How to be Married, Polly Williams

| 9 August , 2010 | Reply

Kristy McCormick

Sadie Drew is not the world\’s best wife. She doesn\’t really cook (or clean), refuses to pick up after her husband, wears flannelette PJ\’s to bed and is determined to hang onto her career as a florist even after having kids. She has never been particularly concerned about this though, and apparently neither has her husband. That is until he takes a new job, and while he is aiming for a directorship it seems his wife is not quite presenting the image that she should.

How to be Married by Polly Williams is an hilarious account of one woman\’s attempt to be the ‘perfect wife\’. When Sadie is confronted by the ‘Anderson Wives\’, as the wives of the men who work at Tom\’s company are collectively known, she is in for a shock. There is Perfect Pam – a gorgeous and very accomplished home-maker, known for her dinner parties and immaculately kept house. Then Tara – a glamorous, twenty-something trophy wife, desperate to fit in but not really knowing where to start. And Ruth – the wife with a ‘proper job\’, a lawyer whose husband used to stay home with the kids. And then there\’s Sadie – clumsy, accident-prone and more comfortable in torn jeans and trainers than designer wear.

When Sadie has a chance encounter with an elderly woman in a park (during a freak storm no less), she feels she may just have found the path to enlightenment. Enid, seventy-odd years old and widowed, offers Sadie the opportunity to provide her with flowers – and the odd bit of marriage advice. Sadie starts to visit Enid regularly and what begins as some light-hearted banter becomes a full scale project – to get Sadie up to the standard of the other Anderson Wives.

As the project moves along, Sadie\’s life is taken in directions she would never have predicted. There are the unexpected friendships with the other wives, the ever diminishing attention from her husband, and the unwavering support from Enid and her hunky gardener nephew. Sadie manages to find herself in the most unlikely predicaments – truly no-one could have such bad luck all the time – but manages to recover with mostly grace and good humour. And while she desperately tries to be someone she really isn\’t, in order to help her husband and save her marriage, is she losing sight of what it is she and her husband really want?

How to be Married is an insightful and honest look into the complexities of marriage, motherhood, and just what it means to be a ‘good wife\’. It is often hilarious, at times touching and without doubt a book that every married woman (and man) could relate to at some level. I loved it, and given that I am far from being the ‘perfect wife\’ it\’s reassuring to know that sometimes that\’s OK too!

Available now: Hachette RRP$29.99


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