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The Second Wives Club    by Jane Moore order for
Second Wives Club
by Jane Moore
Order:  USA  Can
Broadway, 2006 (2006)

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* *   Reviewed by Shannon Bigham

Jane Moore, author of Fourplay and The Ex Files, delves into the lives of second wives. She tells the tale of four second wives who are friends and have created a 'Second Wives Club'. They meet regularly to vent about their lives with their husbands, as well as dealing with spurned first wives and testy stepchildren.

Alison's marriage to Luca starts off tumultuously when the first wife shows up at the wedding, snatches her two children from the reception, and pronounces to everyone that Alison is a whore. Fiona has to deal with a difficult and surly teenage stepson who holds her responsible for the breakup of his parents' marriage. Julia is a self-proclaimed trophy wife who snared a wealthy married man at a charity event. Last of the quartet is Susan. She's not married but lives with a widower and mothers his young daughter.

Not many people have sympathy for second wives due to the fact that they often begin an affair with a married man, as was the case with Alison, Julia and Fiona (Julia's being the most egregious of the three affairs.) Arguably, Susan is the least culpable as she was friends with her husband's deceased wife and began the relationship while her friend's husband was grieving over his wife's death. Susan also readily took over primary parental responsibilities for her husband's young daughter.

Each second wife experiences trials and tribulations, which are delved into in this novel that touches on spurned first wives, infidelity, infertility, difficult stepchildren, and other issues. Just as I started to wonder how the author could write an entire book about this subject, interesting plot twists cropped up that added depth and interest.

While I was not left feeling overly compassionate towards the second wives (particularly Julia), I enjoyed reading about their stories and marriages. The book successfully explores the life of the second wife and shows that a woman can easily bite off more than she can chew, so to speak, when she decides to take on that role. It also demonstrates that second wives have dreams and desires of their own, which may conflict with the plans of husbands who have been there, done that (e.g. having a child) the first time around.

Plot twists and humor kept The Second Wives Club interesting and had me turning the pages of this novel that reminded me of Sex In The City - but with friends in second marriages, as opposed to the single state.

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