Saturday, April 08, 2023

REVIEW: Wife Support System by Kathleen Whyman

Title: Wife Support System
Author: Kathleen Whyman
Narrator: Natalie Drew
Publisher: Saga Egmont Audio
Publication Date: March 2021
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Buy The Book: Amazon | BN | Audible

Description: We’ve got the balance all wrong. Instead of living with our partners, struggling to do everything by ourselves and only seeing each other now and then, we should do it the other way round. We should live together and see them now and then.

Erica knows her suggestion sounds extreme, but when her nanny leaves without notice, she’s extremely desperate. Polly and Louise aren’t convinced, but when circumstances force them to move into Polly’s enormous but run-down house, they have to admit that life’s much easier when the childcare and workload is shared.

At first, communal living seems like the answer to all their prayers - childcare on tap, rotas for cleaning, and someone always available to cook dinner (no more last-minute pizza delivery!). But over time, resentment starts to grow as they judge each other’s parenting styles and bicker over cleaning, cooking and whose turn it is to buy toilet rolls.

And as one woman has her head turned by a handsome colleague, one resorts to spying on her husband and another fights to keep a dark secret, they need each other more than ever. But can Polly, Louise and Erica keep their friendship and relationships strong? Or will their perfect mumtopia fall apart?

Essential reading for anyone fed up with never-ending housework/homeschooling/preparing healthy meals that their kids reject … Will have you shrieking with laughter! Fans of Why Mummy Drinks, Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life? and Beth O’Leary won’t want to miss this one!

My Thoughts: Wife Support System by new to me author Kathleen Whyman was not only relatable on so many levels to me, as a woman, but was very clever and entertaining! So many women in the world are performing a juggling act, trying to balance careers, spouses, partners, children and home. Some women appear to manage it flawlessly but come on! They are either Stepford Wives or aliens.

This story introduces us to Erica, Louise and Polly who all share a common trait of many pots on the stove and not enough hands to stir. Erica has a brilliant suggestion after her nanny abruptly quits. Why not share a house with each other and see their respective partners on the weekends? Share everything…housekeeping, the shopping and the child minding. Erica’s partner of ten years, Dan, is hardly ever there and when he is, he can’t be bothered to help. Louise is uber organized and appears to be critical of her husband, Nick. Polly is a single parent who is struggling with anxiety and could use a helping hand but is afraid of letting anyone in close enough to ask.

One house, three women and five kids. As you can expect, it’s not long before tension and resentments build and relationships begin to feel the strain.

I loved this story for many reasons. Relatable characters with real world issues, concerns and problems are a huge draw for me. Add in the entertaining aspect of humor and tears and I couldn’t look away. I liked these women but I often felt like Erica and Louise were selfish and taking advantage of Polly, especially when it came to the child minding. Polly doesn’t work outside the home and it’s her house that everyone moves into. Though it makes sense for Polly to be the primary caregiver, I started to feel a little put out on Polly’s behalf when it started to feel expected.

Erica works on a television show and for a good part of the story is more plugged into her phone and her job instead of being available for her daughter but resents it when her daughter and Polly become close.

Louise struggles with her weight and has a lot of resentment towards her sister. She takes her husband for granted and there are major trust issues for her with her husband. She also ignores her children because she is so wrapped up in her own head. She is a bit of a control freak and it shows with the numerous lists she creates.

Polly is a bit of a push-over. She is dealing with major trauma in her life, raising two children after the man she loves dies suddenly. She is living in a very large house but it is run-down and she could use some friends.

As this story goes on, we learn much more about these women that made me see them more openly with all the baggage they each are carrying. I ended up rooting for all of them to come out on top and this story did not disappoint.

Kathleen Whyman is an author I will be on the lookout for. Her ability to create characters that the reader will connect to is wonderful. This story made me laugh, cry and even shocked me. The plot flows so seamlessly that I was a little surprised that it was ending. I could easily see it continuing and myself catching up with these women over coffee or wine. I went with the audio format for this story and Natalie Drew’s narration was fantastic. She does a brilliant job of conveying multiple emotions and tones for the characters that will draw the reader into the story.

My Final Verdict: I highly recommend this story to readers who like connecting to the characters on a deep emotional level, who like stories that are relationship driven and like surprises mixed in with the laughter and tears. This story reminded me that we all have times in our lives where a little support goes a long way and we just have to be brave enough to ask for it and seize it.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Wife Support System from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)