I first heard of author Leah Stewart and her novel Husband and Wife via a book review and giveaway from Frugal Creativity (hint: I didn’t win).
I don’t always have the time, but I do love to read. I think a home without books is not trully a home, which, of course, makes the public library the greatest home ever. My home-away-from-home is the Broomfield Mamie Doud Eisenhower public library, which could only be improved upon if they had a drive-through pick-up window for Hold items, as they already have a drive-up drop-box for returning items.
I checked Husband and Wife out from MDE and enjoyed it after Pixie‘s bedtime. It actually took me a while to get used to Stewart’s writing style. I would have to describe it as eloquent. A little wordy, very descriptive, and her words feel real. The premise of Husband and Wife is that Sarah, a mid-30’s working mother who used to define herself as a poet, is married to mid-30’s Nathan, a working, published writer. Nathan’s soon-to-be-published latest novel is titled Infidelity, and the story begins with Nathan’s confession to Sarah that the work is, indeed, drawn upon fact.
I found myself wondering how I would handle things if I were in a similar situation to Sarah. Her emotional turmoil feels very real, so even if I can’t directly compare to her circumstances, I can sympathize with what she’s going through, and I can really imagine that Sarah could be a fully-realized, actual person. Nathan felt less real to me, but that’s probably because the story is more about Sarah and how she grapples with having her life turned upside-down. A major element of the work is sense of self and how we define ourselves, especially in regards to motherhood and the inherent psychological conflicts that arise when you make that jump from the Maiden stage of life to Mother.
So who’s the target audience here? I would peg the novel as “mainstream popular fiction” and the target demographic as mostly women. It’s not Stewart’s writing style, or the overall subject matter, that I think targets women: it’s the strong exploration of Motherhood as it relates to a woman’s sense-of-self. I can think of individual men that I know who might enjoy this book, but I must also be honest and say that I don’t think your “average” male is going to fall in love with it.
Final Verdict: definitely worth the drive to the library and some dedicated reading time (bonus if you have a dog to snuggle up with while you read). I read far too many books to afford to buy them all, and I’m not certain this one has much re-read value for me (a prime concern when considering library vs. bookstore), but I can certainly see it deserving a space on someone’s home bookshelf.