Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown

Alice and her husband Nate buy a house in the suburbs of New York City in 2018 after she quit (or lost) her job at a public relations firm in the city.  Nate’s job in the city – and his study gal-pal Drew – keep him busy and away from home much of the time.  Alice is not used to having so much free time, so she begins to work on the house and garden and even tries some recipes from a cookbook left in the house by its former owner, Nellie Murdoch.  Nellie’s story is told in alternating chapters as the author describes the challenges and choices made by each woman as they both Alice and Nellie begin to forge new identities for themselves.

This book is easy-to-read, with actual recipes from the 1950’s and advice to married women such as this: “Remember your most important job is to build up and maintain his ego (which gets bruised plenty in business).  Morale is a woman’s business.”  (Edward Podolsky, Sex Today in Wedded Life, 1947)

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