The Wives by Lauren Weisberger
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publishing Date: 12th July 2018
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 416
Genre: General Fiction
The hottest book of the summer
*Published in the USA as When Life Gives You Lululemons*
He set her up. They’ll bring him down.
Emily Charlton does not do the suburbs. A successful stylist and image consultant to Hollywood stars, she cut her teeth as assistant to legendary fashion editor Miranda Priestly in New York. But with Snapchatting millennials stealing her clients, Emily needs to get back in the game – and fast.
She holes up at the home of her oldest friend Miriam in the upscale suburb of Greenwich. And when Miriam’s friend, model Karolina Hartwell, is publicly dumped by her husband Graham, a senator with presidential ambitions, Emily scents the client of a lifetime.
It’s not just Karolina’s reputation that’s ruined. It’s her family. And Miriam and Emily are determined he won’t get away with it. First they’ll get Karolina’s son back. Then they’ll help her get her own back. Because the wives are mad as hell . . .
In “The Wives” by Lauren Weisberger, the author brings back Emily, Miranda Priestley’s ex – assistant. She finds her career is slowing down, as she’s losing her clients to someone who’s younger, more “in” and popular. Suddenly, she finds herself in Greenwich, together with Miriam, a former lawyer from NYC, now a stay – at – home mum, and Karolina, the former face of L’Oreal, now in disguise and tangled in a political scandal.
Theoretically, it doesn’t sound so bad, right? Nice place, nice people… But there is much more to the story and actually, nothing seems as it really is in Greenwich.
It was brilliant to have Emily back. I don’t know how it is with you but in “The Devil Wears Prada” I tolerated Emily but couldn’t warm to her totally and completely because of her being such a pain to Andrea, and it was great to read only about Emily. She’s still sassy, quirky and bitchy and confident and I simply adored her. I just think that she really deserved this story, that we got the chance to get to know the real Emily. She has perfectly found herself in her new job, that fitted so well her tastes, money and status – although I must be totally honest, I am not sure what it was exactly that she was supposed to do because once it was said she’s the stylist to the stars but what she did for Karolina was more of a PR action. Nevertheless, Emily can handle anything, you just name it: sex scandal, dress disaster, betrayal. Image consultant? Is this what I’m looking for?
The other two main characters, Karolina and Miranda, complete Emily’s character in the best possible way. They simply work together. Karolina is an ex – model, Victoria Secret’s Angel, who married a US Senator, becoming a mother to his son. She’s now tangled in a political scandal and the whole world turned against her when she was arrested for a DUI with children in the car. But there is much more to this story actually and often I felt so angry on Karolina’s behalf – she was really a great woman who knew where her priorities are and this what had happened to her was absolutely, totally unfair. Miriam is a high – flying lawyer, a partner in one of NYC’s most prestigious firms but the family has currently moved to Greenwich and she’s stay – at – home mum now. She tries to convince herself that she’s happy with her present life, that it is what she wanted but is it really?
The relationship between the three women was brilliant. Honest and authentic, probably mostly thanks to Emily who always said what she thought, without holding back. What’s more important though is, I think, the fact, that they just took each other as they were, they accepted each other – sure, they would change this or that but still they accepted one another and their differences. They found each other again in the best possible time for them. All three points of view were great, totally different and they also gave a different perspective at the same situation. Their coming together was very well drawn and it was great to see how quickly they all bond together.
I must admit, I was scared to read this book as Lauren Weisberger was a one – book author for a very long time to me. Any other book than “The Devil Wears Prada” was simply not my read. But with “The Wives” she really delivers a brilliant, quick, complex story that might seem easy and not too complicated but is full of hidden depth. There is glitz and glamour and high ranked politicians but there is also vulnerability and insecurity. I liked the writing style. It was quick and modern and also I really love when you have to read between the lines – the author has such a brilliant eye for this whole Greenwich scenario!
Sadly, I’m not absolutely sure what to do with the way Karolina’s subplot ended, or more brightly, the way it was solved and by whom. I guess I felt a little disappointed because I hoped for Emily to deliver any incredible plan. Shame.
“The Wives” was a story about a women – power and maybe not world domination but certainly about being finally in control about their own lives. About friendship and supporting each other and learning that you can rely on. It was also a light – hearted but also honest look at motherhood, suburbs and life – with the bonus of Miranda Priestley appearing on the pages as well! There was sharp humour, it was really well observed and it was also full of more poignant moments and breathtaking situations. Touching upon many issues, such as infidelity, betrayal, career changes and families, it was a great read. There is humour, there are tears, there is scandal and fabulous location, so really, what more do you need?
PS. Highly recommended!