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Review: Wife in The North

December 31, 2008


Judith O’Reilly and her husband and children were living in London.  Her husband has always dreamed of living in the country, so they move three and a half hours away to Northumberland.  Judith agreed to a two year trial period and Wife in The North is her diary of that period.

At the beginning of the book, I found myself wondering why he wanted to move to the country when he still worked in London, and Judith ended up living as a single mother during the week.  As the book progressed,  I wondered why she agreed to the move when she loved London so much.  Judith came across as very negative to me – she ran out of gas five times and always blamed her husband, even though he was in London.  She was overwhelmed by her children, even though she had a “Girl Friday” come in to help her.

This book was just okay for me.  There was really no plot and little character development – none of the characters had names beyond things like the “London Diva” and “the four-year-old”.  Judith does have a dry sense of humor, so there were a few humorous moments in the book.

Here are some other reviews:

The Book Nest

S. Krishna’s Books

B & b Ex Libris

20 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2008 9:19 am

    Can I just copy and paste your review? I felt a lot of the same of way. I am curious to go and read the other reviews that you listed, and will do so shortly. I think a lot of the problem for me stemmed from the fact that this book came out of a blog, and maybe in totality be her blog, I’m not sure. But while blogs can be both plotless and without growth it’s easier to forgive because it’s the nature of the format. I expected more from a memoir/story or whatever this is.

  2. December 31, 2008 10:11 am

    Thanks so much for this review. I’m scratching it off the wish list. The general idea is intriguing — a modern-day “Green Acres”! Sorry to hear that it just didn’t deliver.

    Happy New Year!! And thanks for your kind comments on my photo today. I take zillions of bad photos to get just a few nice ones!

  3. December 31, 2008 11:03 am

    I felt just the same. Very, eh. The gas thing drove me nuts. Who runs out of gas so often? I mean I did when I was 16 and my car didn’t have a gas gauge, but geez. I would have preferred a more traditional memoir as well. There didn’t seem to be any ‘flow’.

    Your trip to Charleston looks like fun! I’m jealous.

  4. stacybuckeye permalink
    December 31, 2008 11:57 am

    At least the cover was cool 🙂

  5. December 31, 2008 12:22 pm

    Sounds like a miss for me. I really hate whiny narrators in memoirs and fiction.

  6. December 31, 2008 12:34 pm

    This is sitting in my TBR pile. I won a copy from Book Club Girl. I’m sorry it didn’t do it for you. I’ll let you know what I think of it when I get to it.

  7. December 31, 2008 2:15 pm

    Hmmm…I wonder why they would move to the country. That raises a good point, doesn’t sound like I would enjoy this one either. Thanks for the review.

  8. December 31, 2008 3:46 pm

    I’ll be reading this in the next few months. It seems to have received mixed reviews.

  9. alirambles permalink
    December 31, 2008 4:00 pm

    I agree with your review 100%! And with Nicole’s comment, too.

    I think the running-out-of-gas thing probably worked well in her blog, because it would be funny if you were reading it as it happened each time, over the course of months. But, like so much of her blog, it falls short once you put in into book form, where it comes off as, “and then I smacked my head on that same brick wall! Again!!! Because my jerk of a husband didn’t put a ‘Do Not Walk Into Wall’ sign on it!”

  10. December 31, 2008 5:25 pm

    I have this one on my pile that I won from book club girl. I would like to read a book with some substance. I will wait a little while longer. Thank you for your review.
    Happy New Year to you and your family.
    By the way can I link your review of Testimony to my review??

  11. December 31, 2008 9:48 pm

    I love the cover. I was going to buy the book but thanks for the heads up Kathy I appreciate it.

    Happy New Year!

  12. December 31, 2008 10:24 pm

    It’s too bad this one wasn’t better.

  13. January 1, 2009 9:50 am

    I won this book on BCG, so no pressure to read/review quickly 🙂

    I’ve read mixed reviews, but I know I’ll get to it anyway. The premise is interesting, but it sounds like the execution fell short.

  14. January 1, 2009 10:47 am

    I felt the same was for the first part of the book and then for some reason that feeling started to fade and was pretty much gone when I was done reading. They did do some things that made next to no sense though!

  15. January 1, 2009 12:12 pm

    I read this one too. I did enjoy it though, some parts made me laugh. I felt like she told her story well.

  16. January 1, 2009 7:32 pm

    I’m sorry you didn’t like it! Maybe I was just in a really good place when I read it – I found most of it pretty dang funny. Maybe she and I are just sorta in the same place in life right now (three young kids…), so I could relate 🙂

  17. January 1, 2009 10:11 pm

    Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy this one more, I’ve been very interested in reading this after seeing so many different opinions. Also I like the idea of it being true and would like to see how I might feel if I found myself in the same position as the author.

  18. January 2, 2009 11:34 am

    I enjoyed this book more than you did, but I definitely understand where you are coming from…the gas thing got really annoying after awhile!

  19. January 2, 2009 2:21 pm

    I was supposed to receive this one but never did. I’ve got so much other stuff to read at this point it doesn’t matter. lol.

  20. January 5, 2009 8:32 am

    I think I’ll pass on this one. I’ve seen a lot of reviews like yours. I appreciate the honest review.

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