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A hilarious and heart-warming novel about the true meaning of ‘for better or worse’ – both in marriage and in friendship.

'Marriage isn’t always a bed of roses. And there are many ways to be a wife,' the vicar informs the town …

It’s 1930, and as the Depression overtakes rural New South Wales, what it means to be a wife tests the four respectable ladies of Prospect to their very limit.

Louisa Worthington fled to the city ten years ago, pregnant, poor and under a cloud of scandal. Now she’s back - blonde and brazen - with her heart set on the married son of the town’s mayor.

Adelaide Nightingale, newly widowed and starved of romance, yearns for adoration, security and a version of herself defined by beauty not business.

Maggie Albright dreams of empire building, but is hamstrung by her over-cautious husband, who grows less handsome by the day.

Then there’s Pearl Fletcher, happily married to Joe, the district’s most successful sheep farmer, but protecting a secret that could tear their family apart.

And hovering in the town’s shadows is a ghost from their past. A man newly released from jail ruthlessly bent on exploiting the ladies’ hopes and fears to get what he wants. And what he wants is Louisa . . .


Praise for Four Respectable Ladies Seek Part-time Husband
'Loveable to the end . . . with a cast of colourful characters.' Herald Sun

'Hilarious.' Marie Claire

'A light, funny, warm-hearted read with occasional notes of darkness.' Books + Publishing

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780143787570

    April 2, 2019

    Bantam Australia

    352 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Audio Download

    9781760891183

    April 2, 2019

    Penguin Random House Australia Audio

    RRP $26.99

    Online retailers

    • Audible AU
    • Google Play Audio AU
  • EBook

    9780143787587

    April 2, 2019

    Random House Australia

    352 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo

Extract

PROLOGUE

The point of life had been preying on the Mayor’s mind. Why was he on earth? Other than greatness, what was required of him? Only this, he’d decided. To be good and to be loved. That was it. But was he good? Was he loved? He thought he was. Yes, he was. Of course he was. He was as good as he needed to be and as loved as he wanted to be. And then he was dead.

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Book Clubs
Four Respectable Ladies Seek the Meaning of Wife Book Club Notes

Bring your book club together for lively debate about the true meaning of ‘for better or worse’ – both in marriage and in friendship.

Article
Get to Know the Four Respectable Ladies

Barbara Toner introduces the ladies of Prospect, Adelaide Nightingale, Pearl Fletcher, Louisa Worthington and Maggie Albright.

Also by Barbara Toner