From New York Times bestselling author Eileen Goudge comes a poignant new novel that asks the question, “What would you do if you were told you had only six months to live?” For one professional matchmaker the answer is heart-wrenching: She must find her husband’s next wife.
Camille Hart, one of Manhattan’s most sought-after matchmakers, has survived more than her fair share of hardships. Her mother died when she was a young girl, leaving her and her sister with an absentee father. Now in her forties, she has already survived cancer once, though the battle revealed just how ill-equipped her husband Edward is to be a single parent. So when doctors tell Camille that her cancer is back—and this time it’s terminal—she decides to put her matchmaking expertise to the test for one final job. Seeking stability for her children and happiness for her husband, Camille sets out to find the perfect woman to replace her when she’s gone.
But what happens when a dying wish becomes a case of “be careful what you wish for”? For Edward and Camille, the stunning conclusion arrives with one last twist of fate that no one saw coming.
At once deeply felt and witty, The Replacement Wife is an unforgettable story of love and family, and a refreshing look at the unexpected paths that lead us to our own happy endings.
|Publisher:||Open Road Integrated Media LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Eileen Goudge (b. 1950) is one of the nation’s most successful authors of women’s fiction. She began as a young adult writer, helping to launch the phenomenally successful Sweet Valley High series, and in 1986 she published her first adult novel, the New York Times bestseller Garden of Lies.
She has published fifteen novels in all, including the three-book saga of Carson Springs, Thorns of Truth —a sequel to Gardens of Lies —and 2012’s The Replacement Wife. She lives and works in New York City.
Read an Excerpt
The Replacement Wife
By Eileen Goudge
OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIACopyright © 2012 Eileen Goudge
All rights reserved.
"We had a nice time," Kat said.
Camille Harte felt her heart sink and the fizz go out of the celebratory bottle of champagne she'd mentally uncorked. In her line of work, she'd learned to read nuances and inflections the way a fortune-teller did tea leaves. It did not go well, she thought. Damn. She'd been so sure.
"But?" she prompted in a mild tone.
A lengthy pause at the other end of the phone, then Kat said slowly, "Well. He's a great guy and all. But ... Let's just say I know more about his ex-wife than I do about him."
Camille suppressed a sigh. Clearly, the message figuratively chiseled in stone over the doorway to the Harte to Heart Agency had failed to sink in with Mr. Once-Burned: Abandon all talk of exes, ye who enter here. Maybe she should require a minimum wait of one year following a divorce.
"What did you talk about besides his, ah, ex?" she asked.
"Oh, you know, his job, my job ... the fact that we're both into rock climbing and love jazz." Kat ticked the boxes in a bored voice. "Did you know he has the 'lost' recording of Clifford Brown?" She grew slightly more animated. Camille did know, in fact; Stephen Resler had shown off his vast CD collection and state-of-the art sound system during her home visit. Less impressive to her was his Rat Pack-worthy bachelor pad, which had been in desperate need of a do-over. She'd called in her "commando" decorator, Jeffrey Rabin, and three weeks later, after a fresh paint job, updated window treatments, some new furnishings and throw pillows from West Elm, the place was transformed. Now any woman Stephen brought home wouldn't feel as if she were entering the Playboy mansion circa 1967. Not that Kat would ever venture there; she'd seen enough, apparently. "Like I said, he's a great guy," she repeated without enthusiasm.
"So, no kiss?"
"What?" She gave a nervous laugh. "Oh, that. No. Definitely not."
"If you had to rate the date on a scale of one to ten ...?"
"I don't know. A five?"
She was being generous, Camille knew. Excessive talk of one's ex did more than put a damper on the evening: It was the equivalent of a cold shower. She suppressed another sigh and absently pushed a hand through her hair, momentarily taken aback, as always, by its springiness. Hair that for the first thirty-nine years of her life had been bone-straight and in high school the bane of her existence (as well as the victim of several awful home perms and one truly tragic salon job that had left her looking like a cross between Orphan Annie and Lucille Ball), and which, after she'd lost it all to chemo, had grown back curly: her consolation prize, courtesy of the Man Upstairs.
She smiled into the phone. "Not to worry. It wasn't a good fit, that's all. We'll keep trying."
"You still think he's out there?" Kat asked in a small voice. A reporter for a local TV news station, she was known for her fearlessness and hard-charging investigative style, but here she was just another single woman pushing forty who'd caught the brass ring but not the gold.
The "he" in question was someone tall, handsome, kind, family-minded, with a good sense of humor who earned a high six-figure income. "He" drove a luxury car, owned not leased, and lived on a high floor in an upscale neighborhood, preferably in the 212 area code. "He" led an active life and had the body to show for it, and was equally super-charged in his profession (with, ideally, a corner office to show for it). "He" was able to secure prime tables at the best restaurants, knew the difference between gnocchi and gnudi and could knowledgeably discuss wines with sommeliers. "He" was a skilled lover who knew how to pleasure a woman. And, last but not least, "he" would never, under any circumstances, cheat on "her."
Camille's high-powered female clients wanted in their personal lives what they strove for in the workplace: the position to which they felt entitled, with all the attendant perks and benefits.
So much for simple kindness and a great smile.
Camille hadn't had a wish list when she met Edward. While these days she might liken herself to a fairy godmother who waved her magic wand to spin white satin out of Calvin Klein executive threads, back then she'd been too inexperienced to know what she did now, at forty-two. As a teenager, she'd devoured paperback novels that featured corseted bosoms and bronzed, bulging pecs on the cover. Other than that, she hadn't had a clue what to look for in a man. She'd merely gotten lucky with Edward. She hoped the same for Kat that she did all her clients: that they wouldn't be so blinded by their expectations they'd fail to see what was in front of them.
"Absolutely," she replied.
"You don't think I'm being too picky?"
Camille didn't believe in settling. The right man was out there. And Kat had a lot to offer. Looks-wise, she was an eleven on a scale of ten, with a glamorous and highly visible career. The trouble with her was she had so much on the ball, the ball had just kept rolling. She'd come of age having men fall at her feet and had happily partaken of all that fallen fruit. But as she'd grown older, the pickings had grown thinner. By the time she was in her mid-thirties, most men her age were either taken or had more baggage than the cargo hold of a 747. "I'm not looking to play Florence Nightingale to the walking wounded," she'd stated bluntly in their first interview.
"Aye, aye, Captain," Kat said now. "But if he's still a no-show by the time I turn forty, I'm officially declaring him MIA." She had a sense of humor about it, at least, which put her in good stead.
Camille hung up feeling more spurred on than discouraged. She was reminded of why she'd chosen this profession. It was the Rubik's cube of romance: challenging, yes, but also deeply satisfying when you got all the little colored boxes to line up. Mostly, it was a matter of applying her expertise—a matchmaker was combination headhunter, den mother, makeover artist, and shrink—in finding someone who either fit a client's requirements or fulfilled some subconscious need. But she also had to know when to go with her gut. And judging by the number of successful matches she had made—more than three hundred to date—she figured she must be doing something right.
She thought back to her most recent triumph. At first glance, Alice Veehoffer and Andy Stein appeared to have nothing in common other than that their first names both started with an A. Alice was a chemist who spent her days cozying up to test tubes, Andy a customer relations expert whose job relied on the personal touch. The ideal Sunday for Alice was wandering on her own through a museum or curling up with a good book at home, and for Andy hanging out with his pals or bicycling in Central Park. Their first date had been an unmitigated disaster, with Andy doing most of the talking, and Alice, as she put it, relegated to the role of "crash-test dummy." But Camille had had a gut feeling, and she'd prevailed on them to give it another go.
The second time was the charm. Andy took Alice to a showing of The African Queen at the Lincoln Center Theater, and afterward they chuckled over the unlikely pairing of Rose and Charlie and how it mirrored their own. Which, in turn, led to a discussion of things they did have in common. They'd both minored in Russian in college, were passionate foodies, and loved to travel. Alice described a recent trip to Saint Petersburg; Andy regaled her with tales of his junior year abroad in Florence. They talked for hours—about everything from Russian literature to their careers and what more they wanted out of life—while nibbling on salumi and sipping prosecco at Bar Boulud.
Five months later, they were standing under the chuppah, saying their vows. At the reception afterward, Andy raised his glass in a toast to Camille, saying with heartfelt gratitude, "Cupid may be a lousy shot, but you scored a bull's-eye."
She was nothing if not persistent. It was the same persistence that had kept her going when she'd been at death's door the previous year. A year that, to quote the good Queen Elizabeth, had been her own personal annus horribilis. First there was the shock of diagnosis. Radiation and chemo followed, then with the cancer continuing its relentless Sherman's March, a stem cell transplant, which left her battling everything from mouth sores to a blood infection. Even after she was released from the hospital, she was dog-tired most days and prone to nausea and fevers. Nevertheless, she dragged herself to work whenever humanly possible. And when all her hair fell out, she bought a high-priced wig from a shop in Borough Park, Brooklyn, that specialized in sheytls—the first goy ever to cross the threshold, from the astonished look on the Hassidic shopkeeper's face. Most importantly, she adhered to her cardinal rule: Never let on. Her clients didn't need to feel sorry for her while fretting about their own uncertain futures.
"Dara, get Stephen Resler on the line," she called to her assistant.
Dara Murray sat at the only other desk in the agency's tiny office on the twenty-ninth floor of the Hearst Tower, at West Fifty-Seventh Street and Eighth Avenue. All client meetings took place outside the office, mainly in restaurants or coffee shops, or if the client was from out of town, Camille traveled to meet with them (at their expense), so the small space suited them. Over time, it had taken on the look of a college dorm room. On Dara's desk sat a framed photo of the all-girl rock band for which she'd been bass guitarist back in the day; next to it, an outsize martini glass from some promotional event. On the table against the wall an iPad dock shared space with an espresso maker, and the loveseat where they took their proverbial coffee breaks held a plush parrot, a souvenir from a recent trip to Key West, and a needlepoint pillow with the slogan Kiss a frog ... you might get lucky.
"He's in a meeting," Dara informed her after she'd placed the call. "His secretary wants to know if it's urgent."
Urgent? Of course it was urgent, Camille thought. If she'd learned anything from the past year, it was that life was short. And Mr. Once-Burned wasn't getting any younger. He was paying her good money to find him a wife, but so far he'd sabotaged three dates with three separate women. Reports from the front had a disturbingly similar ring: The evening would start out promisingly enough; then a couple of drinks in, as it was getting cozy, talk would turn to the subject of his ex-wife. He wasn't even aware of it half the time and was always remorseful afterward. On the plus side, he didn't get defensive when she pointed out the error of his ways, and unlike many of his Wall Street brethren, Masters of the Universe for whom image was everything, he wasn't out to land the "perfect ten." He was more interested in whether a woman was smart and her heart was in the right place than in her bra size.
"I'm not looking for perfection," he'd informed Camille over lunch at Patsy's, at their first meeting. "I'm not the guy who wants Angelina Jolie but who isn't willing to take a good look in the mirror. I don't delude myself into thinking I'm Brad Pitt. That said, I think I have a lot to offer."
"That you do," she agreed wholeheartedly.
Stephen Resler was an inch or two shorter than most women wanted in a prospective husband, with close-cropped hair that was thinning on top, but he made up for it with an abundance of charm, smarts, and sheer physicality. He'd grown up on the mean streets of the South Bronx having to defend himself with his fists, and despite his Ivy League education and years as a Wall Street mover and shaker, he still looked the part: sturdy as a truncheon, with a gaze that could cut through steel and a muscularity that didn't come from power lifting at the gym.
He had some rough edges—evident in his expansive hand gestures and tendency to drop his r's; also his references to family members who were cops and firefighters—but what might be a turnoff for some would be a refreshing change of pace for others: There was nothing metrosexual about Stephen Resler.
"I just have one question," she said. It was the same thing she asked all prospective clients who were licking their wounds after a divorce. "Are you sure you're ready for this? Because I get the feeling you're still not over your ex."
Stephen gave a rueful smile. "What can I say? Yeah, I still think about Charlene. Probably more than I should. But that's gotta count for something, right? Shows I'm a caring guy."
"For this to work, you first have to get someone to care about you," she said in a firm voice. "And that, I can assure you, isn't going to happen if she feels she's in competition with your ex."
He put his hand to his heart. "I'll be on my best behavior. I promise," he vowed.
Famous last words, she thought now, a bead of exasperation rising despite her attempt to squelch it. "No. Have him call me back," she told Dara. The come-to-Jesus with Stephen Resler could wait.
Dara hung up, returning her attention to her computer screen, where the contact info for Stephen Resler was highlighted. "Should I file him under Lost Cause or Hope Springs Eternal?"
Camille sighed. "He just needs some fine-tuning, is all," she said.
"More like a kick in the ass," joked Dara.
"Now, now." Camille cast her a mildly reproachful look. If the situation were reversed—Stephen managing her stock portfolio—she would expect to see results. He should expect nothing less from her.
Dara shook her head in wonderment. "You never quit, do you?"
Dara was the living embodiment of Rule Number One: You didn't have to be beautiful. She had the kind of looks that could be described as either homely or interesting, and yet because she had the confidence of a head turner and dressed the part—today's outfit a slim skirt that hugged her bony hips, vintage rayon top, and death-defying heels—she never lacked for male attention. With her non-surgically-altered nose, blunt-cut hair the color of the Sumatran coffee she consumed by the gallon, wide-set green eyes accentuated by eyeliner, and the gap between her front teeth that had defied orthodontics, she reminded Camille of the young Barbra Streisand.
Camille flashed her a grin. "Nope. Don't know the meaning of the word."
She picked up the phone and punched in another number. She still hadn't heard back from Lauren Shapiro about last night's date with David Cohen. Not a good sign. Could something have happened to nip their romance in the bud? If so, Camille couldn't think what it might be. The museum curator and bookish Columbia professor had hit it off on their first date, he as smitten with her as she with him. Not only that, they were perfect for each other in every way, both in their mid-thirties with similar interests and backgrounds, and both eager to start a family.
Though not necessarily with each other, it now appeared.
"We had sex!" Lauren moaned.
"That bad, huh?"
"No! It was fantastic!"
Camille smiled. "Okaaaaay. So, what seems to be the problem?"
"It's too soon! He probably thinks I jump into bed with every guy I go out with."
"I doubt that. But what if he does? That's not necessarily a bad thing." Camille reminded her that most men wanted a woman who was uninhibited in bed. In her eleven years as a matchmaker, she had yet to have a female client rejected for being too sexual. Usually, it was the opposite.
Lauren was too busy fretting to see reason, however. She sounded on the verge of tears. "The thing is, I really like him. I think he might be the One."
"How do you know he doesn't feel the same way?"
"He hasn't called!"
Camille glanced at her watch. It had been less than twenty-four hours, too soon to panic. "I'll see what I can find out." She spoke in low, soothing tones. "In the meantime, try not to worry. I'm sure there's a perfectly good explan—" She was interrupted by a call-waiting beep at the other end.
"Omigod. That's him!" Lauren exclaimed breathlessly. She sounded more like a girl in junior high than a grown woman who was currently curating a major Rothko exhibition. "Gotta go."
Excerpted from The Replacement Wife by Eileen Goudge. Copyright © 2012 Eileen Goudge. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
What People are Saying About This
“Eileen Goudge writes like a house on fire, creating characters you come to love and hate to leave.” —Nora Roberts
This book will appeal to traditional and contemporary romance readers alike. It is also an ideal pick for reading groups and book clubs, with plenty of opportunities for further discussion.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a long and incredibly emotional read. I'll preface this review by saying that you'll need to make sure that you have a box of tissues at the ready while reading and someone to hug when you've come to the conclusion...because you will need a hug. Camille's character captures one's heart from the first few chapters...and how could she not. She's a matchmaker...and not just as a means to live by...but because she genuinely wants to help people find love and companionship. She has what appears to be the perfect family: two great kids and a stalwart husband who has stood by her literally "in sickness and in health" and who she loves so much that when the dreaded happens (her cancer returns) she worries not about herself and her future but for those of her husband Edward and her children. I can't say that I agreed with much of Camille's logic, but I definitely felt her pain and understood her motives. Certainly a lot more than I could understand those of her counterpart Edward. (But much as I want to I won't say too much on that count..I hate spoilers) Suffice it to say that there were as many moments in this book that I wanted to yell at and strangle characters as there were moments where I couldn't read through the tears. And there were many such moments. Perhaps that is the greatest compliment that one can give an author....the experience of such a range of emotions all within one volume...at times all brought out by one character. I will say that I feel that this book is a pretty good example of human nature. Of the lengths that we will go to secure the happiness of our loved ones as well as the lengths that we will go at times to escape their sadness as well...regardless of the costs. I actually don't agree with the synopsis that this is a "refreshing look at the unexpected paths that lead us to our own happy endings", but it certainly does show the multitude of paths that we can take as individuals and as part of a family and the variety of consequences/results to which those paths may lead us. Some of them happy, some of them not so happy, some that can be rebuilt into something meaningful and wondrous...and others that can't. But ultimately, no matter the path, no matter the destination...we can survive. This book broke my heart...and I think that you should all give it the chance to impact upon you as well. (I actually could not decide if this should be a four or a five star book. My range of emotions was so extreme. If I had 4.5 Timepieces I would have used that)
I was very disappointed with the outcome of this book. Unfortunately, I pegged the outcome from the beginning. I did, however, expect the character to stay physically faithful and was disappointed by the way the author portrayed the characters morally. I almost quit reading, but didn't want to waste my money by not finishing the book. I was not only dissatisfied with the outcome of the book, but also with some of the writing. I found myself skimming large portions of the book to "get to the point". I love to read, but this book was approximately 200 pages too long. I am glad that I purchased this book on sale. I wish it had been free, because at this point, I see it as a waste. I wish I could get the last two days of my life back...
This book alternated between depressing and infuriating. I didn't like any of the characters. They were either hypocrits, selfish or controlling. I regret reading the book.
DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY! I am an avid reader and this is the first time that I have ever hated a book so much that I felt the need to write a review. The characters are not likeable - especially the mistress, YUCK! The characters are selfish morally devoid people. There is no chemistry between husband and wife or husband and mistress - I found myself not caring about who he ended up with... Further, the story is boring. I found myself skipping pages when reading details about some of the characters lives. HATED IT!!!!!!
I was intrigued by the premise of the book. As a married person, I could not imagine ever facing death and facing what will happen to my family if I passed away as Camille does in the book. I think its interesting (albeit very scary) to think about. Camille is a matchmaker so she knows what people want in a relationship. That being said while I understand that Camille wants to make sure that her children are taken care of, it almost seemed like she was meddling in her husband's future life and ...moreI was intrigued by the premise of the book. As a married person, I could not imagine ever facing death and facing what will happen to my family if I passed away as Camille does in the book. I think its interesting (albeit very scary) to think about. Camille is a matchmaker so she knows what people want in a relationship. That being said while I understand that Camille wants to make sure that her children are taken care of, it almost seemed like she was meddling in her husband's future life and in the woman who she sets him up with. Was it really fair to either of them? I know that couples have to have that conversation of what happens after but is this the way to do it? It almost seemed really controlling on Camille's part. While I had a hard time understanding the decisions that the characters made, this book really did make me think. And I love a book that makes me ponder things in my own life. I also really enjoyed the twists in the books. They definitely kept me on my toes. I would be interested to read some of the other things that Eileen Goudge has written. The writing is great. I do wish that the number of extraneous minor characters had been cut down a little bit. It really confused me and I kept waiting to see how these minor characters were going to factor into the story and they never really did, which took away from the story of the main characters. Bottom line: Overall, an interesting premise with questionable motives.
This novel asks the question, "What would you do if you were told you had six months to live?" Wow, this book really gets you thinking about that question. The author does a great job of having you feel sympathetic for a character then totally doing an about face and feeling for another, and then getting so mad at them! Honestly, the actions of two of the characters almost had me putting the book down for good, however, what happens is "real life" (but does not make it right), and I cared enough about the characters to find out what happened. This would be a great book for your book club.
Book Title: "The Replacement Wife" Author: Eileen Goudge Published By: Open Road Media Age Recommended: 18 + Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard Raven Rating: 5 Review: I've just finished "The Replacement Wife" by Eileen Goudge, and I'm still sitting here wondering what it would be like to be told you only had a few months to live. A few months left with your children, your husband, friends, and family... what would you do? What would you do if you were a business-woman whose job was to find matches for people that had not the time nor ability to find that perfect someone in their life, then one day you find out that you had to find someone to replace you because you fear your family would be unable to go on without you? How hard would it be to seek out a woman to finish raising your children, to be your husband's companion, to give yourself a sense of accomplishment and well-being before you traveled down your final road to eternal sleep? This book made me cry, it made me smile and above all it made me thankful for what I have in my life. Eileen Goudge writes this story beautifully, with an expertise that makes you feel, dream, and truly live it as though you were there. Camille Hart is not just a matchmaker with a terminal illness, she's a martyr, a fighter and a modern day heroine. The surprising ending is the best of all. I whole-heartedly recommend this novel. Everyone should read it, man or woman, a beautiful book and one to truly be cherished.
This book was good. I like that it was in not predictable. The characters are real and flawed. It is sad to see a marriage unravel but things like this happen every day and typically authors wrap it up neatly in the end and everyone lives happily ever after. Not so in this case. Highly recommend this novel.
The Replacement Wife should come with a warning label, “BE PREPARED TO HAVE YOUR HEART RIPPED OUT OF YOUR CHEST AND PUT BACK TOGETHER PIECE BY PIECE.” This story hit me hard. It’s written beautifully. I knew from reading the synopsis that this was going to be one tough cookie to swallow, but my goodness, I couldn’t breathe at times. These characters have haunted me over the past few days. They are so real. It feels as if I were to fly to New York I could find them. Eileen Goudge did an excellent job on character development. Normally when I read a book I know who I’m rooting for, good guy/bad guy. Easy. Well not this time. My stance practically changed after each chapter. I know I will be thinking about this book for a long time. As it is, I’ve told so many people about it simply because I can’t get it out of my head. Read it for yourself and see what I mean. I hope you have a strong heart.
This book is well written-but there's an infidelity subplot that is disgusting and supposedly romantic. And ruins the story.
A heavy book in two ways, quite a chunkster in pages and a heavy topic that at times was hard to swallow, but in a good way. From the beginning you fall head over heals for Camille, a mother of two young children who are on the cusp of the teenage years and need a mother now more than ever. She has already battled cancer once and now facing it again, the prospects look grim. With a profession as a match-maker, she decides that fixing her husband up with a future partner will help the family avoid undue heartache and pain when she leaves them. From there the story takes quite a few twists and turns. I never reveal plot points that may ruin a story, but this one has the reader on the edge of the seat from beginning to end. I wanted to know how Camille and Edward were going to fare after the endeavors that this journey called life would take them on. I may have read this book with deeper meaning because of what is going on in my personal life. Recently engaged and planning a wedding and a marriage, it was hard to think about a future without this boy next to me and then to think if I would then find someone to accompany on the rest of the journey or if I would finish this life alone. Hard thoughts for me, but I crave books that make me reflect on topics that I wouldn't otherwise think about.
Warning: There are major spoilers in my review!!!I finished this book a few days ago and haven't gotten around to reviewing it because I have been busy. From reading the synopsis of this book I knew it was a book I had to read. I loved the main character, Camille; she was easy to relate to and easy to sympathize with. Even though I knew that her cancer would return I was felt for her when it happened. I could understand Camille's actions in regards to finding someone to take care of her husband and kids after she is gone. I could also understand how her plan backfired, but that doesn't mean that I liked what Edward did. I know that he felt she was trying to push him off onto someone else but that doesn't give him permission to cheat on his dying wife. I was happy, but not surprised, that Camille beat the cancer. I didn't expect her and Edward to stay together after that but I didn't want him with Angie either. I hated Angie. Stealing a dying woman's husband is disgusting. I was not a big fan of Edward and Angie getting married. I felt no warm and fuzzy feelings when reading that part. I did end up liking Camille more because she handled it with grace. Overall this was a good book that I would recommend to women.[I won this book from a Librarything Early Reviewers giveaway. That does not affect the content of my review in any way.]
I wanted to like this book as I have enjoyed this author in the past, but this one didn't work for me.I have no problem with the issue of cheating. It happens. To find it in literature is unavoidable. I'm a firm believer in mimicking life, that not every book should be about skipping through flowers and sunshine. But I must relate to or sympathize with the characters somehow. I couldn't stand a single soul in this book...except the kids maybe.Caroline is playing with fire. She is dying. Instead of enjoying the time she has left, she spends it bickering with her husband because she insists on finding his next wife.Edward...takes advantage of this...perhaps not willingly or even knowingly at first, but his secret meetings with another woman--not on Caroline's possible wife radar had me perturbed. And Angie...she shoulda known better. I'm sorry, but the woman is dying of cancer. It makes it all worse.I could have lived with all this and even enjoyed the book despite the fact I loathed the characters, but for one thing that drove me absolutely batty. TMI!!! Every character that was introduced, we had to be given their entire life history and story!I could skip five or six pages and not miss a beat. I couldn't care less what so and so's mother did or grandmother..and all that.Just wow. Cool story line, unlikable characters, not well implemented.
The premise of this story was so intriguing: a woman, knowing she is dying of cancer wants to bring into their family a "replacement wife." More than a few hearts are broken as a result. I have to say I did not like the way the main plot resolved, and like previous reviewers I don't want to spoil the story. Unfortunately, they way it did turn out is probably (and sadly) the most realistic. One day I'm going to learn not to read/request romance novels. For those who love them, this is probably a 4+ star book.Disclaimer: I received this book as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers giveaway.
I liked that all of the characters seem realistic (even if their lives seem a bit too charmed at times). What I also liked was that the characters had flaws. For all of her good intentions, Camille doesn't ask her husband what he really wants before starting down the path of finding him a new match. Edward's a bit self-absorbed at times. I didn't always like either of them (and actually, liked one of the supporting characters more than either of the two main people .... even if that character was a bit cliched at times). However, as I said, I felt these characters were somewhat realistic --- and they have personal growth throughout the book. The author does really get across her point about being careful about what you wish for, and also, the point that the best laid intentions don't always have the best results.I don't think this is a really deep story, but it's a good page turner if you like stories about relationships, with some ups and downs, and a bit of romance tied in. I don't think I'll be re-reading this any time soon, but it made a nice counterpoint read to the other books I'm currently reading (science fiction and nonfiction). If you're looking for a medium-light summer read, you might want to pick this one up.
Even though this book came out in March, I received an Advanced Review Copy from Librarything just a month or two ago. I thought the premise of the book was very interesting and I looked forward to reading it. I was completely into the book and was really enjoying it until mid-way through. I found there were way too many characters. Besides all the family members, there were Camille's match-making clients and their exes included in the storyline. I was wishing I would have made a post-it note to keep track of all the characters. I think that there were some characters that could have been left out as well as the detailed descriptions of them.I really thought the idea of the book was interesting and honestly made me think about what I would do if I were dying. How would I want my husband and children to be cared for? Would I be willing to "set them up" before I am gone to assure things are playing out like I want them to? After reading this book, I am definitely left with the decision to leave it up to God to handle. Meddling only got Camille in trouble and I am assured that it would happen that way in real life too.I thought there were a lot of different ways the author could have taken this story, and I wasn't thrilled with the storyline she chose. As I said, I really lost interest half-way through when the plan started to go downhill. I don't want to giveaway any surprises, but I became no fan of the husband in the story. I think both Camille and her husband, Edward, acted very immaturely and Edward didn't step up when he was needed. Because of all this drama and poor choices, I do believe this would make an excellent book club discussion for both men and women. I am afraid that I ended up skimming a lot of the story because the author became much too detailed for my interests. I really didn't need a lot of the background information about people and/or details of the scene that the characters were in. I was more interested in the main characters and how their lives were going to play out. So, even though I began with liking the book, I ended up being disappointed, but I did finish it. Even though I wasn't happy with the ending, I can see the author's point in writing it that way. Just remember, not everything always turns out the way you planned it and be careful what you wish for!
Quite good. Interesting idea which maybe some folks have considered under the same circumstances. Human nature is so predictable as was the husbands reactions and actions. Definitely a good read....beach material for sure. The continuing flow of action will keep the reader iterested even as the waves roll in.
I read the advance ebook version which still had a number of typographical edits that needed to be made. I thought the premise of this story sounded interesting: dying wife wants to pick out her husband's next wife so as not to leave her family uncared for. Unfortunately, the story never delved much beyond the surface. Camille and Edward have the fairy tale romance but that doesn't leave room for the plot turns the story takes. Ms.Goudge doesn't really examine the changes in their relationship in a meaningful way. If cancer changed their relationship, I wanted more of that. If Camille's unresolved issues with her father left weak places in her marriage, I wanted to understand that. But I only ever got memories of how awesomely in love Camille and Edward were. And I was disappointed to find that the "storybook hero" wasn't really much of a hero at all.
Camille Hart has a great job, great family, and really great husband. As a matchmaker, Camille gets to help people find as much love as she has found. Then one day, Camille discovers the cancer she thought she had beat is back with a vengeance. As Camille tries to make plans for the future, she realizes her husband is not ready to be a single father. Camille decides to use her matchmaking skills to find her own replacement, but this proves to be much more difficult in reality. Everyone's lives will be changed as Camille tries to deal with it all.This was a very interesting book that gave me a lot to think about. Camille knows she is dying, and she really wants to make sure her family will be taken care of after she is gone. Naturally, her husband Edward resists this idea. However, a friend suggests to Edward that he humor Camille's wishes, he goes along for the ride. Camille soon finds that doing what you think is right can still be very hard, especially as you see something you love slipping away. I was left wondering what I would do in my situation. Would I want my husband to find someone new as quickly as possible? I'm not so sure. I think Camille vastly underestimated Edward's ability to take care of things (or hire someone who would). Of course, she did have her past experience from her previous battle with cancer to go on, but I still think things would have been different.I was enjoying this book greatly up until a point. I don't want to give away any plot points, but there is one thing I cannot abide no matter what. I was greatly disappointed when this happened, and I could no longer like a character that I had felt a lot of admiration for. This really pulled me out of the story and just kind of made me angry. The ending was very sweet for what it was, but I was still unsatisfied. That was just me though. I think a lot of people will enjoy this more than me (and probably be way less judgmental than I am). I did appreciate how Camille handled things though. I thought she was a great character, and I found myself liking her even more in the end. I wouldn't consider this an easy read, but it is a very interesting one nonetheless.Galley provided for review.
Top Stars - nothing was missing. A favorite read of mine!!!!
Just when you have read the last page of what you think is the best book ever, along comes Eileen Goudge with a new book and suddenly you are exchanging that ¿best book ever¿ with THE REPLACEMENT WIFE. Eileen has once again given readers a novel that is a love story that grabs you from the opening and drives you to hold on to the roller coaster of ups and downs, twists and turns, while testing your emotional strength. THE REPLACEMENT WIFE is a love story not just about two people but about the main character¿s entire world; her husband, children, friends, and career.First and foremost, this love story is about a husband and wife, and how although their relationship definitely changes over time, it never loses its effect on the lives of the people it touches, nor the reader. Camille Hart appears to have it all; a perfect family with two wonderful children and an amazing husband, Edward. She enjoys her work as a matchmaker because she sincerely wants to help other people find true love as well as ideal companionship. Could there really be something in this idyllic life that would pose a problem?Sadly, there is a very big ¿something¿ which is that Camille has cancer which had been in remission. The fight was a brave one and her second chance had given her back this perfect life. That is, up until the villainous illness returns and appears that no remission is in sight this time and she must make plans to deal with the inevitable. Camille is a fighter and if she isn¿t going to beat it this time, she is sure she is going to leave her beloved husband and children in the best of hands. Faced with probably only six months left to live, Camille decided to do her best job ever with her matchmaking and find her husband a replacement wife. This would give Camille peace of mind knowing that her family would be in good hands after she was gone. Edward, a doctor, is not agreeable to this but in order to make Camille happy, he goes along with it, as he hangs on to the slim chance she might beat the cancer a second time.What happens as Camille puts her plan in motion is not what one might think. I was surprised by what happened and especially by the ending. With Goudge¿s propensity for creating realistic as well as compelling characters, the narrative burst forth from the pages to capture the reader¿s heart and this beautiful story begs the reader to consider what they might do if put in the same situation. Camille and Edward¿s story is unique in many ways, but with great attention to detail, Goudge is able to touch on issues that do come up in most people¿s lives such as making choices for one¿s family, illness, and the effects one¿s decisions can have on their marriage and family. Being deeply invested in the plot line, and expecting a much different ending, I have to say I was sorry for this story to end. I enjoyed it so much and as always with Eileen Goudge, one of the first writers to take a personal interest in me when I started out, I now have to wait again for her next work of art! Thank you once again, Eileen. Do not miss this one my friends!
I was so excited when I found out Eileen Goudge was releasing a new book. I¿ve been a big fan since stealing my mom¿s copy of ¿Garden of Lies¿ while on vacation in Maine as a teenager. I devoured the romantic story in two days on the beach. I was hooked, and with The Replacement Wife, Ms. Goudge does not disappoint.I love a story with rich characters and great plot twists. This book has both. Goudge has mastered the art of character development. Even minor players have rich back stories and you end up growing to love these characters, for better or worse. While there were a lot of players, plot lines intertwined nicely and there was a wonderful resolution at the end of the book. It was almost like looking at an impressionist painting up close and then taking a step back. Things aren¿t always what they seem!This story really made me stop, think and take stock of my marriage. I love my husband and family dearly, and this book taught me how fragile we all are. What we take for granted today can be gone tomorrow. What we envision for ourselves can ultimately have a very different ending.This story will make for a great book club discussion of ¿what if¿? This is an emotional, beautiful, romantic and well written story. I was sad when it ended, which for me is always a sign of a well written book.I recommend this book to book clubs for a rich discussion and married women to take a second and count their blessings.
It was an interesting and easy read
My review will be forthcoming on Good Reads.