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A girl’s gotta read

Hey y’all…an off-subject post here, but we wanted to add some thrills and chills by offering a little contest. The prize? BEACH READING! Who doesn’t love a great book in the summertime? And who wouldn’t love 5 of them?! My lovely publisher, Hachette Book Group, has kindly offered to one of our lucky readers a set of the following:

Adam By Ted Dekker
The Island By Elin Hilderbrand
The Recessionistas By Alexandra Lebenthal
Rich Boy By Sharon Pomerantz
Backseat Saints By Joshilyn Jackson

If you want to enter, just leave a comment on this post and tell us who your favorite fictional literary wife is and why. A winner will be chosen at random…(Jim and Peter, sorry boys, you’re not allowed to enter.) The contest will end on Thursday, July 22nd at midnight Central Time. One lucky winner will be announced Friday, July 23rd. This contest is for US and Canadian residents only. (Sorry to our enormous fanbase in Papua New Guinea.)

Good luck and have a fabulous weekend.
Happy reading,
Robyn and Cathleen

A girl's gotta read

A girl's gotta read! Summer book giveaway contest for all readers of Ready, Set...Wife!

43 Responsesto “A girl’s gotta read”

  1. Kimberly says:

    My favorite fictional literary wife is Lillian Rearden from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. She was the total opposite of the stereotypical doting, caring wife. Lillian had an agenda, and she used her feminine wiles to get where she wanted to go. The marriage between Lillian and Hank was in no way romantic, but in some ways I think it was very realistic. Historically women have married and entered romantic relationships for security, social status, to please their families, etc. The two stay together for the children, or in the case of Hank and Lillian Rearden, for appearances. Mrs. Hank Rearden had no identity outside of her husband, for whom she had nothing but contempt. I like Rand’s use of Lillian to represent the perceived basic need of women to be taken care of by a powerful person, be it parents or husbands.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Irina McGovern from Lionel Shriver’s The Post-Birthday World–> when we first meet her she is only a de facto wife to her long term boyfriend, and then, in of two possible futures that this story follows, Irina decides to leave her boyfriend to marry a dashing, impetuous snooker player. I like that she really struggles with whether being a live in girlfriend is enough or whether she would prefer to be with a man who wants to make her his, in a more traditional manner.

  3. Jessica says:

    Marmee in Little Women. I loved her strength, ability to stand on her own, and the ways she taught her daughters to think for themselves. She was a feminist before the word probably even existed.

  4. cristinacruse says:

    My favorite fictional wife is Becky Bloomwood from the Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella. I know this is a chic-lit series and not serious literature but I love it. I love how she struggles with her fantasies of how she imagines life should be (being the perfect wife) and the reality of her circumstances (life is imperfect); how she adores her husband and realizes the importance of her vows and marriage; her loyalty; how her mistakes, failures and situations she gets in are humourous and incredible yet are very relatable. All in all a light, hilarious read that provides opportunties to smile in disbelief over Becky’s antics and laugh how at many points in my life I have expereinced a Becky Bloomwood moment.

  5. Stacy says:

    If plays count, then the mother, Penny, in YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU. She was artistic and kooky, loved her family, yet did her own thing. She might not have been great at all her hobbies, but she had gusto and it was all about the trying that counted. I think marriage is like a screwball comedy sometimes and she had a great sense of humor to deal with her family.

  6. Rebecca says:

    My favorite literary wife is Nora Charles introduced to the world by Mr. Dashiell Hammett in “The Thin Man.”

    The book was written in 1934, but what struck me (and still sticks with me) is that Hammett created Nora as Nick’s equal. She wasn’t just rich, pretty and smart…she was his counterpart and cohort.

    Hammett was way ahead of the tide, in my opinion.

    It also didn’t hurt that as a couple they were hella glamourous, solved murders and drank martinis by the gallon.

    Which is the kind of marriage I can only dream of….

    • Larisa says:

      I completely agree, nora charles was glamourous, had a great sense of humor, and was her husband’s equal-something very rare considering the times.

  7. ellenpie says:

    Hands down, first place goes to Helen Graham from Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Unlike other Victorian wives portrayed as trapped in loveless and abusive marriages, Helen actually leaves her husband – which was very controversial at the time, and not well received by critics. I took a class on the Brontes years ago and had not heard of this novel; I now consider it to be among the best of the Brontes. It’s also fun to compare Anne’s female characters to Charlotte’s and Emily’s. Jane Eyre’s eventual marriage to Mr Rochester is harder for me to believe with each re-reading. (My Victorian Novels prof worked hard to win my sympathy for him, which I grudgingly gave AFTER he was blinded and admitted he was wrong – I starred the page!)

    Second place goes to Anne Elliot, from Jane Austen’s Persuasion. My Jane Austen and Film Class voted hers the “best marriage of all the Austen heroines” – above even Eliza Bennett – because she actually comes closest to having a marriage of “equals” – she is at first persuaded to reject Captain Wentworth, who proposes before making his fortune. Years later, he returns a wealthy sea captain and they are reunited, and as the wife of a naval officer she has adventures the other Austen heroines do not experience. By the time she marries, she has proven herself the backbone of her family, the sister/daughter everyone depends on to manage finances, crises, whatever. She also marries Captain Wentworth at an age when women were considered “past their bloom” -her younger sister is furious when he shows interest in Anne and not her. Go ANNE!

  8. Marianne says:

    How about Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen? She is the antithesis of what we want to be as a wife and a mother, but she is SO artfully portrayed by Ms. Austen that we all KNOW this woman so well.

  9. Sally says:

    Is it cool to include the Bible? If so, I’d go with Lot’s wife. That would have been me. I would set out, all anxious and scared, grateful to be spared a hideous fate that is befalling all of my friends and everybody I ever knew. Then I’d hear the craziness, the Armageddon going down, and I would forget every good intention and sneak a peek. Who wouldn’t want to see their home, the only place they’ve ever known, getting firebombed and angel trashed? You’d want to look, right? What normal person wouldn’t want to look? What normal person wouldn’t actually look? How cold hearted, how ice-blooded would you have to be to not look? What kind of a person was Lot, who didn’t look?

    Is it any coincidence that I love salty food? Pretzels, theater popcorn, bring it on. Salt is the other sugar.

    If the Bible doesn’t count, then I’d go with Lady Macbeth. Now there was a go-getter.

    • ellenpie says:

      I’m not in charge of the contest, but I’ve got a book sitting on my shelf called “The Bible as Literature” – so this is a very cool nomination. AND OMG Lady Macbeth! Fantastic choice. I saw Kabuki Lady Macbeth a few years ago – an adaptation of Macbeth from HER perspective. WOW! :-)

    • klingle says:

      I don’t think he was ice blooded at all. He was just obediant as God told them not to turn around and he obeyed without question.

  10. ellenpie says:

    Ok, I am now adding all un-read nominations to my reading list! Thanks everyone.

  11. Hannah B. says:

    For me, it can only be Margaret March, “Marmee” of Little Women because I know what it’s like to raise 4 headstrong young women and all of the strength and compassion it involves (and mine weren’t even my own). Noone can appreciate the task unless you have been in those very shoes. It’s much more complicated than raising boys, and when they are all in their teen years, it can drive you insane, so she was remarkable to hold it all together the way she did!

  12. gwendolyn b. says:

    I’ve always been fond of Harriet Vane (“Mrs.” Lord Peter Wimsey). She didn’t make things too easy for him, but she came through in the end. And then they go off into the British sunset solving mysteries together. Sounds heavenly . . .

  13. Sarah R says:

    The one that strikes me right now is the charachter Miriam from the book A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. After enduring the death of her mother at a young age she is forced into marriage, abused and demeaned. Through all of this, she manages to build a loving relationship with another young wife and her young daughter. The ending is tragic and Miriam’s story is definitley bittersweet. I can’t stop thinking about this story!

  14. [...] PS. If you haven’t entered our five-book, summer-reading giveaway contest, please do! Click here and leave a comment. [...]

  15. nfmgirl says:

    The first one that I think of is Maria from Under This Unbroken Sky. In the face of such great odds, with life throwing her blow after blow, she stands strong. She has a tough outer shell, but she loves her children and husband dearly.

  16. Jeanette Jackson says:

    I had to sit and think for quite a while before coming up with the only wife I know…Nora Charles. I like her because she helped her husband solve crimes. Mystery books were quite male oriented and most didn’t have a favorites certainly didn’t; Poirot, Holmes, Spade etc

  17. emily l says:

    My favorite is Mother from Ragtime by EL Doctorow.

    [email protected]

  18. Maria says:

    I am new to purchasing and reading books. This series your giivng away sounds great for starters..any other good ones please tell…

  19. Benita says:

    I want to say Kate in Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. She did give him a run for his money though. And how she changed. Still she stays with me-as “the” literary wife.”


  20. Bev says:

    Gosh, the first character that comes to mind is the wife in The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin – Joanna Eberhart. Very 60′s. She is the poster child ( ‘wife’ ) for women’s lib : D A very short book but it expresses the fear of so many women that their identity will be totally loss once they commit to marriage and motherhood.

    slawoszewski (at)

  21. Shannon says:

    I vote for Una Spenser, from Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund. From the very first words of the novel: “Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last,” Una is clearly her own woman. I love that she presents a whole new rationale for Ahab’s obsession with the great white whale!

  22. Jax says:

    Just one?! It’s so hard! :) Literary can mean fiction, correct? One wife I’d pick as memorable would be Lauren Stillwell in the “Quickie” by James Patterson (I believe it’s best not to read the synopsis and jump right in the book!). I don’t want to give too much away, but I was on edge with her throughout the book, and felt as though I could feel what she was feeling with each moment. (As a matter of fact, I listened to it on audio and it was just as dramatic.) Definitely a fun thriller and well thought out – there are many little surprises and many “oh my gosh” moments you share with her. To be honest, I’ve been hoping to see a TV movie based on this book!

  23. Shannon says:

    Oh…can’t resist another nomination for best literary wife: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (all 4 of Jacob’s wives: Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah). While not all likable, they all have compelling stories to tell about married life. Daught Dinah learns from each one, and uses this knowledge to make a life of her own. This was a book I couldn’t put down- and while historical fiction, it speaks to modern marriages today.

  24. anne says:

    My favorite literary fictional wife is Rebecca. This classic has always been mesmerizing and compelling in so many ways. Unforgettable and memorable. Her character pervades the entire novel and there is always that mysterious influence and how it affects Maxim throughout the book.

  25. Krystal says:

    I have to say I love Alice Lindgren, the fictional literary wife in the book American Wife: A Novel, by Curtis Sittenfeld . This book has a preppy flair to it and I love that!! The wife in the book goes through things that a lot of us can sympathise with in life. She marries a man who becomes president. There are questions about marriage, loyalty, and responsibility portrayed in this book. It is a must read!

  26. Maureen says:

    Isadora White Wing from ‘Free of Flying’. She wasn’t a perfect wife but to me she symbolizes what some women go through to learn about themselves and how to have relationships with men that are mature and somewhat stable.
    I also loved the Alice Lindgren character from ‘American Wife’. I picked up the book and didn’t know a thing about it. It was a fascinating read.
    Finally, you know who I love as a fictional character….don’t laugh…..Mrs. Grint…Rupert’s mom in the Harry Potter series. She stands by her man and helps her children navigate a confusing and dangerous world.

  27. Teresa says:

    I would have to say Lord Byron’s Wife. Never to be known why the marriage broke up, his autobiography was burnt and only speculation of the seperation has ever been told. The truth will never be known. I have always has a fasination of this man and his poetry.

  28. Pauline says:

    I’m currently reading through the Yada Yada Prayer Group series. A lovely collection of women, some fantastically ordinary wives and mothers.

  29. Katie says:

    I recently enjoyed reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett and about the various women within the story, both married and unmarried. It was interesting to see how each woman dealt with her marriage (whether happy, abusive, boring, etc) and the perspective of the main character, who remains single. Lots of lessons for marriage in this one!

  30. I would love to win any of the books I am just a bookalcholic


  31. [...] PS. You’ve got just over three hours to enter to win 5 books. FREE READING! Click here to enter to win a collection of summer reading! [...]

  32. karenk says:

    thanks for the chance to read ALL of these fabulous books :)

  33. Sheryl says:

    Hi there, loved your book!

    Did I win?

  34. Sheryl says:

    My favorite wife – Becky in shopahlic & baby. I absolutely love how flighty she is yet full of love and devotion for her husband and baby!

  35. Teri Ward says:

    My favorite literary wife is Jane from Jane Eyre. She finally found her Mr. Rochester! And married him despite his disability, because she loved him so much. They were perfect bookends–she serious and romantic, and he sarcastic and witty. Probably my favorite book of all time. I re-read it at least once a year.

  36. Lisa A. says:

    My favorite fictional literary wife is . . . gee, did she have a name? The second Mrs. DeWinter in “Rebecca.” She was a mousy little thing, but just as confused as I was in the story!

  37. Patty says:

    My favorite fictional wife is Mrs. Cullen from Twilight.

  38. It would have to be Mrs. Weasly (did I spell that right?) from the Harry Potter series. I identify!!! – I have 10 kids, and most of them are red heads:-)

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  39. Holly says:

    My favorite is Esme of the Cullen clan in the Twilight series. I like the supernatural take on marriage and how despite being vampires the same family values come through. She takes care of her family in the most mundane ways and I love it!

    Thanks so much for the contest!!

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