In 1961, on the day that Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to rocket into outer space, Edith Devine moves into her brand-new suburban home—and meets her new neighbour, Frankie Heyman. Frankie is a glamorous, sophisticated foil to the quiet, clever Edith, and the two housewives become firm friends.
Then, when Frankie’s domineering husband Ralph refuses to let her get a job, Edith hatches a plan to keep her friend’s household running while Frankie secretly goes out to work—and so Edith becomes Frankie’s secret wife. As Frankie builds a business empire, Edith runs both their homes: dusting, cleaning and cooking her way through the sexual revolution, the summer of love and the second wave of feminism. Throughout the 1960s, the world’s great events seem to be mirrored in the lives of two women—until the day in 1969 when the first humans step out onto the surface of the moon, and Frankie and Edith face a calamitous reckoning.
The Secret Wife is an irresistible story of fierce love, unconditional sacrifice and the transcendent power of pulling together.