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Friday, May 27, 2011

Review: The Ninth Wife by Amy Stolls

The Ninth Wife: A Novel 
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
ISBN: 0061851892
Pages: 496 pgs
Genre: Fiction
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge


Buy this Book: Amazon, Powell's, Indiebound  

Summary from publisher:

What sane woman would consider becoming any man's ninth wife?

Bess Gray is a thirty-five-year-old folklorist and amateur martial artist living in Washington, DC. Just as she's about to give up all hope of marriage, she meets Rory, a charming Irish musician, and they fall in love. But Rory is a man with a secret, which he confesses to Bess when he asks for her hand: He's been married eight times before. Shocked, Bess embarks on a quest she feels she must undertake before she can give him an answer. With her bickering grandparents (married sixty-five years), her gay neighbor (himself a mystery), a shar-pei named Stella, and a mannequin named Peace, Bess sets out on a cross-country journey—unbeknownst to Rory—to seek out and question the wives who came before. What she discovers about her own past is far more than she bargained for.

The Ninth Wife is a smart, funny, eye-opening tale of love, marriage, and the power of stories to unlock the true meaning of home and family.
My Review:  

 I was initially very nervous about The Ninth Wife. I didn’t exactly know what to expect from it but, I must say, that I liked it quite a bit.

I loved both Rory and Bess. They were both very likeable characters and I did get very involved in their story. I have no idea what I would do if the man wanting to marry me told me that he had eight previous marriages. I would likely either run or ask if he had any personality defects or issues. Because eight marriages is rather ridiculous. I also don’t understand Bess’ desire to meet them. It was morbid curiosity to the extreme. It was like going through your boyfriends Blackberry. You just don’t do it. It did make for an entertaining book though.

I did have some trouble getting into this book in the beginning. I’m not even sure why. But once I did get into it, I absolutely loved it. I loved the relationship between Rory and Bess and I could totally understand why she had such trouble accepting Rory’s past. What sane woman wouldn’t? I normally love books with strong secondary characters but, for some reason, I wanted the secondary characters in this one to be a bit on the weaker side. I was so into the story of Rory, Bess and the menagerie of wives that I did not want any interference. It’s a complete deviation from my norm.

I really loved this book. I’m not married and plan to avoid it for as long as I can but this was a really interesting look at marriage and the process of coming to terms with your partner’s past. Although I think the eight wives thing made it much more difficult for Bess than it would for most. 

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.


  1. I saw this book for the first time earlier this week and it really caught my attention. I am married - hopefully only once! *fingers crossed!* ;) and think it would be so interesting to read about Bess's journey!

    Also, if you have time I am giving away a copy of Wings of Fate on my blog and would love for you to check it out!

  2. I love the idea that you have to come to terms with your partner's past - how true that is.

    Thanks for being on the tour. I'm glad that book turned out to be better than you expected!

  3. I liked it, too. I know what you mean, though, when it started off it had a weird feeling, like it might not take us very far, but then once it went back and forth between Bess and Rory I felt the flow kick in and started loving it!



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