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Book Review: My Wife and Other Problems, My Husband the Only Problem by Johnnie and Barbara Alves

Title: My Wife and Other Problems, My Husband the Only Problem
Author: Johnnie and Barbara Alves
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Better Yourself Books (2011)
Genre: Autobiography (short stories)
Read: Paperback
Stars: ****/5
Buy On: Printasia
Summary: (Goodreads)
Here the writer-couple is poking fun at each other, making mundane matters laughable and painful confusion bearable.

My Review:


In school every year we would have a book sale organised and run by Christian Nuns and all proceeds would go towards a charitable cause. I used to save money through the year to be able to buy a couple of books. They were Indian prints, not great quality and fairly expensive, not by today’s standards but back then in the 90’s, thirty rupees was a lot of money. I remember reading Heidi, The Little Princess and a few others thanks to the Nuns. Heidi became one of my all time favourites, read so many times that I have lost count and I still have that old copy from childhood. :)

Last month I had a another sinus attack and off I went to St. John’s Hospital to get it checked before it got really bad like two years ago. The Nun’s had a stall up at the entry and the sight of those books filled me with nostalgia. Feeling all warm and fuzzy I decided the Doctor could wait, I needed to browse. As I skimmed the titles, one book jumped out at me, it would to any married woman 😀

“My Wife and Other Problems, My Husband the Only Problem”

At 100 bucks it wasn’t a big risk and my money would anyway go to charity so I didn’t think much and just picked it up. And it paid off, the book was a laugh riot, well mostly.

Three fourth of the book is written by Johnnie Alves and the rest is finished by Barbara Alves. We women always have the last word don’t we 😀

The Alves’s live in Bombay and the city shines through in Johnnie’s writing. The people and Anglo-culture brought many a smile to my face as I remembered friends and people I know.

Johnnie’s writing is like a breath of fresh air, simple with no fancy words, he tells stories that make you laugh. However he does seem to be giving a sermon in a few stories. Barbara on the other hand; I expected a lot more of her. Don’t get me wrong, she’s good. But after Johnnie’s introduction to her, I had pictured a more potent Barbara.

The book is a collection of short stories in which Johnnie and Barbara recount stories from their married life, the high’s and low’s and up’s and down’s, that any husband or wife will immediately relate too. Of course both of them may interpret it differently and that’s right there in the title – The husband would see sarcasm but a wife sees truth in the title “My Wife and Other Problems, My Husband the Only Problem”.

This is a fun must read for anyone who’s married or been married 😀

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