The Ninth Wife
Bess Gray has just learned that the man she loves, the man who asked for her hand in marriage, has been married eight times before. This funny, touching, and surprising novel follows Bess on her cross-country odyssey to learn about her oft-wed fiancé from the eight ex-spouses who came before.Stolls, an acclaimed author of Young Adult novels and winner of the Parents’ Choice Gold Award brilliantly explores the very grown-up world of male-female relationships and family dynamics in the delightful, unforgettable new masterwork of contemporary women’s fiction.

The Ninth Wife Details

TitleThe Ninth Wife
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 10th, 2011
PublisherHarper
Rating
GenreFiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Contemporary

The Ninth Wife Review

  • Sheila
    January 1, 1970
    With her biological clock madly ticking away, folklorist Bess Grey finds herself single and childless on her 35th birthday. Then she meets Rory McSomethingorother, who is gorgeous and Irish and plays the banjo. They fall in love. He proposes. Here's the thing: he's been married 8 times before. Bess sets out on a cross-country journey to help her grandparents relocate and does some soul-searching (and ex-wife searching) along the way. Top Ten Reasons I Did Not Like This Book:1. Bess and Rory exch With her biological clock madly ticking away, folklorist Bess Grey finds herself single and childless on her 35th birthday. Then she meets Rory McSomethingorother, who is gorgeous and Irish and plays the banjo. They fall in love. He proposes. Here's the thing: he's been married 8 times before. Bess sets out on a cross-country journey to help her grandparents relocate and does some soul-searching (and ex-wife searching) along the way. Top Ten Reasons I Did Not Like This Book:1. Bess and Rory exchange the most awkward, least witty banter I've ever encountered. 2. The very premise of the book is beyond ridiculous. But - having said that, I really do believe that in the right hands, with the right execution, it could've been good. It could've been edgy and interesting instead of a bit of contrived fluff.3. The scene where Rory hovers outside the bathroom door for like, half an hour, talking to Bess while she's suffering from a bout of diarrhea and then proposes marriage and then OPENS THE DOOR AND GOES INSIDE while she's still sitting - it's just...just...dude. Seriously, Stolls? 4. Bess has one of those jobs where she gets paid a whole lotta dinero for doing, apparently, nothing. Really. I don't think she goes to work once, in over 400 pages. A folklorist. Hrm. 5. Bess is boring. Rory is boring. Her supporting cast is boring and stereotypical (Cricket, her Gay Friend, is Liberace, Gabrielle, her Black Friend, does a lot of smart-talking head-bobbing). The only characters I had the slightest bit of interest in were her grandparents, and that was only because they had a surprisingly dark thread running through their relationship. Oh, yeah, and Gerald. He caught my attention too. 6. The last 1/4 of the book is spent on goose-chases and voicemail messages. Stalling, stalling, stalling. 7. That whole thing with her grandfather's "collection" of mannequins is just plain bizarre. Even more so is how his fascination with a particular mannequin prompts Bess to wonder if he "had been a swinger", because that mannequin is black. That connection makes no sense to me. 8. I forget what 8 was for.9. Stolls has an ass fetish. Seriously. Every five pages or so she mentions someone's ass.10. 10 is for everything, everything, everything, everything. Hah - just kidding. I didn't really have 10, just 8. My thanks to The Violent Femmes, for "Kiss Off". Really. Thanks, guys. I always did love that song. One star. Thanks for nothing, Ames.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Utterly charming novel about, as the title might indicate, someone’s ninth potential wife. This is not a Big Love/Sister Wives/FLDS tome but instead about a thirty-something, single DC woman who falls in love with a dashing, interesting man she later discovers has been married a whopping 8 previous times.Interspersed with Bess’s story are chapters devoted to Rory’s take on his life and marriages. These were perfectly executed. Before I started the book my thought was: why would a normal woman ev Utterly charming novel about, as the title might indicate, someone’s ninth potential wife. This is not a Big Love/Sister Wives/FLDS tome but instead about a thirty-something, single DC woman who falls in love with a dashing, interesting man she later discovers has been married a whopping 8 previous times.Interspersed with Bess’s story are chapters devoted to Rory’s take on his life and marriages. These were perfectly executed. Before I started the book my thought was: why would a normal woman even consider dating a guy who’d been married eight times, much less marrying him? The author did an amazing job of making him completely sympathetic (a romantic hero, even) while still highlighting his mistakes and faults. Rory never considered himself blameless in his prior marriages. It was clear to me why Bess fell so hard, clear to me why she considered continuing on in their relationship once she learned the truth. This is not an easy feat and the author pulled it off beautifully.I also loved the direction the novel took in the second half and found myself, in a word, “delighted” (not a word I use, like, ever) with many of the plot turns. There were also several complex side stories and relationships, which made the overall tale all the richer.I will admit it took a bit to get into Bess’s character, perhaps because I just cannot relate to a folklorist/martial arts hobbyist. Also, I didn’t totally get what her job consisted of on a daily basis, which, while not particularly important, might’ve fleshed out the character more quickly. I did love the DC setting, a city I lived in for many years and which I consider my second home (I didn’t know they still had the “Social Safeway”!) Eventually Bess did click for me as a character, but I’ll admit it took several days to read the first 100 pages and then I read the last 400 in one afternoon. Also, my only other minor quibble with the book was that a fairly major scene about 10 pages from the end is told after it happened. That bugged me, I felt a little bit cheated. But, otherwise, this was a wonderful, filling, delicious kind of book, perfect if you just want to sit down for a good long while and read. I highly recommend this and predict it will be a big book when it debuts later this year!
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  • Abria Mattina
    January 1, 1970
    This book and I never really got along. We learned to co-exist, but that’s about it. Initially, I had a hard time with the prose style. Bess’s chapters are particularly wordy and meandering. Introducing new characters takes pages of flashbacks to accomplish. It would have been easier to bear if Bess was a likeable character, since she forms the lens through which other characters and events are portrayed.At the beginning of the book I had a hard time connecting to Bess or feeling moved by her de This book and I never really got along. We learned to co-exist, but that’s about it. Initially, I had a hard time with the prose style. Bess’s chapters are particularly wordy and meandering. Introducing new characters takes pages of flashbacks to accomplish. It would have been easier to bear if Bess was a likeable character, since she forms the lens through which other characters and events are portrayed.At the beginning of the book I had a hard time connecting to Bess or feeling moved by her depression. She has a good life, but can’t seem to see it and appreciate it. Instead she’s a pathetic, self-pitying, rootless worrywart. At thirty-five, Bess still craves validation from external sources. She seeks her roots through her job as a folklorist, and she only seems to feel good about herself when others give her positive feedback (flirting, compliments, etc.). I felt like she gained a bit of confidence and self-respect by the end of the novel, but I still wouldn’t want to hang out with her in real life. The introduction of Rory, Bess’s significant other, was a breath of fresh air. He’s fun, interesting, able to part with the past, and willing to take risks—basically, the total opposite of Bess. That said, he’s also very flawed. Much like Bess needs others for validation, Rory feels the need to propose marriage to every woman he experiences an emotional response to (and one he doesn’t). He feels validated by being in a relationship and in his mid-forties, can’t seem to form his own identity without adding ‘husband’ to his list of roles. He explains to Bess, “I like the version of me as someone’s husband better than the version of me alone and single. Plain and simple.” The ‘someone’ in that sentence is very telling. Rory likes the role of husband more than he likes his wives, which explains why he feels the need to put a significant label on every passing attachment or attraction. The woman means less than the label. Rory and Bess’s relationship is fairly predictable. The ending is inevitable within the first hundred pages. Maybe because of this, in places it felt like Stolls was trying to write their romance to be as ridiculous and bumbling as possible just to spice it up. One of the most significant scenes involves an uncomfortable marriage proposal during an episode of diarrhea, seemingly crafted to be as outrageous as possible. Toward the end of the novel, the plot breaks down into a series of happy coincidences. It means that the book wraps up nicely, but these conclusions are not always believable, particularly the one belonging to Bess’s friend and neighbour, Cricket. I wouldn’t reread The Ninth Wife, and I probably wouldn’t recommend it to a friend. I came away from the book frustrated and feeling like I had learned nothing, which isn’t a good feeling after 400+ pages.
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  • Naomi Blackburn
    January 1, 1970
    I have to be totally honest with the reader of this review..when I first grabbed this book and started to read it, I didn't think I was going to make it through..I remember telling someone "Ugg..it is a typical women's lit book that I am going to have to suffer through! Really what dumb twit is going to think about being someone's 9th wife!" Somewhere about 75 pages in the characters snapped into place and I found myself drawn into this book and ALL its' characters..I would read it first in the I have to be totally honest with the reader of this review..when I first grabbed this book and started to read it, I didn't think I was going to make it through..I remember telling someone "Ugg..it is a typical women's lit book that I am going to have to suffer through! Really what dumb twit is going to think about being someone's 9th wife!" Somewhere about 75 pages in the characters snapped into place and I found myself drawn into this book and ALL its' characters..I would read it first in the morning to find out what happened to the characters in my allotted reading for the day and would even sneak in extra reading time...So, ending statement ..I loved this book! To boot, this is the author's first adult audience book. Final GR rating 4.5/5 Stars
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  • Heaven is a bookstore
    January 1, 1970
    Review coming to my blog (heavenisabookstore.blogspot.com) when this book publishes, May 5, 2011.Up until halfway through the book, I found myself a little bored, a little distracted and trying to figure out where this book was going and if there would be any kind of climax.Contrary to the title's thought process, it isn't about a plural marriage. It's actually about a man who has been married eight times and comes across his ninth wife who is wondering how and why anyone would be married that m Review coming to my blog (heavenisabookstore.blogspot.com) when this book publishes, May 5, 2011.Up until halfway through the book, I found myself a little bored, a little distracted and trying to figure out where this book was going and if there would be any kind of climax.Contrary to the title's thought process, it isn't about a plural marriage. It's actually about a man who has been married eight times and comes across his ninth wife who is wondering how and why anyone would be married that many times. On top of that, she wants to know why they would want to be married again.I followed Rory's story and many times I would think, Dude (yes, that word) is this guy dense or what? And then I would find the author actually wrote that in the next paragraph - which made me fond of the book and of Rory's character. I liked that he knew he was making a mistake. He knew that he was fallible. It was probably his fourth wife that I started to realize what a true romantic Rory really is (even though this was stated a few times already, in the book, I didn't believe it). He really wanted to love someone for life and be loved for life. He just never found the person who would do that with/for him. I found this sad and yet, the fact that he kept trying, kept believing, made me like Rory that much more. His mistakes then turned into hope.Bess, is his proposed to (possible) ninth wife. She has had an interesting life. She was raised by her grandparents who fight all the time and it drives her nuts. Her grandmother constantly tells her grandfather what to do and her grandfather has a secret in the basement that is too good to reveal here. (sorry, you have to read it) I simply love the part (and maybe this is why and when I became entranced with this book) when Bess decides to go and meet these previous wives and ask them why. Why did they marry Rory, why did they break up. I love her guts to even embark on this journey, let alone her continuing and following up with it and not chickening out. I could see many women thinking this is a great idea, but then thinking it's crazy, yet if you want to marry someone wouldn't you go to the ends of the earth to find out if it's good?These are some of my favorite excerpts - "I don't want to go home," she says, quietly, not meeting his eyes. She crosses the room and sits on the bed. He closes the door and sits by her. He waits for her to speak. She lies down on the bed in a fetal position, slides a pillow under her head and holds her stomach. "You are a story teller. Tell me the story of your married life." "Are you sure you want to hear it?" He touches her leg. She doesn't recoil. People say I don't have to rush into marriage. But the way I see it, why prolong? Dao and I waited more than three years and she still left me. And it's true. Gloria left me after a short marriage, but there were reasons I'm aware of then, even from the first moment. I still imagine myself with a woman I can grow old with. i want to be able to look back on my life and see how much we shared. It's what my parents had and I think I've always been searching for that. But already more than half my life is over. That's a sobering thought.At first I kept thinking that Bess should run as fast as she could away from this man, Rory. He was a mess and didn't seem to be able to communicate outside of his music. He was very much a child, but as his story unfolds I see the vulnerability he only offers up if you stay and listen to his life. I realize the need and want of love. It was a beautiful thing and before I knew it, I was hoping for them to get married.Though this book got off to a slow start, I really took this book to heart. It has quite a few things one can learn and instill in a relationship, even if a few are about what not to do. I felt for each of these characters for so many different reasons, but above all I wanted them all to be in love and happy in the end. The Ninth Wife is a prime example of how do I rate a book on a scale when it meets so many other criterion that is unmeasurable?
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Posted on Book Chelle.Reality is that there is no perfect love story. It's not as simple as boy meets girl, they fall in love, and happily ever after. Sometimes, relationships and families aren't like what you see on tv, in the movies, or what you read in books. Amy Stoll told a great story of love, forgiveness, and finding out what it means to open your heart. Bess is 35 and single. She takes karate classes to strengthen her inner self, her physical self, and hopes to obtain confidence that her Posted on Book Chelle.Reality is that there is no perfect love story. It's not as simple as boy meets girl, they fall in love, and happily ever after. Sometimes, relationships and families aren't like what you see on tv, in the movies, or what you read in books. Amy Stoll told a great story of love, forgiveness, and finding out what it means to open your heart. Bess is 35 and single. She takes karate classes to strengthen her inner self, her physical self, and hopes to obtain confidence that her instructor talks about. She is a folklorist, in love with the history and past that she longs to have. She was raised by her grandparents, lives in front of a man named Cricket and a dog named Stella, and is best friends with a very outspoken individual. She has lived her life convinced that she is not worthy of the great love that everyone seems to have experience. Stolls has written in her a way that you cannot help but feel for her. Rory is 45 and also single. But in Rory's case, he came from Ireland and has lived all over the United States. He has had almost every job from data entry to strumming keys as a musician. He has vices, addictions, and a heart so big, you cannot help but love him. Unlike Bess, he has felt love in his life. He has felt it at least 8 times, with his 8 wives. He is compassionate, but with a great fault. He acts on what his heart feels, and whether the outcome is positive or negative, he owns up to it. And when Rory meets Bess, he wants to make her the ninth wife.To me, this book just wasn't just about the tale of the wives, or even just about Bess and Rory. To me, this story was about the love and relationships between husband and wife, lovers, friends, family. Stolls encompasses the different levels of love between two people. She tells the stories of Rory's wives and the positives and negatives about each type of love. She tells the story of Bess, her lack of love and how she witnesses the downside of what love can do, whether it be her parents, her grandparents, or her dear friends. Stolls writes about love and these relationships in such a way that you can't help but picture yourself in one of those scenarios. At first, I couldn't stand behind the principle of nine wives. I couldn't understand how I could grow to like a character that has gone through so much and has done so much to different women. But I am a victim of judging too early. Stolls, through Bess and Rory, has made me realize how powerful love can be. It can break you down into the depths of darkness, and it can also bring you alive in such a way that you feel you are unstoppable. The Ninth Wife is a fantastic read. The writing style of Amy Stolls makes this story easy to relate and the characters lovable. I would suggest this to anyone who has ever felt or wanted to feel love.
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  • Tiffany Skinner
    January 1, 1970
    I'll be honest, I read this book because I liked the cover. Note to self: always remember, don't judge a book by it's cover!! This story is for those that really don't believe in the institution of marriage and are happily surprised when it just happens to work out. This book is nothing like the description I read, and is definitely nothing like the sort-of mysterious, somewhat haunting cover. It's about two people who not only don't know what they are doing in life, but don't know what they act I'll be honest, I read this book because I liked the cover. Note to self: always remember, don't judge a book by it's cover!! This story is for those that really don't believe in the institution of marriage and are happily surprised when it just happens to work out. This book is nothing like the description I read, and is definitely nothing like the sort-of mysterious, somewhat haunting cover. It's about two people who not only don't know what they are doing in life, but don't know what they actually want out of life. There's no mystery whatsoever to speak of, and it's not even really that romantic because there is no chase, no courting. Basically goes like this. Man meets girl. Girl likes man. Skip a few months ahead (she literally skips ahead, no details about these two actually getting into the relationship). Girl is suddenly sleeping with man without really knowing anything about him, and likewise him with her. And that's the book. Yeah, there is this truth that he's been married 8 times, but it's really no mystery. Over half of his marriages are mistakes from the beginning and it's easy for anyone to see that. Really, save yourself the time and read something better!
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    Love the cover.
  • Danelle
    January 1, 1970
    We learn much about people by the people in their lives and how they interact with them. This is what I loved about this book. I learned alot about Bess, the main character, by the people she spent her time with and it's appropriate I came away with this because it is exactly what Bess hopes to do as she seeks out the 8 (yes, 8!) ex-wives of the man she loves and tries to come to terms with becomming wife #9.And come to terms she does on a cross-country road trip with her elderly Jewish grandpar We learn much about people by the people in their lives and how they interact with them. This is what I loved about this book. I learned alot about Bess, the main character, by the people she spent her time with and it's appropriate I came away with this because it is exactly what Bess hopes to do as she seeks out the 8 (yes, 8!) ex-wives of the man she loves and tries to come to terms with becomming wife #9.And come to terms she does on a cross-country road trip with her elderly Jewish grandparents, her gay neighbor, his shar-pei Stella and a mannequin named Peace. Though her aim is to learn as much as she can about her fiance and his failed marriages, she also finds herself learning about the people travelling alongside her and, more suprisingly, herself.Bess is a 30+ single woman living in DC. She's a folklorist and has all but given up on the idea that someone out there is 'the one.' She's not lonley, but she is tired of being alone and with her biological clock ticking, she's becomming more despondent. Then, she meets Rory, a handsome Irish musician, and falls in love. Rory asks her to marry him and then tells her his 'big secret'. To help her come to terms with it, she drives across country to deliver her grandparents to their new retirement community and meets his wives along the way.The book's look at relationships via the perspectives of the two main characters, Bess and Rory, is original. All of the characters are clear and really well done. The book is well-written and nicely paced (and it's really funny to boot)! Overall, it's an exceptional look at what happens when fantasy meets reality in love (or loves) and marriage (or marriages) and how much our past has to do with our present and our future.I obtained this ARC copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
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  • Darcy Odden
    January 1, 1970
    Would you marry a man who has been married eight times before? I wouldn't. Unless that man were Irish musician Rory and I were Bess Gray, a mid-30s folklorist.Bess meets Rory at a party she throws for singles. Well, actually it's her birthday party, but she doesn't tell the invitees about that.Bess and Rory fall in love, and then he tells her he's been married eight times before. Rory explains all the marriages - from his first love, Maggie, with whom he emigrates from Ireland to the United Stat Would you marry a man who has been married eight times before? I wouldn't. Unless that man were Irish musician Rory and I were Bess Gray, a mid-30s folklorist.Bess meets Rory at a party she throws for singles. Well, actually it's her birthday party, but she doesn't tell the invitees about that.Bess and Rory fall in love, and then he tells her he's been married eight times before. Rory explains all the marriages - from his first love, Maggie, with whom he emigrates from Ireland to the United States, to his eighth wife, Gloria, who has left him. Bess is very close to her Jewish grandparents, who decide to move to Arizona. But since her grandfather is afraid of flying, Bess and her friend Cricket drive her grandparents to Tucson. And as long as she's in the vicinity of some of Rory's ex-wives, Bess decides to meet them so she can question them about Rory.I can't imagine it would be often that you'd meet a guy who has been married eight times. And even though you loved him, could you count on that love to last? That's where Bess finds herself. I don't blame her for wanting to check out Rory's ex-wives, I'd probably want to check them out also.Ultimately, "The Ninth Wife" is a compelling read about families and forgiveness. Note: The book was provided through Goodreads.
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  • Jean
    January 1, 1970
    The Ninth Wife is a little overwhelming at first because it is a long book and because their are two characters telling the story. Each chapter I had to figure out who was talking and adjust but after awhile when you get to know the characters it becomes easier. This is a BIG storyline with many details so many times I would only read a chapter or two and let it sink it before continuing, but I never really wanted to put it down. Bess and Rory are both characters that you fall in love with as we The Ninth Wife is a little overwhelming at first because it is a long book and because their are two characters telling the story. Each chapter I had to figure out who was talking and adjust but after awhile when you get to know the characters it becomes easier. This is a BIG storyline with many details so many times I would only read a chapter or two and let it sink it before continuing, but I never really wanted to put it down. Bess and Rory are both characters that you fall in love with as well as Bess's friend Cricket. There is never a dull moment in this story and it makes you realize that there is no perfect relationship and often times things in life don't go as planned and if you just take one day at a time you will eventually figure it out, it doesn't matter how long it takes. Thank you goodreads, once again the giveaway was amazing! :-) I recommend this book to everyone! :-)
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  • Theresa
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book!! The pages really flew by. It kept my interest, obviously the topic is intriguing, that you fall in love with a man who has been married EIGHT times! Between hearing Rory's side of the marriages, Bess tracking down some of the wives and her traveling cross country with a good friend and her grandparents who have a tumultuous relationship, it was hard to put the book down. Loved it.
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  • Annica
    January 1, 1970
    I actually couldn't finish the book. Unless you're single and DESPERATE I wouldn't recommend this book. Bess' tedious relationship with her gay neighbour is described ad nauseum and there are too many events that range from unlikely to unbelievable. How about your long-lost ex-boyfriend turning up, uninvited to your 35th birthday party with his current, highly pregnant girlfriend whose water promptly breaks in your bed whilst the ex-boyfriend disappears without a trace???????
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  • ILoveBooks
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked the concept behind the book, there were many lessons to be learned through reading. The characters were all fun to read about, some got a little grating, others I enjoyed the whole time. The main character was incredibly likeable and I enjoyed many of the previous eight wives.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    I am so excited to win this book through a First Reads giveaway! The cover is interesting and the synopsis of the book is interesting. I can't imagine.....can't wait to read it!
  • Clara
    January 1, 1970
    This book was an easy read, so I had no good reason not to finish it, but I spent the entire time wishing it would end. This book read like a junior high student's first attempt at creative writing. Most of the characters felt like caricatures, except the protagonist who was dull and had no defining characteristics. The writing was full of cheesy similes and occasional weird vulgarities that didn't fit with the rest of the book. I rolled my eyes multiples times reading this. The plot was silly a This book was an easy read, so I had no good reason not to finish it, but I spent the entire time wishing it would end. This book read like a junior high student's first attempt at creative writing. Most of the characters felt like caricatures, except the protagonist who was dull and had no defining characteristics. The writing was full of cheesy similes and occasional weird vulgarities that didn't fit with the rest of the book. I rolled my eyes multiples times reading this. The plot was silly and flat, the subplots were weird, everything was a little too convenient. I'll be donating my copy of this book.
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  • Jennifer Jensen (Literally Jen)
    January 1, 1970
    On the night 35-year-old Bess Gray throws a singles party, she meets Rory, a handsome musician with whom she begins to form a relationship. As their conversations turn to more serious matters like marriage, Rory informs Bess that he has been married 8 times. Stunned by the news, Bess questions everything about her relationship with Rory. In an effort to better understand him, she begins seeking out his ex-wives, making plans to meet them while she drives her elderly grandparents across the count On the night 35-year-old Bess Gray throws a singles party, she meets Rory, a handsome musician with whom she begins to form a relationship. As their conversations turn to more serious matters like marriage, Rory informs Bess that he has been married 8 times. Stunned by the news, Bess questions everything about her relationship with Rory. In an effort to better understand him, she begins seeking out his ex-wives, making plans to meet them while she drives her elderly grandparents across the country to their new home. Rory is unaware of the plans that Bess is making. When he finds out, it could mean the end of their relationship."The Ninth Wife" caught my eye based on the title of the book alone; once I read the description, I simply had to read the book. When it was finally in my hands and I started the first chapter, I knew I was in trouble. Immediately I did not care for Amy Stolls’ writing style: third person present tense, with alternating chapters in first person present tense. Early on in the book, Stolls seems to forget she meant to write in present tense, and slips into past tense. I found this very irritating, though it only lasted for the first few chapters.I truly loved the concept of the book, a woman setting out to discover just who the man she loves really is. I had hoped for a dollop of comedy within these pages; I had anticipated this would be a light, funny read that would end up with everything working out happily in the end. Instead, Bess is annoyingly insecure, Rory is immature even though he has been through so much in his life, and Bess’s poor grandfather seems to be the victim of spousal abuse. The only characters I remotely cared for were Bess’s grandfather (he reminded me of my own grandfather) and Bess’s gay friend, Cricket. As much as I didn’t care for this book, I can appreciate that it will have its admirers. For anyone who is teetering back and forth on whether to read it or not, I’d strongly advise you to read the first few pages to see if the writing style is to your liking, and if you like what you learn about Bess in the first few pages. If you do, then perhaps you’ll have better luck with this book than I did.
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  • Tara
    January 1, 1970
    Before I got into YA, I read a lot of literary fiction and so-called "women's fiction". I'm starting to grow a little weary of reading YA almost exclusively, so when I heard about The Ninth Wife, I figured it was time to return to my reading roots.Bess is a woman in transition, living in Washington, DC. Four years ago, I moved to Washington, DC on my own quest of transformation that ended up with me finding my 'true' self and a husband. Now I live about an hour and change away from DC, but I sti Before I got into YA, I read a lot of literary fiction and so-called "women's fiction". I'm starting to grow a little weary of reading YA almost exclusively, so when I heard about The Ninth Wife, I figured it was time to return to my reading roots.Bess is a woman in transition, living in Washington, DC. Four years ago, I moved to Washington, DC on my own quest of transformation that ended up with me finding my 'true' self and a husband. Now I live about an hour and change away from DC, but I still hold a fondness for the city and how it was instrumental in my change of life.I saw a lot of myself in Bess. She's strong, but a little fragile too. When she meets Rory, he charms her, and they begin a relationship that ends up with him proposing to her, and shortly after doing so, he tells her she would be his ninth wife.Her reaction is something along the lines of "Say what?!" But to her credit, she doesn't run, she researches. She ends up on a trip across country with her friend Cricket and her grandparents, and along the way she discovers some of Rory's exes, but more importantly, she works out whether or not she wants to be the ninth wife.This charming novel has it all, laughs, a protagonist you can't help but love, a sexy leading man, and a beautiful story that you'll want to stretch out reading for as long as you can.
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  • Cheryl D
    January 1, 1970
    A nice pleasant to read book that examines what, in fact, constitutes a marriage and a family. Do "noble" marriages count for something more and do you get a free pass for the next one? Does a drunken evening ending at the altar even count? What I loved about Rory's marriages was that they could all be overlooked as in, "well, I could see that. Okay, that one divorce wasn't his fault." But eight of them? I could see marrying someone who was dying so that they got their dying wish. I could see ge A nice pleasant to read book that examines what, in fact, constitutes a marriage and a family. Do "noble" marriages count for something more and do you get a free pass for the next one? Does a drunken evening ending at the altar even count? What I loved about Rory's marriages was that they could all be overlooked as in, "well, I could see that. Okay, that one divorce wasn't his fault." But eight of them? I could see marrying someone who was dying so that they got their dying wish. I could see getting lured into marriage after being told your partner was pregnant and wanting to do "the right thing." I can see being a nurturer and marrying someone when they were deep in grief and just wanting to make them "better." Were his reasons for marrying any better or worse than anyone else? You could understand why he married each woman but the real question is did he learn anything from them about himself and the institution of marriage? The author leaves that to the reader to determine.
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  • Charlotte
    January 1, 1970
    http://charlotteswebofbooks.blogspot....I really, really enjoyed The Ninth Wife. As a single woman who got her first proposal at the age of 34, I can somewhat relate to Bess's feelings and desires to find "the one". I can also understand her trepidation at finding out her beloved has been married eight times? Wouldn't you freak out a bit, too?The Ninth Wife was told in alternating voices. One chapter was Bess, the next chapter was Rory, as he was explaining his history to Bess. It was a unique w http://charlotteswebofbooks.blogspot....I really, really enjoyed The Ninth Wife. As a single woman who got her first proposal at the age of 34, I can somewhat relate to Bess's feelings and desires to find "the one". I can also understand her trepidation at finding out her beloved has been married eight times? Wouldn't you freak out a bit, too?The Ninth Wife was told in alternating voices. One chapter was Bess, the next chapter was Rory, as he was explaining his history to Bess. It was a unique way of telling the story and made it considerably harder to just "tell" Bess to dump him. The characters are funny, intelligent, and real. I debated hard about giving it a "Best of". I do think it is the best "Chick Lit" novel I have read so far this year, but it didn't evoke the type of emotional response I come to expect from my "Best of Labels". But trust that it is a strong contender and a book you should run right out and pick up!
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    A little frightened--I find it way too tempting to identify with the protagonist.Now I really find it tempting to identify with the protagonist. Stomach issues when she’s nervous, no one has said “I love you” to her in a long time...the only thing missing is all of the married men.I probably would be one of those rare women who wouldn’t react like this when he says he’s been married 8 times. I would probably be nice and polite and beat the crap out of him by myself later.And she did exactly that A little frightened--I find it way too tempting to identify with the protagonist.Now I really find it tempting to identify with the protagonist. Stomach issues when she’s nervous, no one has said “I love you” to her in a long time...the only thing missing is all of the married men.I probably would be one of those rare women who wouldn’t react like this when he says he’s been married 8 times. I would probably be nice and polite and beat the crap out of him by myself later.And she did exactly that. Then she trusted him. There’s that book, “He’s Just Not That Into You,” but that book doesn’t fit this guy. He’s devoted. He just needs someone to be devoted back. I love that she takes a chance and is devoted back. This book sounds like it was based a little on the author’s life, based on the acknowledgments section of the book.ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME. Just sayin.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Rory has had 8 previous marriages by the time he asks Bess for her hand. How did this happen? Is Bess willing to take a chance at happiness and become his 9th? In alternating chapters, their stories are told, including Bess' road trip, along which she meets up with some of those who went before. Stolls turns a delightful phrase so often I was literally laughing aloud on several occasions. The writing is crisp and evocative as well. Bess is a very genuine character, her faults elucidated almost a Rory has had 8 previous marriages by the time he asks Bess for her hand. How did this happen? Is Bess willing to take a chance at happiness and become his 9th? In alternating chapters, their stories are told, including Bess' road trip, along which she meets up with some of those who went before. Stolls turns a delightful phrase so often I was literally laughing aloud on several occasions. The writing is crisp and evocative as well. Bess is a very genuine character, her faults elucidated almost as much as her triumphs. The reader can't help but sympathize with her situation. Rory, I don't feel I know as well, but I think that's part of the point. How well can we ever really know a person? Revelations about the lives of Bess' grandparents and her friend Cricket also seem to highlight that theme. I would very much recommend this book to any fan of the genre.
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  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    I chose this book from the thrift store because of its cover. I chose to read it because of the way it felt in my hand. There wasn't much depth to it - a decent story about a man who keeps marrying dependent women that don't have much depth to them either. In fact, he chooses women in much the same way I chose this book. Oh- the last woman is the protagonist called Bess, an anthropologist/ folklorist who has the most boring life you could have in that field. Her actual career should have been th I chose this book from the thrift store because of its cover. I chose to read it because of the way it felt in my hand. There wasn't much depth to it - a decent story about a man who keeps marrying dependent women that don't have much depth to them either. In fact, he chooses women in much the same way I chose this book. Oh- the last woman is the protagonist called Bess, an anthropologist/ folklorist who has the most boring life you could have in that field. Her actual career should have been the most interesting part of this book, but no. It's just a beautiful cover. If you like chic lit, with women who are supposed to be quirky but just seem wimpy and thirsty for a man, you might like this. Rory was likable until I remembered that he is not 18 but still acting like it (40s?)... Happy ending!
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    Highly improbable story filled with wonderfully quirky characters, but an ultimately sweet romance. Part one has an unusual and rather pleasing juxtaposition of stories between Bess's from the day she meets Rory up until the proposal and Rory's explanation of his past. Part two is the meat of the story with the cross country drive, and everything each learn in the process. Occasional unnecessarily foul language, and quite a bit of adult conversation and sexual innuendo with a few mild sex scenes Highly improbable story filled with wonderfully quirky characters, but an ultimately sweet romance. Part one has an unusual and rather pleasing juxtaposition of stories between Bess's from the day she meets Rory up until the proposal and Rory's explanation of his past. Part two is the meat of the story with the cross country drive, and everything each learn in the process. Occasional unnecessarily foul language, and quite a bit of adult conversation and sexual innuendo with a few mild sex scenes.
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  • Louise
    January 1, 1970
    I don't have enough patience to finish this book. I'm currently 51% of the way through and I'm going to put it back on the shelf. The repeated cries of 'It wasn't my fault' (him) and 'No one will love me' (her) are getting on my nerves.
  • Connie
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very good book; it is well written. That being said, for as much as I liked the book, it seemed that I would never reach the conclusion! I don't know why this is so and I don't know why the book took me so long to read. What can I say?
  • Kathryn
    January 1, 1970
    The premis of this book is good, the characters aren't bad although way younger than I am and are in an entirely different place than I am, so I am just not relating. I would recommend this book to others, but it's just not for me.
  • Clare
    January 1, 1970
    Run! Run away! Any man who's been married 8 times before must be impossible to please. Yet I'm intrigued.
  • Sherwestonstec
    January 1, 1970
    interesting, quirky, read for book group not many liked it, lol!
  • Jessica Evans
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book. I thought it was a quick, fun read. Sometimes, that is all you need...
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