Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Review of Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown


Read for: Borrowed Books/ Medievalathon Challenge

Synopsis: "In this captivating dual narrative novel, a modern-day woman finds inspiration in hidden notes left by her home’s previous owner, a quintessential 1950s housewife. As she discovers remarkable parallels between this woman’s life and her own, it causes her to question the foundation of her own relationship with her husband–and what it means to be a wife fighting for her place in a patriarchal society.

When Alice Hale leaves a career in publicity to become a writer and follows her husband to the New York suburbs, she is unaccustomed to filling her days alone in a big, empty house. But when she finds a vintage cookbook buried in a box in the old home’s basement, she becomes captivated by the cookbook’s previous owner–1950s housewife Nellie Murdoch. As Alice cooks her way through the past, she realizes that within the cookbook’s pages Nellie left clues about her life–including a mysterious series of unsent letters penned to her mother.

Soon Alice learns that while baked Alaska and meatloaf five ways may seem harmless, Nellie’s secrets may have been anything but. When Alice uncovers a more sinister–even dangerous–side to Nellie’s marriage, and has become increasingly dissatisfied with the mounting pressures in her own relationship, she begins to take control of her life and protect herself with a few secrets of her own."

My Review: This book kept catching my eye for some reason, even though it is so outside my normal reading genres, luckily the library had a copy for me to try. This was a interesting read, following women in two very different time periods but finding themselves in some similar situations. I enjoyed both perspectives, but really liked Nellie as a character. I kind of figured out where her story arc was leading but it was still quite a dark and twisty path to get there. Alice also has quite a character arc with a lot of changes and growth as she finds her way in an old suburban home and getting to know Nellie through her letters and history. It was a much darker story than I was expecting but still a really interesting read. I do like to point out that though most of the book makes men out to be horrible and abusive both now and the 50s, there are still many, many good, kind, respectful and supportive men out there who aren't only looking for babies to carry on their lines or pass down successes.

My Rating: I found this to be a pretty dark story but very much so a 'girl power'/ woman's rights type of book. I just wish that we could have a book with strong women taking control of there own lives without making men into such villains.  It was still a very good book and I give it a rating of Three Paws.

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