Husband and Wife: A Novel

Husband and Wife: A Novel

3.6 18
by Leah Stewart
     
 

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In this new novel by the celebrated author of The Myth of You and Me, a young mother discovers that her husband's novel about infidelity might be drawn from real life.

Sarah Price is thirty-five years old. She doesn't feel as though she's getting older, but there are some noticeable changes: a hangover after two beers, the

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Overview

In this new novel by the celebrated author of The Myth of You and Me, a young mother discovers that her husband's novel about infidelity might be drawn from real life.

Sarah Price is thirty-five years old. She doesn't feel as though she's getting older, but there are some noticeable changes: a hangover after two beers, the stray gray hair, and, most of all, she's called “Mom” by two small children. Always responsible, Sarah traded her MFA for a steady job, which allows her husband, Nathan, to write fiction. But Sarah is happy and she believes Nathan is too, until a truth is revealed: Nathan's upcoming novel, Infidelity, is based in fact.

Suddenly Sarah's world is turned upside down. Adding to her confusion, Nathan abdicates responsibility for the fate of their relationship and of his novel's publication—a financial lifesaver they have been depending upon—leaving both in Sarah's hands. Reeling from his betrayal, she is plagued by dark questions. How well does she really know Nathan? And, more important, how well does she know herself?

For answers, Sarah looks back to her artistic twenty-something self to try to understand what happened to her dreams. When did it all seem to change? Pushed from her complacent plateau, Sarah begins to act—for the first time not so responsibly—on all the things she has let go of for so long: her blank computer screen; her best friend, Helen; the volumes of Proust on her bookshelf. And then there is that e-mail in her inbox: a note from Rajiv, a beautiful man from her past who once tempted her to stray. The struggle to find which version of herself is the essential one—artist, wife, or mother—takes Sarah hundreds of miles away from her marriage on a surprising journey.

Wise, funny, and sharply drawn, Leah Stewart's Husband and Wife probes our deepest relationships, the promises we make and break, and the consequences they hold for our lives, revealing that it's never too late to step back and start over.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Some confessions are better left unuttered, as Sarah Price learns in Stewart's (The Myth of You and Me) solid latest. When novelist Nathan Bennett confesses to his wife, Sarah, right before a friend's wedding that he slept with another woman (his novel is titled Infidelity), Sarah's concerns shift from whether the dress she plans to wear to the wedding makes her look fat to what she will do about her future and that of their two young children, Mattie and Binx. What follows is an unflinching look at what happens when one's identity is shattered, and “what-ifs” and past choices come back to haunt the present. Chief among these what-ifs: Rajiv, an old friend nursing a long-unrequited crush on Sarah, and Sarah's longing to be seen once again as a poet. Stewart's graceful prose and easy storytelling pull the reader into caring about what happens to the struggling heroine while exploring the many gray areas of life and marriage. The conclusion, while true to Sarah, is surprising but not unrealistic. (May)
Raleigh News & Observer
“Stewart’s book does what real life doesn’t always allow: It gives the woman a voice.”
BookPage.com
“Heartbreaking and darkly humorous. . . . [Stewart] is an acute social observer.”
Elin Hilderbrand
“Leah Stewart’s brilliantly written novel Husband and Wife is a deeply human book: funny, tender, smart, self-aware. When you read it you will laugh, you will cry, you will recognize others, you will recognize yourself.”
Amanda Eyre Ward
“Hilarious, heartbreaking, and wise, Husband and Wife is a novel to savor. Stewart’s bright heroine is faced with an impossible choice—and I couldn’t put the book down until I’d followed her story to the end.”
Marisa de los Santos
“This narrative voice is so alive and specific that it moves past the idea of ‘narrative voice’ to become a human woman speaking to you. . . . I cherish this wry, funny, aching, intelligent character and this book!”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061992476
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/04/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
11,853
File size:
662 KB

Meet the Author

Leah Stewart is the author of the novels The Myth of You and Me and Body of a Girl. A recipient of an NEA Literature Fellowship, she lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and their two young children. She teaches creative writing at the University of Cincinnati.

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Husband and Wife 3.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 18 reviews.
ReviewsByMolly More than 1 year ago
Husband and Wife was awesome, in my opinion. Not a rush out and buy me now awesome (though I do recommend you read this!), but awesome all the same. Leah Stewart was fantastic in creating this very true-to-life novel, about infidelity and finding oneself. Her writing style brings out the truth in a lot of today's societies, yet she keeps it just fictional enough that her readers are hooked for life. Sarah Price, married to a fiction writer, is all dolled up and ready to attend her best friend's wedding. Then, out of nowhere, her hubby writer drops THE bombshell. Oh yea. Imagine, all ready to go to a wedding and your hubby tells you, "honey, by the way, the FICTION novel I wrote about infidelity? Well, I wrote it based on the worst possible betrayal: I cheated on YOU." Wow. That was so not cool. So, what does Sarah do? Well, I would tell you that, but if I did, it would take away from the story and spoil the plot line for you. I will tell you that I loved the characters that Ms. Stewart created. From Sarah, to Nathan, to baby Binx. Each character was life like, and could have been a person I had met on the street. They instantly became a part of my heart as I sat there reading this crazy, often complex and serious story. I'm single, though I haven't always been. I'm divorced. For much of the same reasons in the story. My ex, well, yea, he branched out from the marriage so to speak. And, well, I am a better person than to have to submit myself and my children into that situation. So, though I am no longer married, I could relate quite often to the thoughts and the feelings of Sarah. Some of the things that she did though, I can't ever imagine doing that. But, between the characters, the plot and the author's writing skills, I definitely recommend this with a 5 star praise. But, be forewarned....it's complex, it's dramatic and often times, it's highly emotionally serious. While it IS a fast read, it's certainly NOT a light read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Feeling some guilt, novelist Nathan Bennett confesses to his wife Sarah Price that he slept with another woman. She is stunned by his confession, which changes her priorities from which dress to wear at a wedding would make her look less fat to what to do about her relationship with Nathan; factoring in their two young children, Mattie and Binx. Whereas Nathan feels remorse, Sarah feels anger. She considers her options by looking at her past through a decision analysis of what could have been her life if she chose a differentpath. She ponders leaving her spouse and taking the kids with her of course while her anger grows as she gave up poetry writing and wants to be known as a poetess again. Then there is to consider her friend Rajiv, who has loved her forever. This is an interesting family drama in which an extramarital one night stand has shattered the trust between Husband and Wife. The lead couple feels genuine especially their emotions. However, it is the tense intriguing look back by Sarah who deeply examines lost opportunities when she made pivotal choices who makes the story line profound. Although the ending seems off kilter as a throwback to Austen's Regency era, fans will still appreciate this deep character study of one major indiscretion which has incredible relational costs. Harriet Klausner
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Racheybug More than 1 year ago
I loved The Myth of You and Me, and had high hopes for this as well. This was much harder to stick with. It's possible it was just difficult for me to relate, where I identified with Myth very closely.
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