Stupidity Moves Over For The Spare Wife Book Tour

You’ve no doubt heard of ex-wives, trophy wives and old wives. How about spare wives? Thanks to the wonderful ladies at MotherTalk, Project Manager Ashley Tedder in particular, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to review The Spare Wife by Alex Witchel, for my dear readers.

If you’ve ever longed to spy on residents of Manhattan’s Upper East Side while they indulge in lavish parties, illicit affairs, infertility issues and general feckless caprice, this book’s for you. Gorgeous ex-model turned attorney now wealthy widow Ponce Morris, becomes The Spare Wife, acting as ideal companion, party thrower and loyal hand holder to her high-maintenance, overly sensitive and mostly superficial friends, also known as New York’s powerful, upper class (excuse me while I take a deep breath). These are friends whom Ponce has bonded with over countless gallons of champagne. Forty-two-year old Ponce appears flawless as she effortlessly manages other people’s lives; totally and unselfishly dedicated to helping her pals. Or is she?

Young, ambitious journalist, Babette Steele (also a beauty, naturally) is determined to reveal Ponce’s Achilles’ heel: her affair with a very married man who is also a prominent (and quite handsome – again, naturally) physician. Babette epitomizes the multi-tasker because she is bent on exposing Ponce while Babette herself is coming out of her own illicit love affair. Babette’s goals are twofold: to make a name for herself in a trendy, huge national publication (so what else is new?) and/or to snag an older, stunningly wealthy husband.

Sound promising? I thought so.  And it is, with just a few caveats: if you’re expecting new insights, you’re better off reading something by the Dali Lama; The Spare Wife is about the predictable evolution of mostly superficial souls. And this book shoehorns a story that requires patience for the first 140 pages as the cast of characters and cameos are multitudinous and hard to keep track of. I considered using a Venn diagram listing the many names to figure out who fit where. For instance, readers are told,

“Ponce is really an imaginary friend for the middle-aged man,” one guest notes. “She watches football with Stan Crandall, while Bitsy reads magazines in bed and thanks God she doesn’t have to; she plays golf with George Stein, because Carol only likes tennis; and not only does she go to Knicks games with Larry DeLynn but she lets him eat as many hot dogs as he wants and never tells Lila, who forbids him to have nitrates.”

The problem: none of those named immediately above appear in the story.  Pushing the first half of the book aside, it gains speed the moment Babette accidentally discovers Ponce’s affair and decides to unveil it….in a big way. This is where the tale suddenly lurches forward.

If you’re looking for a satirical, fairly fast-moving, entertaining read, this is it. There’s revenge, compassion, adultery and forgiveness scattered about. The Spare Wife is unsparing in providing a fun read.

Thanks again, MotherTalk!

Keep thinking.


3 Responses to “Stupidity Moves Over For The Spare Wife Book Tour”

  1. Sarah says:

    Sounds like a good one to read at the beach or on a plane!
    Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Suzie says:

    Not my kind of story. I like action and mystery stories.
    I would probably read it just to occupy myself.

  3. Ferd says:

    Thanks for the great review.
    That’s all I need.

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