Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wifey - Judy Blume


For my seventh book in my Shelf Discovery Challenge Rampage Month, I chose Judy Blume's "Wifey". I have strong memories of the cover that I've pictured below, but I can't be sure if I actually read it. I seriously hope not. I either saw it on my mom's bookshelf, or coveted it at the bookstore, but I really had no business turning past the first page until I was at least voting age, maybe even drinking age. If I did read it at an early age, I must have blocked it out as a result of sever trauma to my formative mind.

If
"Are You There God, It's Me Margaret" pushed the envelope for fifth graders, and "Forever" was written to provide edgy and explicit sex education to teenagers, then this little puppy was written for the adult ladies. In a nutshell, this is really a Jackie Collins-esque, smut-tastic, laughter-inducing trash novel, packaged in Blume's easy-reading prose that she is famous for.


Enter Sandy Pressman, stay-at-home mother of two, wife of Norman Pressman for twelve years. She makes chicken on Wednesdays, pot roast on Thursdays, and provides Norm with his weekly romp on Saturdays (never mind that he sprays room freshener and gargles afterwards). Every Tuesday, a helmeted man rides his motorcycle into her backyard and is (ahem) the Master of His Domain in full view, then waves goodbye to her. Her husband is a stuffed shirt that criticizes Sandy's every move, and desperately wants her to learn to play tennis and golf at The Club so they can properly live as esteemed upper class (never mind that she hates all sports).

Her best friend is a swinger, her neighbors' husbands hit on her, and her mother-in-law is a bigot.

As you can imagine, Sandy isn't happy. Frankly, she's bored, and she's starting to have a full-blown mid-life crisis. She can't stop thinking about "the one who got away" - her bad boy crush that she had before she settled and married safe Norm. She fantasizes about the bad boy, about the cabana boy, about the plumber who used to sleep with her sister...

You can probably take it from here. Every four letter word signifying a private part, every sex act (with or without a partner), STDs, pot-smoking, we got it all covered folks. It was the seventies, after all! Is there an underlying message? I'm not sure. Maybe. Who cares? We're not solving world hunger here, we're just taking a couple of days to throw caution to the wind, laugh until we pee, and love Blume for taking us there.

4 out of 5 stars

22 comments:

Melody said...

Aha! I got this book in my pile, along with Forever. I look forward to reading them next year.

I don't think I'd carry this book around with that cover... and am glad the reissue cover is so much different, otherwise I'd have to wrap it with a bookcover! :P

cardiogirl said...

I ran to the library and read Are You There God... after you wrote about that and had to laugh when I finished reading it.

My memory of the plot and reality did not jive at all!

So naturally I now want to re-read Forever and Wifey. I don't think I ever read either one, I just remember the titles.

I can't wait to see how her writing style compares based on her intended audience (young adult vs. adult.)

farmlanebooks said...

I don't remember this one either. I don't think I read it, as I think I'd remember that plot!

Susan said...

Definitely gonna have to re-read this one! I don't remember being shocked at all, but then my memory isn't all that great! LOL

verification word: ratedst

Jeane said...

Sounds like a blast! I actually didn't know Blume wrote novels for adults- I remember her only for the teen books.

Julie P. said...

Interesting review. I don't think I ever read this one -- probably afraid to! I'm curious to read it as an adult.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

She has really covered the whole range in age and life-situation reactions. I have to find more of her books!

The Bumbles said...

Yeah - I know I never read that one. Heard of it. Surprised I didn't track it down though when I went through my trasy smut novel faze in high school.

Oh - and what was it like reading a book like that with your name splattered all over the pages? I find that when a character shares my name it can be a distraction.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Melody - I don't know...the other covers aren't much better! I kind of hid this one in my purse!

Cardiogirl - I am finding that I've blocked certain things out of my memory. I wonder why? Anyway, you will increasingly like these books I think. What a trip!

Jackie - haha! Yes, the plot is quite unforgettable!

Susan - of all of Blume's books, this one would hit closest to home just because the woman is an adult. Still, are there people out there like this?

Jeane - Blume is known for her kid books, which I think is where she really belonged. This one was out there! The scarey thing is, because she is known for kid books, kids might actually pick it up.

Julie - it would be totally scary for a teenager to read this! The horror!

Jill - see, this is what Blume must have been thinking. I have done it all...what's left? Soft porn!!!!

Molly - yes, that did bother me a little. Sandy was not the model wife!

Amy Reads Good Books said...

Wow! You're on your seventh one. . .that's awesome! Great review!

Amy said...

This is one I never really read! It was passed around my catholic grammar school 8th-grade class when the teacher was droning on and on about something! I always meant to read it cover to cover instead of just the pages that were dog-eared by various friends but never got around to it!

My mother always cringed and turned red when Judy Blume's name came up...my strict roman catholic, conservative Mom! It makes sense in light of your description of this as a "Jackie Collins-esque smut-tastic laughter-inducing trash novel" No wonder my mother was horrified at the thought of me reading this book and "Forever"! LOL
I'm so glad you're having fun with this challenge.

bermudaonion said...

I love your description of this book! Do you know what the intended audience is?

Kathleen said...

Can't believe this one passed me by when I was reading Jackie Collins novels for my guilty pleasure back in the day!

Dar said...

I read this a few years back and I remember thing holy cow!

ds said...

Smut-tastic! LOL--what a word!! Missed this one, but can think of a couple from my "formative years" that might fit that description... Fun review!

Alice Teh said...

LOL! I love your review of this book. I think I'm going to give it a go if I can get a copy of this book. :)

Nymeth said...

You have to love Blume for being so daring! Like Melody, I'm looking forward to reading her for the first time next year.

Literary Feline said...

This doesn't sound like a book I would like, to be honest, but Blume certainly has a way with words that can't be denied. I am glad you enjoyed this one, Sandy.

Jenners said...

I remember furtively reading this one at one of the houses where I babysat. I think a lot of it was totally over my head!!!!!

Anna said...

I bought this book several years ago when I realized Judy Blume had written so adult books. And I didn't even know they meant "adult" in that way! LOL

I'll have to dust off my copy and see how racy it is. ;)

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Alyce said...

I had no idea that Judy Blume wrote anything like this! It's not my normal reading, but it might be fun for a lark at some point.

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

I know I've never read this one. I knew she wrote some books for adults, but for some reason they never really caught my attention.