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Swapping Lives    by Jane Green order for
Swapping Lives
by Jane Green
Order:  USA  Can
Plume, 2007 (2006)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Jessica Weaver

As Jane Green has gotten older, her books have also gone from featuring flirty, young protagonists to showcasing a more mature, married woman. All of her books have been enjoyable for me; Swapping Lives combines the best of both worlds.

Vicky is a British magazine editor, still single at thirty-five and highly annoyed about it. She longs to settle in the country and have kids and dogs, like her brother and sister-in-law. Amber is a Connecticut Stepford wife, trying to keep up with the Joneses as her husband works Wall Street, letting her nanny watch her two children as she hosts parties and works out.

When Vicky laments to her editor in chief about her secret desires, and mentions that her sister-in-law thinks many married women would die to be her, an idea is born. Vicky will swap lives with a married woman for a month. The married woman will come live in Vicky's flat, go out with her friends, do her job. Vicky will be a stay-at-home-mom and homemaker.

Green spends about two-thirds of the novel setting up the swap and letting her reader get to know Vicky and Amber. Amber, of course, is the winner of the swap contest. Having grown up in a trailer park, Amber knows she has everything she needs to be happy, and yet is terribly unfulfilled. My only disappointment in Swapping Lives is that Green does take such a long time framing the idea and not enough time describing the actual swapping time.

Well-written and difficult to put down, Swapping Lives is a great chick lit read from one of the genre's queens. You will love getting to know Amber and Vicky, wanting to both knock them upside the head and give them hugs. Great supporting characters will make you giggle, the Stepford wives will make you want to scream, and the movie stars will make you blush. Enjoy!

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