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Saturday, October 5, 2019

Review: The Model Wife

Title: The Model Wife
Author: Tricia Stringer
Publisher: 23rd September 2019 by Harlequin Australia, HQ & MIRA
Pages: 512 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: contemporary fiction, women's literature
My Rating: 4.5 crowns

Even a good woman can be pushed too far ... From bestselling author Tricia Stringer, this beautifully realised multi-generational family story looks at what happens when real-life betrayals and struggling relationships clash with outdated ideas of what a woman should be.
Natalie King's life is full. Some might say too full. With her teaching job, a farm to run, three grown daughters who have not quite got a handle on things, a reserved husband and a demanding mother-in-law, most days she is too busy to think about whether she is happy. But her life has meaning, doesn't it? After all, she is the one person everyone depends upon.
But when an odd gift from her mother-in-law - an old book in the form of stern and outdated advice for young wives - surfaces again, it brings with it memories she thought she had buried deep. Has this insidious little book exerted some kind of hold over her? Could it be that in her attempts to be a loving wife and mother, she no longer knows who she is?
On a day when it seems everyone is taking her for granted, and as the ghost of a past betrayal rises, it becomes clear that even this good mother and model wife can be pushed too far ...
My Thoughts

Tricia Stringer books always strike a chord with her faithful audience. On this occasion, it involves how we all at some stage of life (without a doubt), dreamt of running away. When it all gets too much for this ‘model wife’, that’s exactly what she does! This is a truthful story of family life and the daily struggles that all members face, however, a special focus on Mum, Natalie. It’s a journey of her soul searching and eventual evolution into who she is and her role with the people she loves. 

You know how it is ... looking after those in your life, putting everyone’s needs ahead of your own. Just once you’d like someone to listen and care for you. The realism of this situation brings a real authenticity to this tale. In fact, there are messages that are sure to ring true for the variety of multigenerational characters portrayed - from the grandmother, to Natalie, to her daughters struggling with their own issues and finding their place in the world. There is surely something to appeal to everybody in this story. Bring into this mixture a spotlight on the plight of farmers - issues of land ownership and entitlements - and the story delves much deeper than just a character analysis. 

A long read at the 500 page mark, it does however, provide an in depth look at how varying people deal with the stresses in their lives. Tricia sets everything up for you get a feel for each member of the family and what they are facing. This is realistic reading at its best as many have faced feelings or situations similar and familiar to you or those close to you. Undoubtedly there have been conversations about some of the issues raised (for any of the family members) that you have surely discussed over a cup of tea at the kitchen table with regards to how they were to be handled. 

I definitely recommend this book as a deep and true exploration of families and all the baggage that they come with and how this particular family deals with it. 

‘Outside the landscape was familiar and yet alien. Like the pieces of her life she thought she knew so well but that were shifting around her again.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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