BOOK STEW REVIEW: ‘The Husbands’ by Chandler Baker

Below is the latest Book Stew Review from Eileen MacDougall, the host of the 80+ episodes of Book Stew, a 30-minute video and podcast devoted to writing in all forms, featuring authors, playwrights, voice artists, and journalists.

‘The Husbands’ by Chandler Baker

How could you pen a novel about husbands being hypnotized into doing half of the home tasks moms do, without A SINGLE REFERENCE to Ira Levin’s immortal Stepford Wives?

However, this updating is smart, funny, and has an unanticipated twist at the end, so author Baker’s sins can be partially forgiven.

Nora is an attorney up for partner in her firm, wife, mother, three months pregnant, and is at her wit’s end due to her good-natured and clueless husband Hayden’s disinterest in shouldering any portion of “her” responsibilities.

Like many modern-day dads, he thinks that he’s much better than his own dad was because he throws some laundry into the dryer (after being prodded, of course).

Nora sees no escape until the couple goes to see a bigger house in the Dynasty Ranch (that name alone would nix it for me) subdivision and she meets the brilliant women of the neighborhood and their accommodating husbands, who finish off each sentence with “YOu work so hard” as they launder, clean, and make snacks for Teacher’s Day.

Nora, a personal injury lawyer, is hired to investigate a house fire that killed one of the husbands, and she and Hayden start couples counseling with one of the most influential moms.

What’s coming up is fairly obvious, but the way Baker rolls it out, including poignant posts from mommy blogs, is clever and suspenseful.

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