GoodReads): Camille Hart, one of Manhattan’s most sought-after matchmakers, has survived more than her fair share of hardships. Her mother died when she was a young girl, leaving her and her sister with an absentee father. Now in her forties, she has already survived cancer once, though the battle revealed just how ill-equipped her husband Edward is to be a single parent. So when doctors tell Camille that her cancer is back—and this time it’s terminal—she decides to put her matchmaking expertise to the test for one final job. Seeking stability for her children and happiness for her husband, Camille sets out to find the perfect woman to replace her when she’s gone.
But what happens when a dying wish becomes a case of “be careful what you wish for”? For Edward and Camille, the stunning conclusion arrives with one last twist of fate that no one saw coming.
At once deeply felt and witty, The Replacement Wife is an unforgettable story of love and family, and a refreshing look at the unexpected paths that lead us to our own happy endings.
And here's what I thought: I like this kind of book for summer reading --- a story where there are relationships, a bit of humor, a bit of drama .... and a happy ending. I like getting caught up in stories like this, reading about people who are realistically written, but whose lives are nothing like mine (it's a bit of escapism, just like going to a movie).
As you can see from the summary, Camille is a matchmaker who is facing terminal cancer. Determined to make sure that her husband and children are cared for once she's gone, she sets out to find a potential "replacement wife" for her husband before she dies. However, this truly is a "be careful for what you wish for" story --- when Camille's medical condition takes a different turn, she has to face up to the consequences of the path she started down with her husband.
I liked that all of the characters seem realistic (even if their lives seem a bit too charmed at times). What I also liked was that the characters had flaws. For all of her good intentions, Camille doesn't ask her husband what he really wants before starting down the path of finding him a new match. Edward's a bit self-absorbed at times. I didn't always like either of them (and actually, liked one of the supporting characters more than either of the two main people .... even if that character was a bit cliched at times). However, as I said, I felt these characters were somewhat realistic --- and they have personal growth throughout the book. The author does really get across her point about being careful about what you wish for, and also, the point that the best laid intentions don't always have the best results.
I don't think this is a really deep story, but it's a good page turner if you like stories about relationships, with some ups and downs, and a bit of romance tied in. I don't think I'll be re-reading this any time soon, but it made a nice counterpoint read to the other books I'm currently reading (science fiction and nonfiction). If you're looking for a medium-light summer read, you might want to pick this one up.
First lines: "We had a nice time," Kat said. Camille Harris felt her heart sink and the fizz go out of the celebratory bottle of champagne she'd mentally uncorked. In her line of work, she'd learned to read nuances and inflections the way a fortune teller did tea leaves.
Please note: I received an e-ARC of this book courtesy of LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Thus, any direct quotes/page numbers may change upon final publication.
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