Review: The Replacement Wife

The Replacement Wife
by Rowena Wiseman

Expected Publication: Sept 1, 2015

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Luisa has met the love of her life … now she just needs to figure out what to do with her husband.

Luisa has fallen madly in love with sculptor Jarvis, so she comes up with a plan to find a new wife for her husband Luke so she can exit stage left. She wants to screen potential stepmothers for her 8-year-old son Max and has strict criteria: the woman must be a single mother; have no more than two children; she can’t be authoritarian; she must be creative, nurturing and not much prettier than Luisa.

After a few carefully orchestrated meetings with different women that fail to raise a spark, Luke finally connects with a potential replacement wife. However, Luisa isn’t prepared for the fact that Luke’s interest in the other woman makes him a better man and a more attractive husband. After suffering for years in a half-dead marriage, Luisa starts to remember what it was about Luke that she originally fell in love with. But is it too late?

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3cups

★★★☆ : Nice! A good and okay read.

3.5 stars

Luisa thought she wasn’t happy in her married life. She didn’t feel any excitement with her husband anymore. Until she met the sculptor named Jarvis – artistic, passionate, exciting. Suddenly, she wanted to be with him and couldn’t wait to be with him again.

Luisa thought she deserved to be with Jarvis instead of her husband Luke. She looked for possible wife candidates for him and she thought she could pull it off. Until Luke seemed to have fallen for someone else, and then Luisa realized her husband was changing for the better, so unlike him when they were still together.

Truth to be told, I’m not really comfortable in the subject of cheating spouses / philandering husbands / dishonest wives. But I am a fair and unprejudiced reader, so I try to keep an open mind whenever I encounter this topic on the books I review.

I tried to empathize with Luisa. I put my feet in her shoes. I reasoned with her, told myself this was what she felt. But I failed miserably. I realize I can’t actually think of voluntarily finding a replacement for my husband, just so I could go after the one that made my heart beat faster. Reading Luisa’s narrative, I can’t help but felt bad for Luke. He really didn’t see what was coming on him. What Luisa did wasn’t fair, wasn’t reasonable at all.

The other characters were better and tolerable, but my heart went out to their 8-year-old son Max who was the most affected of all. The ending was anti-climactic but definitely appropriate. I thought Luisa deserved whatever happened to her.

If you will notice, I have all these reeling emotions while you read my review, it only means that the author’s writing was effective. Rowena Wiseman was able to draw me in to her writing. It was realistic, straight-to-the-point and she didn’t mince her words. It was like watching an Empire episode unfold right in front of your very eyes.

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Rowena Wiseman writes contemporary fiction and children’s stories. Her fiction includes The Replacement Wife (HarperCollins, 2015), Bequest (Tenebris Books, 2014) and Searching for Von Honningsbergs (Leafless, 2014). Children’s stories include the Aunty Arty and Astro Circus Kids series (Jet Black Publishing, 2014/2015).

She was recently named as one of the 30 most influential writers on Wattpad. Rowena’s blog Out of Print Writing, about writing and publishing in the digital revolution, has been selected for the National Library of Australia’s archive program PANDORA She works in the visual arts sector and lives on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia.

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