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The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After

by Melanie Gideon

Have you ever sat across the breakfast table from your husband and wondered, "How did I get here?" Do the things that once made you complete-including your husband-now feel like a burden? Is the life you are leading an unrecognizable version of the one you imagined for yourself not so very long ago? Welcome to the world of Melanie Gideon. THE SLIPPERY YEAR chronicles a year in which Gideon confronts both the fantasies of her receding youth and the realities of midlife with a husband and a child and a dog (one of whom runs away). Marriage changes passion, Gideon confides; suddenly you're in bed with a relative (in Gideon's case, a relative with a penchant for buying residential vehicles online.) She reflects on the exigencies of family life-the need for a household catastrophe plan, the fainting spell occasioned by the departure of her nine year old son for camp. With wit, tenderness, and unsparing honesty, Gideon captures that moment in our lives when the magic starts to ebb, and when the things you have loved forever begin to fall away for the first time. It is the story of a woman's quest, in the face of all the big questions ("What's this loose skin around my knees? I don't look as old as she does, do I?") to reignite passion, beauty and mystery, and discover if 'happily ever after' is a possibility after all.

Wife 22

by Melanie Gideon

For fans of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary and Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It comes an irresistible novel of a woman losing herself . . . and finding herself again . . . in the middle of her life.Maybe it was those extra five pounds I'd gained. Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was when I lost her. Maybe it was because after almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I seemed to be running out of things to say to each other. But when the anonymous online study called "Marriage in the 21st Century" showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life. It wasn't long before I was assigned both a pseudonym (Wife 22) and a caseworker (Researcher 101). And, just like that, I found myself answering questions. 7. Sometimes I tell him he's snoring when he's not snoring so he'll sleep in the guest room and I can have the bed all to myself. 61. Chet Baker on the tape player. He was cutting peppers for the salad. I looked at those hands and thought, I am going to have this man's children. 67. To not want what you don't have. What you can't have. What you shouldn't have. 32. That if we weren't careful, it was possible to forget one another. Before the study, my life was an endless blur of school lunches and doctor's appointments, family dinners, budgets, and trying to discern the fastest-moving line at the grocery store. I was Alice Buckle: spouse of William and mother to Zoe and Peter, drama teacher and Facebook chatter, downloader of memories and Googler of solutions. But these days, I'm also Wife 22. And somehow, my anonymous correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpectedly personal turn. Soon, I'll have to make a decision--one that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life. But at the moment, I'm too busy answering questions. As it turns out, confession can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.BONUS: This edition includes a Wife 22 discussion guide.

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