Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown
ebook, 399 pages
Expected publication: December 31st 2019 by Penguin Random House Canada & Viking
About the Book:
When Alice Hale reluctantly leaves a promising career in New York, following her husband to the suburbs, she is unaccustomed to filling her days alone in a big, empty house. However, she is determined to become a writer--and to work hard to build the kind of life her husband dreams of. At first, the old house seems to resent Alice as much as she resents it, but when she finds an old cookbook tucked away in the basement, she becomes captivated by its previous owner: 1950s housewife Nellie Murdoch. As Alice cooks her way through the past, she begins to settle into her new surroundings, even as her friends and family grow concerned that she has embraced them too fully and drifted away from her usual self. Alice justifies the changes as research for her novel...but when she discovers clues to Nellie's life within the cookbook's pages--and in a series of mysterious unsent letters penned to her mother--she quickly realizes that the housewife's secrets may have been anything but harmless.
This book was magnificently written and was a very enjoyable book to read. It held my interest throughout and delivered a satisfying ending. The characters were believable and the story was too. This book had both dark and bright events, some of which were simple and some more complex but all interesting. Karma Brown has this ability to take you into the thoughts of all her characters and absorb you into the mundane as well as the tragic and joyous aspects of life. I love her detailed descriptions and ability to paint vivid images and characters that are ordinary yet magical, shocking, and lovable.
The chapters go back and forth between Nellie and Alice's point of view. I loved Nellie’s story and character the most and I wish there were more sections about her. I loved how the author would move seamlessly between story-lines. The characters were interesting and not cliche, as a lot of period books tend to offer. From the description, I thought it would be humorous, but it really wasn't and I don't think the author intended it to be.
Thank you NetGalley, Karma Brown Penguin Random House Canada & Viking for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.