Recipe for a Perfect Wife – Karma Brown

6th February 2020

When Alice Hale leaves a career to become a writer and follows her husband to the New York suburbs, she is unaccustomed to filling her days alone in a big, empty house. But when she finds a vintage cookbook buried in the basement, she becomes captivated by its previous owner: 1950s housewife Nellie Murdoch. 

As Alice cooks her way through the past, she realises that within the pages Nellie left clues about her life.

Soon Alice learns that while a Baked Alaska may seem harmless, Nellie’s secrets may have been anything but. When Alice uncovers a more sinister, even dangerous, side to Nellie’s marriage, and has become increasingly dissatisfied with her own relationship, she begins to take control of her life and protect herself with a few secrets of her own.

In this captivating dual narrative novel, a modern-day woman finds inspiration in hidden notes left by her home’s previous owner, a quintessential 1950s housewife.


This is not at all what I was expecting, for some reason I was expecting a comical look at how an old cookbook could be wildly out of date and yet still relevant and while it did show that, it was not funny. It was dark and twisty and for that I think I like it even more that I would have done had it been what I was expecting.

The narrative switches between Nellie, a 1950s housewife who married a man she didn’t really know and Alice, a modern-day housewife, although this is down to being fired from her job and not through choice.

I enjoyed that the Nellie’s chapters started with a recipe and Alice’s started with quotes from old books, it made it easy to flip from one time and mind set to another. Using the quotes at the start of Alice’s chapters was very clever as you read them and think, ‘wow we have come so far’ and ‘ I can’t believe people used to think like that’ then you read her chapter and realise that actually we haven’t come that far at all!

There were a few twists in the book which I found very predictable but in no way did that ruin this for me as I was intrigued to find out how each of the twists played out.

Thank you to Legend Press and the Author for giving me a copy of this to review.

About The Author:

Karma is the bestselling author of four novels and is a National Magazine Award winning journalist. Karma lives just outside Toronto, Canada with her husband, daughter, and a labradoodle named Fred.


@KarmaKBrown Twitter and Instagram

@legendpress Instagram, @legend_press Twitter

ISBN (Paperback): 9781789559798 ISBN (Ebook): 9781789559781 Price: £8.99 (Paperback) £4.99 (Ebook) Extent: 272 pages

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: