Recipe For a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown | Penguin Group Dutton {Book Review}

Recipe For a Perfect Wife Dutton

Recipe For a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown

Book Summary:

“In this captivating dual narrative novel, a modern-day woman finds inspiration in hidden notes left by her home’s previous owner, a quintessential 1950s housewife. As she discovers remarkable parallels between this woman’s life and her own, it causes her to question the foundation of her own relationship with her husband–and what it means to be a wife fighting for her place in a patriarchal society.

When Alice Hale leaves a career in publicity to become a writer and follows her husband to the New York suburbs, she is unaccustomed to filling her days alone in a big, empty house. But when she finds a vintage cookbook buried in a box in the old home’s basement, she becomes captivated by the cookbook’s previous owner–1950s housewife Nellie Murdoch. As Alice cooks her way through the past, she realizes that within the cookbook’s pages Nellie left clues about her life–including a mysterious series of unsent letters penned to her mother.

Soon Alice learns that while baked Alaska and meatloaf five ways may seem harmless, Nellie’s secrets may have been anything but. When Alice uncovers a more sinister–even dangerous–side to Nellie’s marriage and has become increasingly dissatisfied with the mounting pressures in her own relationship, she begins to take control of her life and protect herself with a few secrets of her own.”

Publication Date:

January 21, 2020 (You can pre-order HERE)

Genre:

Domestic Life Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

book review of Recipe For a Perfect Wife

Wow!! Recipe for a Perfect Wife was a surprise hit for me and I just enjoyed it so much. This was my first book by Karma Brown and it definitely won’t be my last! I loved the format of the dual timelines and I became very immersed with both of the main characters.

Brown introduces us to Alice, who has recently moved out of the city to a fixer-upper with her husband. As her roles are shifting in her own home life, Alice discovers a cookbook and magazines from the previous homeowner. This discovery introduces us to the other main character in this book, Nellie.

The storyline then goes back and forth between present-day Alice and Nellie a “housewife” in the 1950s. I loved how Brown took us back to that era and really dove into what life was like for women and the expectations there was of Nellie as a wife in that time period.

The story shifts between Nellie’s narrative, and Alice’s discovery of Nellie’s past while also learning more about her own marriage. Each chapter started with quotes from marital advice from the (not so distant) past and it really helped set the scene for how different life was in the early and mid-1900s.

Brown keeps you super involved in both storylines and I loved that while it was a completely engaging read, it took on some powerful and timely topics. The twists at the end were satisfying, clever and bold. Recipe For A Perfect Wife will definitely stick with me and it would make a wonderful book club discussion.

Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton Books for an advanced copy.

October 1st, 2019 Book Releases {New Book Publications}

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October Book Releases:

It’s October 1st which means we are starting a great month of new book releases! If I were a book, I would like to be published in October because not only is it the best month ever but it is my very favorite time of the year to read! There are so many awesome books coming out during the next few weeks and before the holidays when new book releases tend to slow down a bit until the new year.

Now that we are back into regular routines because of the school year, I am trying to get back into some of my weekly blog series too. I always love sharing new book publications and so here are some I am excited about today!

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Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky was released today and Reese’s Book Club just announced it is their October 2019 book selection! I love that it is going to get so much attention now because this topic is so important.

While we have learned a lot as the years have gone by, figuring out the daily logistics of life with work, marriage, kids and household tasks is a constant juggling act. Fair Play both takes on and tackles the topics of the mental load, second shift, emotional labor and invisible work that in the 21st century still cause a great imbalance in many families ‘ home lives.

Fair Play was a 5-star book for me and was such an awesome conversation starter in our own marriage. The book is relatable while also having a proactive approach to managing household/family/life tasks while also balancing your own goals and desires.

You can read my full review of Fair Play HERE.

It is also one of the upcoming book choices for our Better Together Book Club and I can’t wait to discuss it more then.

Gen The Bookworm

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

Can you believe I just read The Tattooist of Auschwitz two months ago?! It was on my TBR list for a while but when an ARC of Cilka’s Journey arrived in my mailbox I knew I needed to prioritize it ASAP.

Cilka was one of the characters in The Tattooist of Auschwitz and I was interested to learn more about her. Cilka’s Journey is a powerful story that was inspired by the true to life experiences of Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor Cilka who ends up in a Siberian work camp after being charged as a collaborator for “sleeping with the enemy”. This novel is not an easy read as it confronts the issue of rape during wartime.

While this story does focus on the atrocities that happened to Cilka(and many others), it also shares the heroic efforts she was a part of. Cilka has a compassion for others that guides her through the toughest of times and this part of the story was both heartbreaking and utterly compelling. How Cilka chose to use the gifts she was given to help others was so powerful and a reminder of the beacon of light in humanity even in the most horrific of times.

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Your Turn by Dr. Tyra Manning

“Writing my stories helps me remember the good times and the worst of times, and offers me the opportunity to understand them. Writing and celebrating my stories helps me heal. Hindsight gives me many gifts: clarity, acceptance, forgiveness, and new perspectives on past experiences. I am not unique in having lovely and sometimes sad stories in my repertoire. Sharing our life stories teaches us that we have more commonalities than differences. It brings us closer.”

-Dr. Tyra Manning

I love anything that helps remind us that we are more alike than different. I have always been a big fan of sharing our stories because it can help us connect and also help us feel less alone.

Your Turn is a guide and collection of personal essays that demonstrates how to share more effectively and find meaning in the ups and downs of our lives. Manning shares her own personal stories while also providing writing prompts to encourage you to start sharing too.

Thank you to Book Sparks for sharing an advanced copy with me. 

September 2019 Book Recap & Ratings {Monthly Reading Wrap-Up)

Gen The Bookworm Monthly Book Wrap-Up

Hello and Happy October!

September always seems like the longest month to me…well along with January! It is filled with lots of great things but it always seems to last forever. The good thing about it seeming to last so long is that I read a lot of great books!

September Reading Highs & Lows:

Gen The Bookworm book reviews

September was filled with a lot of amazing reading and a couple of books that were a bit of a disappointment…. My very favorite books of the past month were The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer and The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall. They were not on my reading radar beforehand and completely blew me away! I also loved Fair Play by Eva Rodsky and Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur is now one of my favorite memoirs ever!

I really was looking forward to The Other’s Gold and The Nickel Boys and both of those were rather disappointing for me. I will include links to my book reviews of all of these in my recap below.

September Reading Wrap-Up:

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My book review of The Things We Cannot Say can be found HERE.

book review of The Dearly Beloved

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can read my full review of The Dearly Beloved HERE

book review of With The Fire on High

With The Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*My full review will be coming soon…

book review of Fair Play

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My full review of Fair Play can be found HERE

book review of The Gift of Failure

The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

*My full review is coming soon.

book of the month selection

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

*My full review is coming soon.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

*My full review is coming soon.

Book review of The Nickel Boys

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can read my full review of The Nickel Boys HERE.

The Other's Gold by Elizabeth Ames

The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames

⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can read my full review of The Other’s Gold HERE.

book of the month selection

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can read my full review of Wild Game HERE.

Israel Keyes

American Predator by Maureen Callahan

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

You can read my full review of Amerian Predator HERE.

Before We Were Yours follow up book

 Before and After by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

You can read my full review of Before and After HERE.


*The links above are Amazon affiliate referral links. When you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I receive a small percentage that helps support this blog at no cost to you. You can read more about this on my FAQs page HERE. Thank you!