Book Reviews: Try It: Very Desperate Housewives; OTHER PEOPLE'S MARRIAGES by SHANE WATSON (Macmillan Pounds 12.99) HHH

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Byline: REVIEWS BY HENRY SUTTON

Why are desperate housewives always so desperate? Because their blokes are "unreconstructed males" and "die-hard misogynists". Because their men are insensitive and inept.

How many times have we heard this? Well, I have another theory. Desperate housewives are desperate because they are relentlessly demanding, totally unreasonable, completely impossible to live with, spoilt, overindulged and neglectful. Behind every desperate housewife is a much more desperate husband struggling to breathe.

While Shane Watson's new chunk of a chick-lit novel doesn't exactly extol the above message, it trots out the same old guff about women not getting enough from their men. Also, those men who do appear to be sensitive, warm and easygoing, actually turn out to be deeply shifty.

Yet, amazingly, the one woman who's not married, longs to be. This is even more amazing given how badly she's been treated by men in the past. Still, this is chick-lit and if you don't have men to either moan about, or chase, or be dumped by, what else is there to do?

The premise of this novel is actually quite clever. Lead character Anna is writing a book about other people's marriages. …