Even a good woman can be pushed too far…From bestselling author Tricia Stringer, this beautifully realised multi-generational family story looks at what happens when real-life betrayals and struggling relationships clash with outdated ideas of what a woman should be.Natalie King’s life is full. Some might say too full. With her teaching job, a farm to run, three grown daughters who have not quite got a handle on things, a reserved husband and a demanding mother-in-law, most days she is too busy to think about whether she is happy. But her life has meaning, doesn’t it? After all, she is the one person everyone depends upon.But when an odd gift from her mother-in-law – an old book in the form of stern and outdated advice for young wives – surfaces again, it brings with it memories she thought she had buried deep. Has this insidious little book exerted some kind of hold over her? Could it be that in her attempts to be a loving wife and mother, she no longer knows who she is?On a day when it seems everyone is taking her for granted, and as the ghost of a past betrayal rises, it becomes clear that even this good mother and model wife can be pushed too far …
‘Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find yourself.’
This quote is my favourite from The Model Wife and sums up the entire premise of the novel quite beautifully.
The Model Wife is the story of Natalie; a wife, teacher, mother and woman who always places her family first. Her health scare causes her to examine her life and explore what is truly important. Natalie is a character to love for her honesty, loyalty and integrity.
Throughout the novel I came to love this family and how true to life the events and characters could be. This is not a fairytale family. It is a loving family who stand by one another as they experience life together and apart. The novel explores a time when all three daughters return to the family home. The scenes at home remind me of the drama TV shows ‘Brothers and sisters’ and ‘Heartland’ in which families prioritise family life. I loved these shows for that reason, which is why I particularly enjoyed this novel.
The Model Wife explores family dynamics and I enjoyed reading about the relationship the sisters have. As an only child growing up, I particularly enjoyed reading of their bond and relationships with one another.
When Natalie finds an old book entitled ‘The Model Wife,’ given to her by her mother-in- law, she reads the arcaic ideas of who a woman should be. She starts to realise that she has been attempting to fill a traditional and expected role. The novel touches on feminism and the feelings of ‘mum guilt’. As a mum I often feel guilty for not being able to be in two places at once and am continually finding a balance that works for me and my family. I hope that anyone reading this will also realise that we may all have moments in which we lose ourselves and that each learning curve is one step closer to finding our true selves.
I would highly recommend this novel and hope that readers will gain what I have from it. The Model Wife is a beautiful story with familiar challenges and a strength of a family who are connected via their life experiences together.
Thank you @harlequinaus and Harper Collins Publishers for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.