Moonlighting Bride's protagonist Jan is a new bride who seems to have it made: she has a good job and a lifestyle with many perks, and now she's snagged the man of her dreams. Or is it the man of her nightmares?
Jan isn't used to the basics of daily living, whether it's budgeting and living within her means or worrying about groceries and bills. Her high standard of living has involved a relatively carefree lifestyle with few money worries, until Rob. Suddenly these are concerns - as is their wildly different financial lifestyles.
It's surprising to note that a moneyed woman in modern times would be so oblique as to not have realized this gaping difference in their lifestyles before marrying, but on the way back from the honeymoon this becomes quickly evident.
Don't most couples at least discuss basic money matters before they jump into marital bliss? One wonders that Jan (as well as Rob) has been so captivated by love and lust that the subject never came up, even concerning credit card use.
Be that as it may, it quickly becomes evident why Rob wasn't committed to discussing money matters. And Jan had plenty of warning signs, but chose to ignore them.
While the first few paragraphs of idyllic bliss lead readers to believe they will be pursing a light read, in reality Moonlighting Bride tackles all kinds of serious and thought-provoking issues as Jan's life begins to unravel and the carefree, flighty existence she has led turns into a tense situation.
Lest readers think this is an entirely serious social commentary, it should be mentioned that Moonlighting Bride holds more than a small degree of tongue-in-cheek humor that permeates situations and leads to laughs and fun, as when Jan insists that she hasn't gained any weight.
Light moments permeate the story line and provide much comic relief.
Determined to make her new marriage work, Jan begins a juggling act between leading the kind of lifestyle she's used to and making her new husband happy. It's an impossible dream already; but when she discovers new truths about the consequences of the one time she abandoned caution to impulse, she is tasked with a new objective: survival.
Expect a lot of shopping in Moonlighting Bride, and concerns over a high-maintenance lifestyle - but that's just one of the facets of a read that moves between a light leisure choice and one embedded with deeper issues of domestic violence and money management.
One of the pleasures of Moonlighting Bride is that nothing is what it appears to be. Readers move forward anticipating a certain progression of events, but just when the story line seems to oblige, it takes a complete turn and moves in the opposite direction. While the tone is light and airy at points, it's also a serious investigation of the progression of two personalities after their union, and provides an inviting story that offers no pat personalities or solutions.
The result is an engrossing read with more than light comment on marriage, fortunes, and the collision of two powerful lifestyles.