Genre: Women's Fiction
Format: Audiobook and Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 352
Date of Publication: June 29, 2021
My Rating: 4 Stars
From Chandler Baker, the New York Times bestselling author of Whisper Network comes The Husbands, a novel that asks: to what lengths will a woman go for a little more help from her husband?
Nora Spangler is a successful attorney but when it comes to domestic life, she packs the lunches, schedules the doctor appointments, knows where the extra paper towel rolls are, and designs and orders the holiday cards. Her husband works hard, too. but why does it seem like she is always working so much harder?
When the Spanglers go house hunting in Dynasty Ranch, an exclusive suburban neighborhood, Nora meets a group of high-powered women-a tech CEO, a neurosurgeon, an award-winning therapist, a bestselling author-with enviably supportive husbands. When she agrees to help with a resident's wrongful death case, she is pulled into the lives of the women there. She finds the air is different in Dynasty Ranch. The women aren't hanging on by a thread.
But as the case unravels, Nora uncovers a plot that may explain the secret to having-it-all. One that's worth killing for. Calling to mind a Stepford Wives gender-swap, The Husbands imagines a world where the burden of the "second shift" is equally shared-and what it may take to get there.
As I started this entertaining read by Chandler Baker, I took an immediate dislike to Nora Spangler's husband Hayden. Nora is a succesful attorney and has been seeing advertisements to an exclusive community called Dynasty Ranch. She deserves a home there. After all, she works hard as a very successful attorney. Then she comes home and does everything from cooking, cleaning, bath time, trips to the dry cleaners and more. Hayden just glides along.
When they do go look at a house at Dynasty Ranch, Nora feels like she has found her people. The other successful women, including a CEO, a neurosurgeon and more. If they can have it all, why can't she? After meeting with a real estate agent, it is discovered that she is an attorney, Nora is asked to help with a resident's wrongful death case. She agrees, feeling that it will get her in the door to the house she wants.
As a reader all I could see was the Stepford Wives - in reverse! The husbands all seem to be domesticated, something Hayden could definitely learn from. How do all of these successful women have husbands who share the load, even taking more of it than would possibly be expected? Nora has her doubts to be sure, but she also knows what she wants. Can she push her nagging concerns aside and represent the case, get the house, and get her husband to pick up his feet?
I loved this book, finding myself surprised at the twists as they were occurring, and especially the ending! In fact, I reread the last chapter because of how expertly the author brought this enjoyable book to a close.
Many thanks to Macmillan and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chandler Baker lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two small children. She works as a corporate attorney and is the author of five young adult novels. Her first adult novel, Whisper Network, was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick as well as an instant New York Times Bestseller.