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Recipe for a Perfect Wife

A Novel
Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Publisher's 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.

©2020 Karma Brown (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"[Brown] 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." (Booklist)

"Brown skillfully alternates between Alice's modern world and Nellie's in the 1950s. With plentiful historical details (including recipes and depressingly hilarious marriage advice), the pages devoted to Nellie come to life.... An engaging and suspenseful look at how the patriarchy shaped women's lives in the 1950s and continues to do so today." (Kirkus)

“A powerful, thought-provoking story about the choices that ultimately come to define and liberate two women who lived 60 years apart.” (Shelf Awareness)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing

While the book was predictable I still enjoyed it. the book was so well written that reading it was like watching a movie in my mind. I cannot recommend this book enough.

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She does it again...

Karma Brown does it again...entertaining, full of ups and downs and twists. She really made me care about the two main characters, Nellie and Allie and become completely invested in this story. Karma Brown cannot write quickly enough for me, each of her books are a gem on my shelves!
The audible version is fantastic!

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ALL MEN ARE HORRIBLE, BAD, NASTY PEOPLE.

So, if you like reading about how creepy all men are and how they leave, rape, abuse women, this is your book. It is sure to be made into a movie by Reese any day now. Hollywood will LOVE it.

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So So

There are two separate stories here, only one of them is good. The author does not make Alice a very likable character.

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Bravo!

I loved the combinations of two stories and the retro recipes and fashion tips! Was totally into this audiobook and hated leaving the car to run errands. Fabulous!