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Secret Livesof Second Wives

Second wives, contrary to the popular stereotype of the buxom bimbo stealing away the man of some poor female more endowed with virtue than with appetite, do not have it easy. There are so many players from the past imposing on the future. You imagine experiencing your life together as something new, but instead it becomes a series of linked vignettes that are something to be compared to. Every word, every gesture, has a history. Or not. You can’t know--that’s the problem. It’s like walking onto the stage in the middle of the play, when all the other actors know their lines except you.

After more than a decade alone, forty-ish attorney Lynn Bartlett was ready for something more than nights curled up with Jane Austen and a recalcitrant tomcat. So when the right man came along--kind, clever Jack Hughes--she said "yes" to his proposal. How hard could it be? Jack's children were grown, and the Bay Area--with its insatiable demand for immigrant technological workers--offered plentiful opportunities for opening a new immigration practice. She had every expectation of a transition that would be, if not seamless, at least without unexpected obstacles.

Welcome to the world of the Second Wife, where nothing turns out quite as expected. After all, Lynn never anticipated that her new husband's first wife would show up uninvited to the fiftieth birthday party she throws him. And there was nothing in the wedding vows about Jack's unemployed son moving in with them or his daughter's implacable resistance to every friendly overture. Nor did she count on finding one of her clients so unsettlingly attractive. Not even the Ann Boleyn Society--an informal support group of second wives whose motto could be "I never thought it would be so hard"--has all the answers. When her partner in the boutique immigration law practice she is building resigns under suspicious circumstances, Lynn finds that both her career and her marriage are in jeopardy.

Lynn's journey from wryly unmarried to impossibly fettered is captured with empathy and wit. Secret Lives of Second Wives is the story of finding the balance between honoring your commitments and being true to yourself.