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interview wendy walker four wives

Marvelous Girl recently caught up with author Wendy Walker to discuss her debut novel, Four Wives, a deep look at the underbelly of affluent suburban housewives.  Walker, a former commercial litigator who has been a stay at home mom for the past ten years, began writing as a hobby and has edited three Chicken Soup for the Soul collections.

Here’s Marvelous Girl’s fascinating chat with the wonderful Wendy Walker –

MG:  Your latest novel, Four Wives, is about the deep secrets of suburban housewives.  What was the inspiration for this book?

WW:  I grew up in the suburbs, am a product of the suburbs and spent the past 15 years living here as an adult. I have had secrets, kept secrets and suspected secrets my entire life. I think that cultures that rely on conformity tend to breed secrets. This was a large part of what I wanted to examine and expose in Four Wives.

MG:  In the book the characters each feel the pangs of discontentment in their lives and decisions to be stay-at-home moms.  Is such discontentment a trend you believe has always plagued suburbia, or has it emerged more so in modern-day women?

WW:  Part of the inspiration for this book was the pinnacle work of Betty Friedan in the 1960’s, called The Feminine Mystique. In that work, she looked at the discontentment of educated women who devoted their lives to being suburban housewives and mothers. This issue has reemerged in the debate on “opting out.” There are no perfect choices for women, or men, in balancing the pursuit of wealth, career and family. Talking about it and being honest about it is really the best we can do!

MG:  What conclusions can be drawn about modern-day suburban marriages?

WW:  These relationships are still structured around a complete division of labor. It is simply what is efficient when the jobs driving the lifestyle are 24/7 jobs in the city. To create more balance between housework, childcare and payed work between the spouses, the family would have to seek lower paying jobs. That’s the reality of these communities and our capitalist system. Family Friendly jobs, from my experience, simply do not exist at the pay scales required to live in these places, and this is not likely to change.

MG:  What do you think your fans and new readers will like most about this book?

WW:  Hopefully, they will find the characters and issues real and relatable. That is my goal. I try to write about serious issues affecting women in a way that is fun and suspenseful. After enjoying the read, I hope people will also have things to think about when they put the book on a shelf.

MG:  In Four Wives you explore the ramifications of choosing a family over a career.  What advice would you give the modern-day mom to avoid such discontentment in their lives?

WW:  Advice is tough! I would say that every one of us has to do our own balancing act in a way that brings us the most contentment and peace. The result will likely be different for everyone. If we accept that, not judge each other, and are willing to admit to and discuss our discontentment with lives that others may think are perfect, then we have a decent shot at building lives that fit us best.

MG:  Are there any other trends you’re noticing involving suburban women/marriages?

WW:  Yes! In fact, my next novel, Social Lives, which comes out September 1st, deals with the impact of the economic downturn on women who have been career wives to wealthy husbands. This is a huge issue because these women have done incredible things for their husbands and families and their skills are finely honed. The only problem is that those skills have no earning power outside of being a wife. It is a social issue, a feminist issue, and a very real issue for many women today!

To see the book trailer for Four Wives, click here.  Otherwise, Wendy Walker’s marvelous novel is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  To purchase, click here.


As your kids head back to school, you’ll have some free time on your hands.  Check out this trailer for the book Four Wives, by Wendy Walker.  It’s a Desperate Housewives-type tale that will satisfy your craving for suburban drama – if you’re not getting enough on your own already. 

**To read Marvelous Girl’s interview with author Wendy Walker, click here!