Cover image for The Wilde women : a novel
The Wilde women : a novel
Wall, P. S. (Paula S.), 1954-
First Atria Books hardcover edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atria Books, [2007]

Physical Description:
310 pages ; 24 cm
Having left her southern hometown of Five Points five years earlier after discovering that her sister and fiancé had been having an affair, unpredictable Pearl Wilde returns home to exact revenge.
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Paula Wall, the national bestselling author ofThe Rock Orchard,returns with another witty, wise, and romantic tale of two sisters with a talent for seduction and the unfortunate habit of falling for the wrong man every time. The Wilde sisters dove headfirst into this world on fire with life and expectation. With hair black as midnight and eyes blazing blue, they grow into truly irresistible women. But as well as being blessed with beauty and determination, the Wilde sisters are cursed with equal tastes for mischief and bad men. And both of these appetites always lead to trouble. Love either lifts a woman up or drags her down. When a Wilde woman dies, they don't have to dig a hole. On Black Friday in Five Points, Tennessee, Pearl Wilde finds her sister, Kat, in the barn wearing both her favorite shoes and her fiancé. As quick to fury as she is to passion, Pearl leaves town immediately. She returns five years later a sophisticated femme fatale, with her claws sharpened like stainless steel and a demeanor so cool that the townspeople can no longer tell if she even has sweat glands. Slowly and deliberately, Pearl begins her revenge on Kat by captivating all the men of Five Points, but all the while never forgetting the one man who had the power to break her heart. InThe Wilde Women, Paula Wall once again bewitches the reader with humor, sass, smarts, and sensuality, creating a hilarious and beguiling world where sometimes the best revenge is forgiveness. Paula Wallis the author of the national bestsellerThe Rock Orchard, as well as two collections of short pieces,My Love Is Free...But the Rest of Me Don't Come CheapandIf I Were a Man, I'd Marry Me. The latter was a semifinalist for the Thurber Prize. She currently lives outside of Nashville in a converted barn on 150 acres at the foot of the Highland Rim. Her nearest neighbor is one mile down the road, which, frankly, is a little too close for comfort. Visit her website at

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The Great Depression dealt a hard blow to Five Points, Tennessee, and young Pearl Wilde feels just as leveled when she finds her fiance in flagrante delicto with her sister, Kat. Pearl promptly leaves town, and speculation runs rampant in the years she's away. Various sightings are reported, and the postcards she sends her sister from all over the globe are read and digested by the gossip mill before Kat ever sees them. When Pearl finally returns, with all the glamour of Ginger Rogers and the mystery of Greta Garbo, the ornery people of Five Points are curious. When she decides to open a whorehouse, the overworked women are unhappy, and further angered when their lazy men are recruited to restore the old mansion Pearl has purchased. Each and every character in Wall's tall tale has a uniquely flawed personality, and Wall has a wonderful sense of place and an adept way with words, adding up to an enthralling novel. --Maria Hatton Copyright 2007 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Wall's second novel (after The Rock Orchard) follows two beautiful, smart, sexually provocative, self-assured sisters whose dalliances captivate their small Southern hometown. Five Points, Tenn., has been brought low by the depression, but the residents retain their interest in the Wilde sisters' feud, which began when Pearl caught her younger sister Kat inappropriately entertaining Bourne Cavanagh, Pearl's fiance and the heir to a whiskey distillery empire. Pearl disappears and travels the world, sending Kat a tersely worded postcard every month. Sassy and brash Kat stays behind and toys with the town's menfolk, including Mason Hughes, whose wealthy family owns the shirt factory where Kat works. Pearl sashays home after a few years and opens a high-class bordello that caters to the rich and powerful, while Kat continues to entice and evade Mason. Vignettes about secondary characters bog down the momentum, and while some are whimsically entertaining, they are more distracting than narrative-enriching. Fans of Southern women's fiction will forgive the meandering plot and be drawn in by the author's wit. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Poor Pearl; she fled town after interrupting her fianc?'s tryst with her sister. But she comes back one cool (and scary) cookie. A second novel after the highly praised The Rock Orchard; with a four-city tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.