"Very hard to put down"
Immigration attorney Lynn Bartlett's first marriage was a
disaster. For approximately a decade, she avoided serious
alliances though that made the nights lonely. Tech
business executive Jackson Hughes is divorced also, but
unlike Lynn he has two children, supposedly adults. Lynn
and Jackson are perfect for each other and marry. They
settle in Silicon Valley, which is ideal, as his company is
near and she has a strong client base in the green card
professionals who lost employment due to the downturn in
One year after they tie the knot, Lynn throws a fiftieth
birthday party for her spouse. Though contented, she is
not totally into the gala as she finds a Russian scientist
more interesting than her husband. She also detests having
his children around as they treat her like a fungus; even
worse his son plans to move in with them. His first wife
has made a martyred appearance that deserves an Oscar.
Only her peers at the Anne Boleyn Society provide any
relief for the beleaguered second wife.
THE SECRET LIVES OF SECOND WIVES is an amusing often-
melancholy character study. Lynn and Jackson work on (or
ignore) family issues that make them seem real. Her
clients also add depth to Lynn's character. However, his
children behave so blatantly and appallingly nasty towards
Lynn, readers will wonder why Jackson fails to divorce the
duo. His first wife is subtler in her tactics so that she
comes across as a sneaky, nasty, but clever schemer.
Catherine Todd provides a solid tale that could have been a
great novel if she had created realistic antagonists.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted July 7, 2003