Is the grass always greener on the other side? That is the question posed in “Swapping Lives” by Jane Green. With the help of a magazine article two women get to trade lives for a month and see how the other lives. Vicky, who works for the magazine that is proposing said trade, is a British, thirtysomething singleton, She spends her days working as a features editor and nights out on the town with different men in different pubs and restaurants but wonders if she’s missing out on not being settled down with a family. Whereas Amber is a married American woman who is a self described “desperate housewife” (though not really desperate at all). She’s happily married to stockbroker Richard, and they have two children who spend most of their time with their nanny. Amber spends her days working with her charity group that is more about what you’re wearing and who you know than the actual work. Lately she’s been feeling ambivalent to her life and thinks the trade will be good for her to rediscover who she is. How will this trade affect them, their families, and their futures?
I’ve only read one other Jane Green book some years ago (“Jemima J.” and loved it!) and I was looking for a new audio CD to listen to in the car so I thought I would give Ms. Green another try. Was left disappointed. This book was so predictable and even boring at times! I enjoyed the characters well enough, but nothing felt new or surprising. It was like a subpar episode of “Wife Swap.” Even though I’m also married with kids I found myself more annoyed at Amber’s character than sympathetic. She was so out of touch with her family and seemed oblivious to it most of the time. One other criticism I had was that sometimes Amber or even Richard (the Americans) would use British terms that just didn’t fit. The book was okay for listening to, but I’m glad I didn’t actually read it , I would have felt that my time had been wasted. Two out of five stars.