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The Wife of Reilly
by Jennifer Coburn
Book Review by Amy Coffin
“Finding a new wife for my husband was not going to be an easy task. Keeping Reilly a secret from my new fiancé was going to be an even greater one. This sounds just awful, I’m sure.”

While attending college homecoming, Prudence runs into her old flame, Matt. He dumped her in the 80’s, but she seems to forget that fact for the weekend. The pair is inseparable in and out of bed. In a fit of passion, Matt proposes and Prudence accepts. There’s just one small catch, however. Prudence is already married to Reilly. Matt returns to Los Angeles and Prudence flies back to New York to start cleaning up the mess she’s made.

Happy to be reunited with the one that got away, Prudence decides to help Reilly by finding him a new wife before telling him about the divorce. The wacky plans set the stage for The Wife of Reilly, by Jennifer Coburn.

The premise of this tale takes time to digest. Prudence isn’t entirely likable, making it difficult to root for her rekindled romance. Matt isn’t that impressive either, and Reilly’s only fault is that he married a self-centered woman.

Fortunately, Coburn deftly weaves an amusing tale that utilizes and even showcases the selfish cast. There’s a somewhat touching side story that focuses on Prudence and the relationship with the father that left when she was 12.

Be warned that the intended premise of finding Reilly a wife doesn’t last the length of the book. However, the actual events unfold nicely all the way until the fitting conclusion. The Wife of Reilly is on the smart and funny side of the chick lit bookshelf, and it makes for good escapism.
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