Look at the cover of this book.
It's Wendy Walker's first book, Four Wives, a Desperate Housewives-like view of super rich women in an uber-tony Connecticut suburb. You know exactly what the book's about just by looking at it, and it was done without an illustration of legs and feet. And no pink. Even though there isn't a topless swimming pool scene in the book, it captures the entire tone of the novel with one image. It's actually thoughtful, intelligent, witty, and creative, and that can only mean one thing: it was designed by my girl Olga Grlic.
If I ever get my book published, I don't care what goes on the cover, but by God, Grlic's designing it.
As for the book itself, it covers the lives of four women: Doctor's wife Love Welsh, attorney Marie Passeti, heiress Gayle Beck, and plastic Stepford Wife Janie Kirk, who travel in the same social circles in the overly-monied suburb of Hunting Ridge. They have beautiful homes, beautiful children, and everything they could ever want. So naturally they're all different shades of miserable.
Do you ever wonder why it's always women in groups of four? I suppose if there are any more women we'll lose track of who's squabbling with who and who has a secret eating disorder and who wears Prada and who has a closet full of Manolo Blahniks. Or maybe there are only four different types of women in the world, so pick which one you identify with. Go on. Pick.
Anyway, each woman, when not working on this big benefit for a women's public health center, are trying to reconnect with the women they used to be. Love is struggling with trying to reconcile her current quiet life with her past as a child prodigy, Marie is trying to reconnect with her increasingly distant husband while working on a child custody case that's taking a very odd turn, Janie's sneaking around on her boring husband, and Gayle's trying to keep it together with the help of prescription medication while dealing with an abusive husband.
As the story goes on, the women become more entangled with each other's lives, and ultimately things are resolved, more or less satisfactorily. Not a lot of new ground is covered in this book, so, Olga Grlic aside, there isn't a lot to say, but the story is told skillfully enough to keep the reader's attention until the last Prada shoe is finally kicked off at the end of the day.
By Wendy Walker
February, 2008 by St. Martin's Press
Hardcover, 368 pp.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008