Friday 11 June 2021

THE HUSBANDS by Chandler Baker

Welcome to the neighbourhood. We do things differently here.

Recently, Nora has started to feel that 'having it all' - a family, a soon-to-be new house, a successful career in law - comes with a price, one her husband doesn't seem to be paying quite so heavily. She loves Hayden, but why is it that, however hard men work, their wives always seem to work that much harder?

Then her house-hunting takes them to an affluent suburban neighbourhood and Nora's eyes are opened to a new world. One where women can have it all. One where the men actually pull their weight.

But a wrongful death case involving one of the local residents draws Nora further into this perfect world and she begins to realise that the secret of 'having it all' is far more complicated than she could ever have imagined. In fact, it may be worth killing for...

This is another book that caught my eye while looking through a Hachette catalogue. It gave me The Stepford Wives vibes, and since I love that story, I had to check this out.

Nora is a mother and wife. She works full time and pretty much does everything to keep her family life running smoothly. But it's tiring and makes her resentful when her husband doesn't bear as much of the responsibility as she does. While house-hunting in a lovely suburban neighbourhood, Nora finds herself involved in a wrongful death case and starts spending time with a group of women who have doting husbands. But as she investigates, she starts to unravel something she never expected...

Wow. This is such an awesome book! I was totally hooked and couldn't put it down. I got caught up in Nora's life and was intrigued by the secrets of Dynasty Ranch. 

The social commentary in this book is heavy and can be understood by every woman who's ever wanted to achieve their ambitions inside and outside their family home. The struggle can often seem one-sided, and I really liked the way this was dealt with here. How well it's all shown and felt through the eyes of the main character.

I really liked Nora. She's a personal injury litigator who is constantly overwhelmed while trying to stay on top of her demanding job and even more demanding home life. Not to mention that she's dealing with some deep-rooted guilt about an accident that shaped her motherhood experience. So, it's no wonder she gets easily caught up in the whirlwind of instant friendship with the professional and friendly women living in Dynasty Ranch.

Following her story was truly exhausting and she was such a sympathetic character. I felt her pain, need for rest and pursuit for understanding. But she's also flawed.

Actually, that's another great thing about this book. No matter how hard some of the characters try to showcase their perfect lives, they're all actually quite damaged, cunning, impressionable, desperate and manipulative.

The moral of this story is very well executed.

The Husbands is an addictive and very clever book full of mystery, with a thick sense of malice rippling beneath the surface. Everything appears normal and mundane, so very domestic, but it's actually very disturbing. Yet, as serious as things get leading to the shocking conclusion, it was also pretty amusing. I cackled quite a bit.

I loved this! And yes, it did turn out to be a twisted feminist cross between The Stepford Wives and Get Out.

Thank you Hachette Australia for sending me a copy!

The Husbands, June 2021, ISBN 9780733642746, Hachette Australia

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