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The Husbands: A Novel

The Husbands: A Novel

by Chandler Baker

Narrated by Allyson Ryan

Unabridged — 12 hours, 12 minutes

Chandler Baker

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Overview

A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK

¿Chandler Baker, queen of the feminist thriller, has delivered once again! The Husbands is a poignant exploration of what it would take for women to have it all." ¿Sally Hepworth, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Sister


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.

A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books

"The Husbands is both a gripping, well-crafted mystery and an insightful critique of motherhood and marriage in the modern age--working mothers everywhere will feel seen in the best possible way.¿ ¿Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia and A Good Marriage



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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

04/26/2021

House-hunting Austin, Tex., attorney Nora Spangler, the protagonist of bestseller Baker’s disappointing sophomore effort (after 2019’s Whisper Network), thinks Dynasty Ranch looks like a dream come true, an “enclave community” of enviably accomplished professional women—and husbands who, unlike her own spouse, Hayden, seem to pride themselves on sharing domestic duties. But all may not be quite as idyllic as it appears. After Nora meets Dynasty Ranch resident Penny March, a renowned advice columnist, Penny retains Nora to explore a wrongful death suit on behalf of her husband, who was burned alive in the blaze that incinerated their home. Though wary of a potential conflict of interest since she and Hayden are weighing an offer in the community, Nora starts investigating—and grows increasingly suspicious about the fire. She also gradually becomes more and more uneasy about all the Stepford-like hubbies. While Baker puts everywoman Nora in frightening peril, she paints such a convincing picture of her stretched-to-the-breaking-point existence that the novel proves something of a downer, a situation its unbelievable final bombshell does nothing to improve. Hopefully, she’ll return to form next time. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (June)

From the Publisher

“A gender-swapped version of The Stepford Wives — and to add further enticement, it's set to become a film starring Kristen Wiig.”
—Entertainment Weekly

“Chandler Baker, queen of the feminist thriller,
has delivered once again! The Husbands is a poignant exploration of what it would take for women to have it all ... and it’s as sobering as you might imagine. My head is still spinning. I can already hear the book club discussions!”
—Sally Hepworth, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Sister

"A fun, fast-paced book...Because something needs to change, drastically, if women are expected to continue combining careers with raising families.”
—Washington Post

“[A] page-turner…An unsettling portrait of marriage, motherhood and love.”
—TIME

“[A] delightful and furious take on Stepford Wives.
—CrimeReads

“The book reads like a direct descendant of Ira Levin’s 1972 feminist classic, The Stepford Wives...Baker insists that, while a sexist society may be the culprit behind mothers’ distress, it makes villains of us all…I found myself holding my breath.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“Utterly engrossing and thoroughly timely, The Husbands is both a gripping, well-crafted mystery and an insightful critique of motherhood and marriage in the modern age--working mothers everywhere will feel seen in the best possible way.” —Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia and A Good Marriage

“A modern thriller for an era when women are told they can have it all, but societal expectations still make that nearly impossible. It’s wickedly funny, but also dead serious in its piercing social commentary.”
—Texas Monthly

“Chandler Baker’s delightful and furious take on Stepford Wives.
—CrimeReads

“A dark and hilarious tale you don’t want to miss.”
—BookRiot

“Leave it to Baker to deliver yet another pulse-racing thriller…a modern exploration of motherhood, marriage and the myth of having it all.”
—E!

“This fast-paced read will make you think twice before asking your dear beloved to take out the trash.”
—GMA.com

“This gender-swapping Stepford Wives story is as creepy as it is delicious.”
Good Housekeeping

“A fascinating thriller about the lengths women will go to get the support they deserve.”
—Bitch Magazine

“Baker uses Nora's relatable sense of being overwhelmed to stoke suspense in this dark exploration of modern family dynamics. A prime choice for book groups.”
Booklist

“...a delightfully cutting romp. A perpetually timely page-turner.”
Kirkus

“The Husbands is a howl of feminist rage but also one that is pure fun.”
—Stylist UK

“[Baker] paints such a convincing picture of [Nora's] stretched-to-the-breaking-point existence.”
Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews

2021-06-16
Following Whisper Network (2019), Baker is back with a second pulpy feminist thriller, this time set in an idyllic suburb just outside of Austin where all the women are high-powered and all the husbands are helpful—or at least, so it seems.

Nora Spangler, up for partner and pregnant with her second child, is barely hanging on. She loves her husband, Hayden, she does, only why does everything, she can’t help thinking, have to fall to her? In addition to her full-time job as a personal injury attorney at Greenberg Schwall, she is the packer of lunches and the keeper of schedules and the taker-out of trash. “It’s like he thinks their house, their toddler, their lives are kept on track by magic,” she thinks, trying to quell her constant rage and mostly failing. At least until, while house-hunting in advance of the new baby, Nora and Hayden discover Dynasty Ranch. Dynasty Ranch is not like other neighborhoods. Here, all the wives are accomplished and all the husbands are serenely doting—Stepford in reverse. When a few of the women approach Nora about taking on a wrongful death suit, the result of a devastating house fire that killed one of the husbands, her initial hesitation about taking a case involving people who might soon be her neighbors doesn’t last. The case is a double opportunity: a way to prove her value to the firm and a chance to make the kind of new friends she so desperately needs. And it works. But as she begins to dig deeper into the house fire, she discovers that Dynasty Ranch isn’t what it seems. Just to really hammer home her point, Baker periodically intersperses fictional online comment threads between chapters, a Greek chorus of anonymous voices (“TwinMommy,” “WillWork4Cupcakes67”) debating how much of their predicament is or isn’t working mothers’ faults. The novel isn’t breaking new ground, in terms of social commentary; still, it’s a delightfully cutting romp.

A perpetually timely page-turner that is anything but subtle.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940173076182
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 08/03/2021
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews