Monday, January 7, 2008

Sleeping with Ward Cleaver-Jenny Gardiner

Sleeping with Ward Cleaver
Jenny Gardiner
Love Spell, Feb 2008
ISBN: 9780505527479

Claire Doolittle wonders what happened to her life. She and her architect spouse Jack are raising five kids, but in the last few years he has become a drill sergeant instead of a loving partner starting with his honey-do list. She looks back fondly at spontaneous sex anywhere, but now allows him access to her once a week as his bossy Ward Cleaver no longer appeals to Lumpy Claire even if she still loves the martinet.

Claire receives an email from her former boyfriend Todd and she fondly remembers having fun with him before he broke her heart. She replies and they begin exchanging emails. Jack needs to go to Miami on a business trip, he plans to take his beautiful office associate Julia with him. Her in-laws offer to watch the five kids so Claire can join Jack in Florida, but he rejects her coming with him. Upset, Claire follows Jack to Miami to see if he is cheating with Julia after seeing them together at an office gala in which her spouse acted like her old Jack, but not for her.

This is an engaging look at a middle age marriage as the two lead characters have become cemented in their ways and spontaneity no longer exists to unite them in fun. Interestingly marriage did not burn the lifestyle of either Claire or Jack though some comprise and change led to an overall consensus; kids nuked their lifestyles. Claire is fabulous as she wants more than being Mrs. Cleaver mother to five, but her Jack expects her to meet his list of demands, keep the kids in line, and take care of his needs; he no longer seems to care about hers. SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER is a deep look at marriage as the relationship goes into the phase of raising children.

Harriet Klausner

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