Book Review: Swapping Lives

Swapping LivesSwapping Lives by Jane Green
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Swapping Lives is the story of Vickie Townsley and Amber Winslow. Vickie is the features director at Poise magazine in England and is living the life of an urban, single woman in her mid-thirties. Amber is a rich housewife in Connecticut. Amber enters and wins a contest sponsored Poise magazine to swap lives with Vickie for a month to see if the grass really is greener on the other side. Is being a single girl as carefree and fun as it seems? Is being a rich, suburban housewife less stressful than being a career gal?

This was definitely a fluffy, chick-lit book. It was entertaining to read about Amber’s McMansion and her superficial social circle of Junior League friends. At the same time, I think reading it while currently experiencing a horrible economy (in real life) took some of the fun out of it. Amber’s friends, and to a lesser extent Amber, are so materialistic it’s almost unbelievable. When Amber is living Vickie’s life in England, she’s incredulous that one of Vickie’s stay at home mom friends actually takes care of her two children WITHOUT A NANNY. Maybe some wealthy people really are that clueless to how regular people live but Amber’s character grew up in a trailer park so I found it hard to believe in her case.

One thing that irritated me about this book is the lack of editing of the American dialogue. This book is written by an English woman and I would think someone would check the dialogue of the American characters to make sure it’s authentic. But the American characters say things like, “He just turned up” and “I want a proper dinner”. One English character tells an American character that they are being “saucy” and the American character had never heard of that word. It’s not really a big deal but it was distracting.

This was a good book to listen to in the car – it didn’t require much deep thought but was light and fun. It would be a good summer beach read too.

View all my reviews