Recipe for a Perfect Wife.
Booklist Reviews 2019 November #1
Alice Hale and her husband, Nathan, move from New York City to a suburban home with "vintage charm": original appliances, dated wallpaper, and a cache of 1950s women's magazines in the basement that belonged to the previous owner, Nellie Murdoch. Alice left her publicist job under difficult circumstances and is staying home to write a novel—an unsuccessful pursuit, thus far. When Alice stumbles across Nellie's old cookbook, she becomes fascinated by the woman's life. Then Alice's next-door neighbor passes along a bundle of unmailed letters that Nellie wrote to her mother—letters that tell a much different story than the one found in the cookbook. Alternating chapters tell Nellie's story, revealing the devastating truths behind her picture-perfect life. Brown (The Life Lucy Knew, 2018) excels at bringing the complexities of women's lives to the page, and her latest novel questions how much has really changed for women over the last 60 years. The pacing is brisk, the characters are appealing, and both time lines are equally well realized. Thoughtful, clever, and surprisingly dark, this could be a breakout hit for Brown. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.