Meet: Gayle Beck, the matriarch of Hunting Ridge society, who struggles to reconcile her picture-perfect life with a numbing sense of unfulfilment; Love Welsh, adoring mother, who battles with memories of a childhood lived in the shadow of a genius father; Marie Passeti, over-stretched divorce lawyer and mother, who has lost her passion for life and for her husband; and Janie Kirk, yummy mummy, whose quest for acceptance knows no bounds.
In a world where happiness comes second to appearances, their domestic discontent spirals into an irreversible course of risk-taking, secrecy and self-destruction. For these four wives perfection is just a façade and behind closed doors infidelity, self-doubt and deceit run rife.
A klatch of wealthy suburban women become deeply entangled in one another s lives while planning a public health clinic benefit in Walker s uninspired first novel. Housewife Janie is having a heated affair she can t give up; lawyer Marie is trying to balance her law practice, family obligations and loafing husband when a hot summer intern arrives; heiress Gayle has turned to pills to numb her to the treatment of her abusive husband; and Love, a doctor s wife, receives a letter from her estranged father that dredges up a painful past. As the women s personal struggles invade their other, pedestrian pursuits, Love s struggle with the demands of motherhood and family forces Marie, Janie and Gayle to get more involved in the lives of their friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, Walker doesn t do much to bring life to her typecast characters, and the narrative wobbles wildly as the subplots barrel toward a big revelation. The ending is mostly happy, which will please some, but the novel s phoned-in feeling prevents readers from connecting with the characters.