Share 8 Scandalous Reads Featuring the Real Housewives of Literature

8 Scandalous Reads Featuring the Real Housewives of Literature

Kerry Fiallo is a New York native and copywriter at Simon & Schuster. A lifelong voracious reader, she has a particular fondness for ghost stories, history, and anything to do with Mary Shelley, Ada Lovelace, and the Brontë sisters. The only thing she may love more than books is black tea, but they do often go well together. You can find her as she navigates through literature and history on Twitter @ReadingInNYC.

From flipping tables to throwing wine in one another’s faces, the Real Housewives of Bravo have given us countless hours of mindless, escapist entertainment for more than a decade. If you enjoy watching the rich and privileged get into drama-filled scrapes, you’ll love falling into these deliciously scandalous and compelling novels starring some of the best real housewives of literature! Whether they’re ex–movie stars or glitzy flappers, these women will satisfy anyone who’s waiting for their favorite Real Housewives series to return to TV.


Rebecca
by Daphne Du Maurier

Being a second wife is never easy, but it’s even worse when your much-older husband and the entire staff of his estate still seem obsessed with the first wife. The unnamed narrator of REBECCA must grapple with her own insecurities, growing tension between herself and her husband, and the mysterious death of the previous Mrs. de Winter in this deliciously unsettling modern Gothic.

Read the full review of REBECCA.

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Rebecca
Daphne Du Maurier

I watched the classic Hitchcock film of Daphne Du Maurier’s gothic masterpiece starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine for the first time in years the other night, and in loving it was reminded of how much I also loved the book. Is there a first line of a novel more evocative than “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”? Only Hitchcock could do justice to the moodiness and plot twists of Du Maurier’s genius work.

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The Stepford Wives
by Ira Levin

In this novel whose title embedded itself in our pop culture lexicon, a professional woman moves with her family to a seemingly idyllic suburban community. But she soon begins harboring suspicions about the powerful men in town and their submissive, fawning wives. A timeless and unsettling horror classic that will crawl under your skin, this will make you nervous about the concept of marriage.

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The Stepford Wives
Ira Levin

For Joanna, Walter, and their children, the move to beautiful Stepford seems almost too good to be true—and it is. Behind the town’s idyllic facade lies a terrible secret so shattering that no one who encounters it will ever be the same. At once a masterpiece of psychological suspense and a savage commentary on a media-driven society that values the pursuit of youth and beauty at all costs. If you've ever wondered about the term "stepford wife," you'll meet the originals on these pages.

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MENTIONED IN:

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Limelight
by Amy Poeppel

In every Real Housewives series, there’s always the one who doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the glamorous group. Allison, in this laugh-out-loud funny and razor-sharp novel, finds herself in that situation when she impulsively moves her family from the Texas suburbs to Manhattan. Feeling judged and overwhelmed, an unexpected series of events results in her crossing paths with a famous pop star, irrevocably changing her life in the Big Apple.

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Limelight
Amy Poeppel

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MENTIONED IN:

8 Scandalous Reads Featuring the Real Housewives of Literature

By Kerry Fiallo | January 9, 2019

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Anatomy of a Scandal
by Sarah Vaughan

How much do you trust your husband? In this enthralling and heart-pounding courtroom drama, Sophie Whitehouse grapples with standing by her successful husband after he is accused of a shocking crime. An utterly absorbing read filled with breathless twists and turns, ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL explores how secrets, power, and vengeance affect women.

Read the full review of ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL.

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Anatomy of a Scandal
Sarah Vaughan

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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
by Therese Anne Fowler

As one of the most famous wives in literary history, Zelda Fitzgerald’s life is one of tremendous highs and devastating lows. In this evocative novel that transports you to the Jazz Age, follow Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald as they party everywhere from Manhattan to the French Riviera. With insightful and lyrical prose, Z reveals the real and complicated woman behind the scandals.

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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
Therese Anne Fowler

When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1918, the “ungettable” Zelda falls for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn’t wealthy or even a Southerner, and he keeps insisting that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. What comes next, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time.

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The Wife
by Meg Wolitzer

All marriages have their ups and downs, and when you mix in fame, things get even more complicated. In THE WIFE, Joan has sacrificed her own career on behalf of her renowned novelist husband, Joe. But nothing is what it seems in both his career and their marriage. Sharply written and with biting humor, this is a compulsively readable novel that you won’t soon forget.

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The Wife
Meg Wolitzer

Imbued with the characteristic wit and intelligence that Meg Wolitzer brought to The Interestings, The Wife raises big questions about voice, marriage, power, and gender in literature. Slim but smart, this provocative story can be read in a day, but it will remain on your mind for much longer. A film adaptation starring Glenn Close and Frances McDormand is in the works and we would watch those two titans of acting in just about anything.

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The Two Mrs. Grenvilles
by Dominick Dunne

The matriarch of a wealthy high-society family is horrified when her son marries a showgirl, and though the younger woman tries everything to please her new, well-bred family, nothing seems to work. Then one night, a gun goes off. With breathless pacing, this suspenseful thriller gives you a peek behind the curtains of the rich and famous.

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The Two Mrs. Grenvilles
Dominick Dunne

Dominick Dunne expertly depicts the tawdry lives of the rich and famous. In this novel, the matriarch of a society family is horrified when her banking-heir son marries a showgirl. The women butt heads until a scandalous shooting binds the two Mrs. Grenvilles together forever.

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MENTIONED IN:

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Is there any place that is riper for producing drama-filled housewives than Hollywood? In this mesmerizing, juicy, and moving novel, a reclusive classic film star reaches out to a frustrated young writer to craft her tantalizing biography. An unputdownable and at times heartbreaking tale of two vastly different women confronting their complicated pasts.

Read the full review of THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO.

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Taylor Jenkins Reid

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MENTIONED IN:

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