Comparing more than covers!

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51anokciuml_sl500_aa240_ Helen really enjoyed Elise Chidley's debut, The Wrong Sort of Wife?, except for one thing: the plot hinged on an email sent by Lizzie and read by her husband and which effectively ended her marriage. Helen didn't think the email was bad enough to warrant such a response.

The book is now out in the US with a different title, a much more modern cover and a completely different email (as requested by the US editor).

Carry on over the cut to read both emails and vote on which one you think might throw a spanner in your marriage! (You can vote on the covers and the titles too.)

UK VERSION

From:   Lizzie Buckley lizbuckley@hotmail.com

Sent:   12 April       

Janie, do you ever feel you need a mini-break from being married—or is it just me? 

Lately, I’ve been fantasizing an awful lot about switching lives with a single woman. (But don’t tell Mum, whatever you do!)  I mean, things are just so much simpler when James is away on business. I can have a boiled egg for dinner with the kids, watch room makeovers and plastic surgery on TV, turn in early—oh, and not feel guilty that the main thing (the only thing) I want to do in bed these days is sleep.   

Another great thing about those business trips: if I have to get up in the night to deal with a twin while James is away, at least I’m spared the seething resentment I normally feel when I finally stagger back to bed to find that he hasn’t even surfaced out of his REM cycle. 

To be honest, I’m a bit worried, Janie. All the romance is gone. I’ve picked up too many pairs of soggy underpants off the bathroom floor, I think. (There’s obviously a gene in men that stops them from seeing clothes on the bathroom floor. Or any other floor, for that matter.)  Those evenings when James starts lighting candles and putting on mood music and giving me that come-hither look, I just have this awful, dull feeling that I really couldn’t be bothered with all that. Give me a cup of tea and a good mini-series any day.  Oh, and a box of chocolate digestives.

Maybe his mum is right. Maybe he shouldn’t have married me in the first place. Maybe I am too common-or-garden for the lofty Buckleys. I’m sure the right sort of girl would’ve breezed through pregnancy, childbirth and the never-ending fall-out without turning a hair. The right sort of girl wouldn’t have let herself go, either. She wouldn’t now be overweight and overwrought. The right sort of girl, no doubt, would be a lady at the table, a cordon bleu chef in the kitchen, and a whore in the bedroom. Frankly, I’m more the TV dinner, flannel pyjamas, bore-in-the-bedroom sort. 

Sorry to be such an old misery, but I just had to get it off my chest. Next time I’ll confine myself to pearls of sisterly wisdom about pregnancy, I promise. Good grief, look at the time, got to crack on with things before school pick-up. By the way, is the ginger working for your morning sickness?

Lots of love

Lizzie

US VERSION

From: Lizzie Buckley lizbuckley@hotmail.com

Sent: 12 April

To: Janehawthorn@yahoo.com

Subject: Blue Monday 

AAAAAARGH!

You know what, Janie? Some mornings I wake up and I’m sick, sick of it all before the day even kicks off. Then, just in case I start feeling better after my cup of tea, one of the children goes and carves out train tracks on an antique table, or throws up her Reddybrek on a priceless Persian rug. I don’t want to scare the daylights out of you when you’re pregnant, but I feel it’s my sisterly duty to warn you that this whole mumsy thing is way more difficult than people let on.

But worst of all is what the little beggars do to your marriage.

By the time James comes home from work, I’ve already HAD my fair share of physical contact (Ellie squishing my cheeks between her hands so I won’t look at Alex; Alex sitting on me to stop me from jumping up to do the laundry), not to mention body fluids (snotty noses, bloody knees, and my personal favorite, the  wee-soaked sheet) —  and frankly I’m just not up for any more.

Sorting out the sock drawer sounds like a better option to me than sex right now.

I just wish James would go away on business more, and for longer. Things are so much simpler when he’s away. I can have a boiled egg for dinner with the kids, watch room makeovers and plastic surgery on TV, and turn in early without any pressure to light the scented candles, etc.

Another great thing about those business trips: if I have to get up in the night to deal with a twin while he’s away, at least I’m spared the seething resentment I normally feel when I finally stagger back to bed to find that he hasn’t even surfaced out of his REM cycle.

You know, sometimes I think I wouldn’t miss him at all if he just disappeared. In fact, the quality of my life would probably improve. No more of those great big shoes cluttering up the closet; no more chucked-aside underpants to pick up off the bathroom floor.

I don’t know how it’s come to this, really.

I still love him, don’t get me wrong, but it’s more the way you love a comrade-in- arms, or a brother. It’s just not romantic anymore. Poor bloke, at least he doesn’t know how I feel. I’ve done a brilliant job covering up, though I say so myself. But the subterfuge is wearing me out.

All this is his fault, you know. He made me think I wanted it — marriage, children, Spode dinnerware, my own tumble dryer, those blunt little knives with fancy handles for spreading pâté. But I don’t, I don’t. I just want to be left in peace with a Sudoku and a box of chocolates — and nobody nibbling my ear at bloody midnight.

Sorry, I shouldn’t be dumping all this on you now. I’ll try to be more upbeat next time. Has the nausea stopped, by the way? Now that you’re past the first trimester, the worst should be over.

Lots of love,

Lizzie

Comparing more than covers! - Comments

  • The US one is definitely worse! I enjoyed this book and reviewed it at my blog, in case anyone&#39s interested:

    http://www.skrishnasbooks.com/2008/10/your-roots-are-showing-elise-chidley.html

  • Val

    The first email may cause some concern but ending a marriage over it? I don&#39t think so.

  • treehavn

    I agree with Lucie - the UK version is an exhausted moan, but the US one is a scathing bitchfest.

    And now I&#39m curious too...

  • The US version is much more scathing while the UK email is more of a whine. And now, of course, I&#39m so curious that I&#39m going to have to run out and by the US copy so I can find out what happens!

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