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The Glass Wives: A Novel

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  • Posted July 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Realistic, Filled With Emotions

    As families split apart forming new units, the idealized notion of a traditional family can change drastically. The family core is the focus of Amy Sue Nathan’s debut novel, THE GLASS WIVES: A Novel. She explores what makes a family unit and why traditional sometimes has to be altered. Narrator Joyce Bean does an excellent job bringing these characters to life. Her varied vocalization gives each character their own distinct voice. Bean brings out the various emotions and energy the author has woven throughout the story. Evie Glass never thought her ex-husband Richard could turn her world upside down again. But when Richard died suddenly in a traffic wreck, she found out how wrong she was. Now she is left to raise their twins on her own. Richard’s second wife, Nicole, is also left to raise their infant son on her own. She turns to Evie, wanting to create a family unit with her and Richard’s other children. At first, despite the tragedy of Richard’s death, Evie sees it as a way to free herself and the twins from ever dealing with Nicole and her baby again. She didn’t count on how deeply her children cared for their half brother. And she especially didn’t count on having to seek financial help to keep her home without Richard’s monthly support payments. When Nicole offers to pay rent and move in with her and the kids, Evie dismissed it, but soon realizes she doesn’t have a choice. Just as things are settling into a familiar routine, Evie discovers Nicole may be up to no good, trying to pull off a scheme behind her back. Evie has to decide if she can trust the woman who had an affair with her husband and destroyed her marriage. Nathan has created likable characters with realistic problems and emotions. While Evie came off a bit self-centered to me at times, she also had moments of compassion and tenderness for balance. Nathan also weaves in how secrets, even among friends, can sometimes be damaging. In addition, the author gives vivid descriptions and explanations for a Jewish life that add another layer to the story. THE GLASS WIVES moves at a steady pace and holds the reader/listener’s attention with a few surprising twists and turns along the way. FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    The premise of this novel is intriguing: when Evie's ex-husband

    The premise of this novel is intriguing: when Evie's ex-husband dies in a car accident, she must create a new normal for her ten-year-old twins that may or may not include their baby half-brother and Nicole, the woman who destroyed her marriage. Add two devoted girlfriends with their own opinions concerning Evie's future, and The Glass Wives is a wonderful story about the shifting boundaries of female friendship.




    Nothing is predictable; nothing is black or white.




    When Nicole suggests sharing living expenses--and Evie's home--Evie has to decide what is best for her children and what makes a family. As she lets go of her old life, and decides whom to trust, the normal foundations of home and hearth dissolve.




    But what I loved most about the story is the way expectations fall apart to reform in gloriously unexpected ways. All Evie's relationships are tested and stretched as characters surprise each other and the reader. Several times throughout the novel, the actions of others--past and present--force Evie to reassess her core values and put aside personal judgment. As her friend Beth says, "No one is just a collection of her mistakes."




    A devoted mother and friend, Evie is a wonderful heroine, and we cheer her on as she journeys through the practical and emotional repercussions of death. Even when she's schlepping about the house in her terry robe, nibbling on leftover rugelach and worrying about finances, Evie doesn't wallow in self-pity. I loved her ability to stand up for her kids and for herself, and to not be intimidated by the opinions of others. Her brutal honesty is refreshing. For example, when she reveals a devastating truth to Nicole, Nicole comments, "You're lying to hurt me." Evie's response is, "No, I'm telling the truth to hurt you."




    I highly recommend this beautifully written debut.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    I thought this was a fantastic debut novel. It was well written

    I thought this was a fantastic debut novel. It was well written and while the situation is unusual, you felt yourself empathizing for the characters. Most people probably wouldn't take in their ex husband's widow, and I thought that showed a lot of Grace on Evie's part. This was a really quick read - I finished in 2 days and raced through to the end. 

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