Wow! Recipe For A Perfect Wife is a thrilling page turner; a brooding story built upon layer upon layer of intrigue. It is nostalgic, it is sinister, it is thought provoking. I loved it!
This is one of the most anticipated reads of the year, and now that I have read it, I definitely know why.
Recipe For A Perfect Wife by Karma Brown is the story of two very different wives from different eras connected by an old house and a vintage cook book. When modern day Alice Hale is persuaded by her husband to reluctantly give up the life she loves in Manhattan and move to the suburbs, she discovers an old cook book in the basement of her new home. This cook book, full of old recipes including bread and cheese pudding and busy day cake reveals the food many women prepared for their husbands decades ago.
The cook book belongs to Nellie Murdoch, the previous owner of the empty old house who was a young wife in 1950s. As Alice becomes more fascinated by the book and it’s recipes, she unravels the ugly, dark secrets of Nellie’s marriage.
Alice also has her own secrets, and as her unease within her own marriage intensifies, she realises she is not the only one with secrets.
Recipe For A Perfect Wife is a fascinating read as it explores the power dynamics in a marriage in an engaging, entertaining way. It also explores wider sexual politics, for example, the Me Too campaign.
The story is juxtaposed between Alice’s modern day marriage and Nellie’s life with her husband in the 1950s. Each of Alice’s chapter start with quotes giving real life advice on how to be the ‘perfect wife’ that were given to women in history. Some of these quotes are comical, but many are shocking. As a modern day women, I found some quite unsettling to read.
I was so keen to read Recipe For A Perfect Wife as there is a massive buzz about this book; and I am happy to say I wasn’t disappointed. It is full of twists, intrigue and depth. I especially found the endings of both Alice’s and Nellie’s stories very intriguing. In one sense, explosive; in another ambiguous. I feel that this ambiguity is very symbolic.
Recipe For A Perfect Wife is the ideal read for your book groups – believe me, there is so much to discuss in this story.
Thank you to Lucy Chamberlain for inviting me to take part in the blog tour of Recipe For A Perfect Wife to help publicise it’s UK publication (4th February 2020). It has been a privilege. To follow my fellow book bloggers also on the blog tour of this great, thought provoking book, please see below.
Happy reading everyone! 🙂