Review: The Husbands by Chandler Baker

 

Title: The Husbands

Author: Chandler Baker

Published: 30th June 2021, Hachette Australia 

Status: Read July 2021 courtesy Hachette Australia

 

+++++++

 

My Thoughts:

 

The Husbands is a delightfully subversive domestic thriller from Chandler Baker.

Nora Spangler is exhausted by the effort of juggling her career as a personal injury lawyer with her domestic responsibilities as a wife to Hayden, and mother of a four year old. Pregnant with the couple’s second child, she is increasingly frustrated with the expectation that to have it all (or anything really), she must do it all. Introduced to the residents of the exclusive suburban enclave of Dynasty Ranch during a search for a new home, Nora glimpses an utopian alternative, where the husbands, despite having careers of their own, are eager to ensure their wives are not overburdened by domestic tasks. Intrigued by the neighbourhood and all it appears to offer, Nora is flattered when she is asked her for help with one of their own who has recently lost her husband in a house fire.

The Husbands is clearly satire, but it often cuts very close to the bone. Baker speaks for many wives and mothers who find they carry the physical and emotional load of daily life in a way that husbands often don’t. Hayden is typical of many modern men who are not unhelpful at home, but remain benignly oblivious to the minutiae that their partners routinely manage. There would be few of us that don’t empathise with Nora’s experiences, both at home and in the workplace, as she struggles to meet the needs and expectations of her multiple roles, and carries the guilt of any failures. While Nora is not completely blameless, she’s fallen into the common trap of martyring herself by expecting perfection, there is a truth that resonates in every partnership I am familiar with.

That we immediately find the behaviour of the Dynasty Ranch husbands to be implausible is a commentary in itself, clearly there is something unusual going on at Dynasty Ranch. The plot draws inspiration from The Stepford Wives and Get Out, so if you are familiar with either, or both, it’s not difficult to predict the direction the story will take. The only real surprise for me was the cheeky final scene which made me snicker out loud, but I still found it tense as Nora was confronted by the truth about the fire, and the secret to the community’s model marriages.

The Husbands is a provocative, timely and entertaining novel I enjoyed reading.

+++++++

Available from Hachette Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Indiebound I Amazon

 

*****

This review is featured by Twinkl in their blog about the latest must-read books. See more recommendations and get involved at Book Lovers’ Top Picks For Your 2021 TBR List.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer
    Jul 13, 2021 @ 12:18:31

    Sometimes satire is just what we need 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Stephanie - Bookfever
    Jul 13, 2021 @ 21:41:41

    Oh yes I’ve heard so much about this book already and I’m so glad you enjoyed it too. Might have to buy a copy of it also!

    Like

    Reply

  3. Nish
    Jul 13, 2021 @ 23:49:27

    I can relate to her so much LOL. My husband is also like that – benignly oblivious to what it takes to run a house, kids, and a career.

    Like

    Reply

  4. Book of Secrets
    Jul 14, 2021 @ 01:33:18

    Oh my, where is this ranch?? LOL. I’ve seen this book cover all over the place but didn’t realize what it was about. I’m intrigued!!

    Like

    Reply

  5. WendyW
    Jul 14, 2021 @ 07:00:03

    I am very intrigued by your review. This looks like something I would enjoy. I’m going to add this to my TBR for sure. Thanks!

    Like

    Reply

  6. Theresa Smith Writes
    Jul 14, 2021 @ 10:36:01

    I enjoyed this one a lot too.

    Like

    Reply

  7. Mystica
    Jul 16, 2021 @ 15:00:57

    I think a lot of husbands pretend they are oblivious! its convenient.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out

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