REVIEW: To Keep a Husband, An Ex-Wives Novel by Lindsay Graves
Honestly Mrs Graves (I noted you’re not an ex wife ;) ) I wasn’t sure if this novel would work for me or not. You see, I’m one of the few Americans who has never watched an episode of “Desperate Housewives.” Yes, yes, I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true. Anyway, I read the blurb and wondered if I would enjoy a book about desperate Rich housewives and wanna-be housewives. Answer? Yes, I did even if I was tired of all the brand name dropping by the end.
Colina Linda is a place where it’s all about being seen in the “right” places with the “right” people doing the “right” things. Money is generally everything everywhere else but here it will only get you so far. True it will make up for a lot of faults but either you’re in or you’re nothing. Lally Chandler-Clemente is definitely in. As the newest wife of multi-billionaire David Clemente, she’s the Queen of Colina Linda society and she’s just back from her three month long, globe trotting honeymoon. Lally’s already known from her days as a Bond girl and star of a few 80s B pictures but now she’s decided to become a world known philanthropist. And all her friends have caught on to the fact that when they get a coveted invitation to one of her “events,” they’d better come with checkbook in hand.
This is not an issue for Janey Martinez, the once frump who Lally helped transform to chic status with a brand new wardrobe (The clothes were Lally’s idea. The double D breast enlargement was Janey’s). After all she’s one of the Kerns who are only one of the most wealthy old money families in town. Jessica DiSantini was left in pretty good shape after her divorce from the Lord God Chief of Neurosurgery though it’s taking her a while to get her law practice back up and running. But poor Caitlin Latch is actually that. Poor. Though she’s doing her best to pass for rich in an effort to snag herself a rich husband, it’s a constant struggle and many days she wonders if she should just pack it in and move to AZ with her 10 year old son.
But Lally soon finds that while she may be obscenely rich now, she’s still got problems in the form of her wild daughter who might be out to steal an already taken husband. And to Janey’s horror, that social climbing nobody Caitlin just might snag the wealthy cousin who Janey’s had her eyes on. Jessica’s grappling with a long distance romance involving Lally’s first husband who doesn’t look like he’s anywhere near to committing. And Caitlin is hoping her cash flow holds up long enough to get Evan Kern and be able to afford a lavish birthday party for Aiden. But who has Aiden been IMing with lately and why doesn’t he want his mother to know about it?
My blogging partner Jane has mentioned in a few reviews how much she hates constant brand name dropping. I think I would urge her to skip this book for that reason. I know that you’re using it as a means to show us the uberwealthy world these characters live in but other books have managed the same thing without having to resort to this. Having said that, I ended up enjoying watching the sharks in couture clothing swimming through the story. I wouldn’t want to be one of them as it seems to take up far too much time to maintain the image and beat off the carnivores lower on the food chain but from the other side of the glass, it’s fascinating to view. As I read the story, I wondered “why don’t I hate most of these women?” The answer I came up with is that you show all of them positively and negatively. With one exception, no one is totally hateful and most have their stellar moments. And that one exception ends up reaping what she sowed in a particularly delicious way. Yes, I’m bad and chuckled with delight at her come-uppance. Oh and thank you for spelling the names of all the drugs correctly.
Colina Linda is a nice place to visit but I’m glad I don’t live there (though I would love to spend a couple of hours in that yummy sounding La Magdalana even though I’m lingerie soul sisters with Jessica). And the next time I’m in a boring meeting, I must use Caitlin’s happy face phrase to fool my supervisor! B for “To Keep a Husband.”