In This Captivating Dual Narrative Novel, A Modern Day Woman Finds Inspiration In Hidden Notes Left By Her Home S Previous Owner, A Quintessential S Housewife As She Discovers Remarkable Parallels Between This Woman S Life And Her Own, It Causes Her To Question The Foundation Of Her Own Relationship With Her Husband And What It Means To Be A Wife Fighting For Her Place In A Patriarchal SocietyWhen Alice Hale Leaves A Career In Publicity To Become A Writer And Follows Her Husband To The New York Suburbs, She Is Unaccustomed To Filling Her Days Alone In A Big, Empty House But When She Finds A Vintage Cookbook Buried In A Box In The Old Home S Basement, She Becomes Captivated By The Cookbook S Previous Owner S Housewife Nellie Murdoch As Alice Cooks Her Way Through The Past, She Realizes That Within The Cookbook S Pages Nellie Left Clues About Her Life Including A Mysterious Series Of Unsent Letters Penned To Her MotherSoon Alice Learns That While Baked Alaska And Meatloaf Five Ways May Seem Harmless, Nellie S Secrets May Have Been Anything But When Alice Uncovers A Sinister Even Dangerous Side To Nellie S Marriage, And Has Become Increasingly Dissatisfied With The Mounting Pressures In Her Own Relationship, She Begins To Take Control Of Her Life And Protect Herself With A Few Secrets Of Her Own 3.5 stars A modern woman who is of the contentious type is often amenable to love and reason If she will only listen quietly a process that is painful to her you may firmly, rationally, and kindly convince her she is not always in the right Walter Galichan, Modern Woman and How to Manager Her 1910 A reluctant housewife in the present finds herself drawn to a housewife from the 1950s in Recipe for a Perfect Wife In the early 1950s, Nellie, an early 20 something has married Richard, a man in his mid thirties Richard swept Nellie off her feet and she thought that she had found her prince charming, but as their marriage progresses, Nellie realizes that she married a controlling and abusive man who cares about appearances than his wife.In 2018, Alice and her husband, Nate, move from NYC to a suburban money pit Ali, who was fired from her high profile job, decides she will play the doting wife to cover up the lies she told her husband about the demise of her career Once she and Nate move into their new home, and lies are told throwing their marriage into a tailspin.Each chapter starts with an excerpt from books written from the late 19thc To the early 20th century with advice on how to be the perfect wife I loved reading these little snippets, they were horrifying and fascinating at the same time Other chapters begin with a recipe, some of which sound disgusting, and other delicious These were my favorite parts of the book The narrative switches between Nellie and Alice s POV s I loved Nellie s story and character, but Alice s character wasn t fully developed Her storyline was predictable and filled with cliches I also felt Nellie s story could have used another chapter Overall, I think the plot could have been complex and nuanced.Even though this was fluffier than expected, in the end, it was an enjoyable and entertaining read The average man marries a woman who is slightly less intelligent than he is.That s why many brilliant women never marry They do not come in contact with sufficiently brilliant men, or fail to disguise their brilliance in order to win a man of somewhat less intelligence Dr Clifford R Adams, Modern Bride 1952 I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley Edelweiss duplicate request in exchange for an honest review. RECIPE FOR A PERFECT WIFE masterfully bridges the lives of two women, living sixty years apart, who refuse to fall victim to the patriarchy While Karma Brown s signature style remains, it s laced with something sinister and dark A brilliant, brooding, timely novel, fraught with tension, that packs a punch Brown knows how to keep readers riveted until the very last page. This is probably the fastest I ve finished a book all year I considered DNF ing, but I m glad I stuck it out It had a lot depth than what I was anticipating and even though I didn t particularly like Alice the present day MC , I appreciated her gusto by the end of the book Dual storylines don t always work for me and this one was an exception Usually, I find myself loving one perspective and disliking the other, but this was pretty equal Once the book found it s groove, I couldn t flip the pages fast enough Besides being an interesting story, I really enjoyed it for it s education of the 50 s Not only by what we were reading from the characters, but the author put recipes and snippets from publications of the time in as well so as to be fully immersed as though we were there I think this book also would be a good book club pick since there is a lot to discuss in the things that changed for women and the things that didn t Thanks to Edelweiss, Dutton and Karma Brown for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book.Review Date 12 17 19Publication Date 12 31 19 An old house, an old cookbook, notes in the cookbook that reveal the life of Nellie, and Alice who has some secrets of her own is what the reader finds in this lovely read.We meet Alice who was fired from her job because of something she leaked and we learn of a box she finds that is filled with books, magazines, and a cookbook that inspires Alice to try some of the recipes.Along with the cookbook, Alice finds notes about the life of a woman, Nellie, who lived during the 1950 s.The cookbook helped Alice pass her days since she no longer was working and really didn t like her new home Nellie who owned the books was a stay at home wife from the 1950 s who wasn t happy and whose husband was a domestic abuser.The stories of Nellie and Alice are told in alternating chapters as Alice finds similarities in their lives and meets the next door neighbor whose mother knew Nellie Alice was a bit unlikable, but her husband was sweet Alice s neighbor found old letters in her basement written by Nellie to her mother and brought them to Alice Could these old letters trigger an idea for the book Alice was supposed to be writing RECIPE FOR A PERFECT WIFE is an endearing and nostalgic trip back in time with the letters taking us back to the 1950 s and influencing Alice s present day life.Women s fiction fans, readers who enjoy a dual time line and a story line that keeps you wanting will enjoy RECIPE FOR A PERFECT WIFE A truly, enjoyable, makes you feel good read Loved it 5 5This book was given to me by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. With sharp insights into what it means to be a married woman in America both currently and historically, this novel is beguiling, entertaining and wholly unpredictable I really think this is Karma s best book yet. This book started out excellent for me but after a while it fizzled and fell a bit flat I think part of the problem is that I didn t like the main character, Alice I ve read other books by this author and have loved them so I will definitely read of her books It kept me reading and was enjoyable but didn t move me Thank you to Netgalley for proving me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This was a great book The story is told in alternating timelines, the lives of two women, Alice and Eleanor Between the antiquated advice for wives and the old fashion recipes, I thought this book was a fun and eye opening read I have been a fan of Karma Brown, ever since I was blown away by Come Away with Me Her novels are powerful and thought provoking Recipe for a Perfect Wife has a different feel from her previous novels, as it is a dual narrative shifting between the 1950 s and the present Both Alice and Nellie were interesting and sympathetic characters whom I cared about the entire way through the story I couldn t put the book down because I just had to know what would happen for both of them Their lives paralleled each other in some ways Karma s descriptions took me back in time during the 1950 s scenes Everything was easy to visualize in both time periods without having to be overly descriptive While I didn t like one of the choices Nellie made for herself, I understood why she did it, as well as why Alice made certain choices in her life This story speaks volumes about women s roles in marriage both in the past and present It is a great story that will have readers captivated throughout.Movie casting suggestions Alice Alison ScagliottiNate Brett DierNellie Chlo Grace MoretzRichard Alan RitchsonKitty Sarah DugdaleSally Jane AlexanderMiriam Melissa Leo Wow Recipe for a Perfect Wife was a surprise hit for me and I just enjoyed it so much This was my first book by Karma Brown and it definitely won t be my last I loved the format of the dual timelines and I became very immersed with both of the main characters.Brown introduces us to Alice, who has recently moved out of the city to a fixer upper with her husband As her roles are shifting in her own home life, Alice discovers a cookbook and magazines from the previous homeowner This discovery introduces us to the other main character in this book, Nellie.The storyline then goes back and forth between present day Alice and Nellie a housewife in the 1950s I loved how Brown took us back to that era and really dove into what life was like for women and the expectations there was of Nellie as a wife in that time period.The story shifts between Nellie s narrative, and Alice s discovery of Nellie s past while also learning about her own marriage Each chapter started with quotes from marital advice from the not so distant past and it really helped set the scene for how different life was in the early and mid 1900s.Brown keeps you super involved in both storylines and I loved that while it was a completely engaging read, it took on some powerful and timely topics The twists at the end were satisfying, clever and bold Recipe For A Perfect Wife will definitely stick with me and it would make a wonderful book club discussion Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton Books for an advanced copy. I loved this twisty take on marriage.