs. Goldsmith barely scratched the surface of what could have been several in depth and stiring women. In a nutshell this should be movie not a book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2001

    Unbelievable- but not in a good way!

    Although I devoured both First Wives Club and Bestseller, I was sorely disappointed by Young Wives. Having found Goldsmith to be a writer of escapist page-turners that left me laughing out loud when I got to the final page, I expected to throughly enjoy this book. Instead, I struggled through each lifeless chapter. These characters simply are not believable enough to engage the mind. With good fiction, we believe that the characters actually live and breathe somewhere out there. We cry for them, hope for them, and applaud their eventual triumph. I did none of these things for the three women in this book. I found myself feeling absolutely ambivilent about these women; I didn't care what happened to them. This book was like a watered down imitation of the awesome First Wives Club.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2000

    Definite page-turner!

    This book was awesome!! My eyes were glued to the pages! I almost didn't want it to end. I've recommended it to all of my girlfriends, and I recommend it to everyone else also. Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2000

    It's just the same old song

    Although I found Young Wives funny and wanting to keep up with th plot of the story. I kept me thinking that I was reading, The First Wives Club all over again. It just had the same themes of women trying to stand by their men, men treating them objects instead of partners, the woman coming together and seeking revenge. It was the same, 'don't get mad, get everything your can' song. How about a new song, okay.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2000

    Should Have Stopped With First Wives Club

    I was thrilled to read this book after the wild success of the 'First Wives Club.' I was disappointed, however, to find 'Young Wives' a tale that is all too similar and predictable. I'm all for women coming out on top, and who among us doesn't like a good revenge tale, but these characters and their exploits were just too silly. I think the story will make a great movie -- better viewing than reading. The humor was just average. If you find the writing on television shows like 'Designing Women' or 'Cybil' hilarious, you'll probably like this book, but otherwise there is much better, funnier reading out there.

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    Posted August 31, 2010

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    Posted March 31, 2010

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    Posted March 2, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2011

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    Posted May 11, 2011

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