The Trophy Wives Club

9 Aug

The Trophy Wives Club

Kristen Billerbeck

Publisher: Harper Collins e-books

Publication Date: 2007

Paperback: 272 pages, but I clearly didn’t read it as a paperback. While living in Mexico it’s very difficult for poor little me to get my hands on paper and glue novels… in English that is.

Book Blurb:

Haley Cutler is the consummate trophy wife. Perhaps was is the more accurate term. Haley married Prince Charming when she was only twenty–back in the day when highlights came from an afternoon at the beach, not three hours in the salon.

Unfortunately, after seven years as Jay Cutler’s wife, a role that provided significance and what she thought was love, Jay walks out, and Haley finds herself with few life skills that translate to the real world, not to mention a sense of amnesia about who she used to be. But before Haley can find her way, she must meet with Jay’s lawyer, the strikingly handsome Hamilton Lowe. Although she can’t stand his self-righteous contempt for her divorce, she takes his suggestion to attend a group at his church called “The Trophy Wives Club,” a Bible study composed of women who have been dealt a raw deal. Haley’s never been into the whole Jesus thing but could really use some friends to walk her through this phase (how do you apply for a credit card anyway?).

As Haley begins to realize that she really can stand on her own two feet, she also learns that sometimes in losing we find the real reward . . .

Stand alone or series: It seems to me this was written like a stand alone but I know there’s another in this series. I like a completed novel, I don’t like an ending where I feel like I’m only part way through the story so I like this kind of series writing.

Why I read this book: The title was catchy and I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover but I really like the cover. It was so clean. Also, this author wrote a fantastic teen series that I’m more than a bit envious of so I wanted to check out her adult titles. And I could get it at the library!

Review:

Wow. Can I say, poor girl. Her husband locked her out of the house and cut off all money as a way of telling her their marriage was over. Ouch. Haley became accustomed to a certain standard of living while with her husband, or rather she was told to. She was also told how to dress, how to act, what to like for seven years. She’s lost herself so much in her husband that she can’t remember what she used to like, so she hunkers down with daytime television and chocolate frosting as her friends. She finds real friends in The Trophy Wives Club. These quirky and beyond gorgeous women help her to find her footing and regain her life, sense of pride and self.

Now, I’m gonna warn you. What’s below could be considered as spoiler-ish. However I don’t think it’s anything you won’t figure out by chapter two or, really, just by knowing the genre. So read on if you dare.

Much of the novel Haley spends angry or self-pitying, not that I don’t get where she’s coming from, but may not be what you’re expecting from a novel that looks like some fun chick lit. Haley’s anger presents another problem. Her interest in he-who-must-not-be-named, doesn’t come off quite right. Her transformation from hating him to… let’s just say interest in him is not a smooth transition. She claims throughout the novel that she does not want a man, does not want or trust love. Now this is normal fare for chick lit, but when other heroines claim this I say, “Yeah right.” When Haley makes this claim I say, “I don’t blame you, I don’t think I would either.” So her attempts at testing romance with her “lab rats” come off as insincere and nothing more than she claims: experiments. In fact, I didn’t even realize that she was testing lab rat A until she says so to a friend long after the fact. I like to slowly fall for the hero alongside the heroine so that when that long, slow kiss finally comes I get the jitters just like her. This time that didn’t happen.

This was a good read, quick, but I gotta admit I like Billerbeck’s Universally Misunderstood series miles better. The bitter undercurrent throughout the novel is just not my cup of tea, though Billerbeck did it justice. Haley’s journey from bitter to redemptive was not quite smooth. We’re more told of her change of heart than we see it for most of the story. She skips many meetings and attends church and reads her Bible as a favor to a friend, but we don’t see how this impacts her life, its more of a side note mentioned here and there. So when she decides she wants to get baptized I was actually quite surprised.

I would’ve liked smoother transitions, or even abrupt but justified transitions, through Haley’s different stages. However, I fully admit that this is a hard subject to tackle. I would recommend this to avid readers like myself who can’t get enough Christian fiction, but for those who haven’t much time I’ve got others at the top of my recommendation list.

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