About the Book:
Chandler Baker, the New York Times bestselling author of Whisper Network, is back with 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.
This was a page-turner, that’s for sure! Once I started, I could not put it down. I loved the author’s first book ‘The Whisper Network’ so I knew I would love this plot. Give me a working mom and I’m in. A lawyer with a toddler and a baby on the way? Sign me up! The author’s sharp, funny take on domestic life was perfect.
“She walks upstairs still in her high heels, wondering how she can be so eager to see her family, her favorite faces in the entire world, and yet also feel a horror movie-level of dread: Don’t go in there!”
Nora is a young lawyer on a partner track at her law firm. She is constantly stressed out from the pressure of billable hours, work life, and the demands of her young family. She adores her husband Hayden, but would it be so bad if he did more to help out with the household chores? Chandler Baker has a very keen eye for the tensions and pressures of modern relationships.
“Love you,” he says. “Love you,” she echoes, and she truly does love him, loves him with her whole heart, wants to strangle him with her love, wants to love him until he’s dead sometimes.
This book is also dark thriller, bordering on horror, and borrows lightly from Ira Levin’s ‘The Stepford Wives’, a book I read and loved many, many years ago. I was initially sympathetic with Nora’s situation here but I did not agree with her willingness to go along with the devious plans invented by her her new neighbors in the seemingly perfect Dynasty Ranch neighborhood.
The first part of the book was very witty and I found Nora to be very engaging and relatable. Who hasn’t forgotten to turn in a signed permission slip on time at school or stayed up until 1:00 AM baking for a class party? The second part of the story takes a turn into horror territory but nonetheless I could not put the book down until I learned what the outcome would be. The ending probably won’t be a surprise to some readers but it caught me off guard. I actually liked Hayden and found him to be a normal, loving and attentive husband.
I completely related to the author’s note at the end. I understand and appreciate the points she was trying to make with this book. Because I adored ‘The Whisper Network’ I am definitely looking forward to reading more of Chandler Baker’s books.
(Thanks to the publisher for providing an advanced copy of the book via NetGalley.)