March 19, 2012

Book Review: THE REPLACEMENT WIFE by Eileen Goudge

Author:  Eileen Goudge
Category:  Contemporary Romance
Publisher:  Open Road Media

“You’re my wife.  The only one I want. And you’re not going anywhere.  That’s all there is to say on the subject.”- Edward
“I’m not doing this to hurt you. I’m simply choosing not to live in a dream world.”- Camille
“Knowing what lies ahead doesn’t make it any easier believe me…. It’s just a longer goodbye.”- Edward
Camille and Edward have been married 20 years.  Both are successful in their professional lives (he a doctor; she a professional matchmaker) and are parents to two kids.  Things are seemingly perfect after a year of hell due to Camille’s cancer.  They thought they had it beat, but it came back worse…much worse.  Camille’s cancer has spread.  She is dying. 
Having lost her own mother in childhood, she doesn’t want her children to grow up without one.  So she told Edward her dying wish, which he vehemently dismissed at first.  That is for him to find her replacement in his life, a new wife.
Being the matchmaker that she is, she wanted to choose her own replacement.  So she set about introducing Edward to Elise and Kat, both very nice and successful women.  What she didn’t expect was for Edward to meet and get close to Angie, her company’s caterer.  Edward and Angie start off as just friends but in the end become lovers. 
On Edward’s insistence, Camille undergoes advance treatments.  It works so well that Camille’s cancer is again on remission.  She happily thought her life would go back to what it was, what she never expected was for her husband to fall irrevocably in love with someone else.

I ended this book with a heavy heart.  I didn’t know if I wanted to cry or bang my head against the wall.  That’s how affected I was.  In fact I had to read a very light teen romance a few minutes after ending The Replacement Wife just to get my head on a better plane.  That’s how heartbreaking this book is.

As usual, Eileen Goudge told the story beautifully.  At 482 pages, it is a long read but well worth the effort particularly if you like emotional stories.  Admittedly I am a sucker for light reads and happy endings.  And depending on which character you root for, you may just get it.  The thing is, almost everyone has a good ending except for the one who mattered most to me.

Independence and survival are two things highlighted at the end of the book.  And the biggest lesson I learned from reading this is:  It is okay to be selfish with the one you love because martyrs don’t always end up winners. I do recommend THE REPLACEMENT WIFE but with a warning. Have someone you want to hug close by, because after finishing this book, you will need it. 

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