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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, bestselling author of The Good Sister
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, New York Times bestselling author of Whisper Network Chandler Baker’s The Husbands imagines a world where the burden of the “second shift” is equally shared–and what it may take to get there.
“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 A Good Marriage
The author and publisher have provided this e-book to you for your personal use only. You may not make this e-book publicly available in any way. Copyright infringement is against the law. If you believe the copy of this e-book you are reading infringes on the author’s copyright, please notify the publisher at: us.macmillanusa.com/piracy.
There are husbands everywhere. In suits, in polo shirts, in khakis and cargo shorts, flip-flops, square-toes, loafers, and sneakers, in baseball caps, with thinning hair, and sleeves rolled up, with tufts of chest hair at the neckline, with soft-mound bellies atop braided belts, in craft brewery T-shirts, with toenails in need of tending, short and tall, colorblind, with five o’clock shadows, and BABY ON BOARD stickers on their rear windshields, walking dogs with their ring fingers haloed in platinum, gold, silver, tungsten. There they are unemployed or making six figures, in three fantasy football leagues and two different text chains (meme after meme after meme), scratching their balls and applying aftershave, rifling for snacks in the pantry, watching internet porn, wearing towels around their waists and dripping water on the floor. They are better halves, partners in crime, high school sweethearts and complete assholes, roommates, deadbeats, and really great fathers.
Can you picture it? Excellent. Shall we continue?
Just a little further. You’re getting sleepy now. Long breath out. That’s it. Now try to imagine. Imagine a place, a special place, where the husbands are everywhere, yes, but instead of just putting the dishes in the sink when finished eating, they put them in the dishwasher, they carry up the items left on the stairs and put them away, they refill children’s water glasses at 3:00 A.M. and lead sleepy toddlers back to their own beds, they write thank-you notes and dispose of the torn envelopes of read mail, they put their shoes away, they nail down plans and don’t parent from the couch, they read school emails and listen to voice mails and make dinners and rinse out Keurig machines and remember to use sunflower seed butter and that gymnastics is on Tuesdays and that next week the nanny has off and that this week is a nephew’s graduation. Do you have it? Very good. Now take a deep breath in, exhale. That’s right. Deeper now. Just relax and imagine.
Writing this book was a labor of love, but labor nonetheless, and I’m incredibly grateful that so many wonderful people stepped up to share in this project equally.
My deepest gratitude goes to my editor, Christine Kopprasch. There’s nothing more valuable to me than having an editor who truly gets me. We’ve each survived a crazy year of working and giving birth to our second children and that will always make the memory of this process special—and fitting—to me. To that end, I’m especially fortunate to have had Caroline Bleeke step in with kind, smart, creative notes that improved my draft vastly while Christine was on maternity leave. This is my second book with Flatiron and it already feels like home. I’d heard wonderful things about Megan Lynch before she took the helm, and they’ve all proven to be true. Thank you, Megan, for your insight and care with my work.
The Husbands has brought another chance to work with an outstanding group of people who are taking the “second shift,” as it were, in launching it. Thank you to Amelia Possanza, Nancy Trypuc, Katherine Turro, Maxine Charles, Samantha Zukergood, Katy Robitzski, Shelly Perron, and the rest of the team working behind the scenes. And an extra squeal of gratitude to one of my favorite narrators, Allyson Ryan, for agreeing to narrate the audiobook.
My agent, Dan Lazar, remains my most trusted ally. I need someone with big thoughts, dreams, and ambitions like me to be on my side, so thank goodness I have you. A special thank-you also to Torie Doherty-Munro for helping me with all things big and small and book related. Maja Nikolic, Peggy Boulos Smith, and Jessica Berger, thank you for taking great care of my words across the globe.
Which brings me to Cath Burke and Rebecca Saunders. I feel like we are kindred spirits; you got my vision for this book right away and I’m lucky to be the beneficiary of your sharp guidance.
My film agent, Dana Spector, is another woman I am so fortunate to have on my team because she, too, gets it—motherhood is hard! I’m absolutely indebted to you for the work you’ve done on this book and others.
This story is a direct product of conversations with so many of my wise friends, both writers and nonwriters alike: Julia Jonas, Emily O’Brien, Kelley Flores, Jeff Langevin, Lori Goldstein, Charlotte Huang, Shana Silver, Amy Morehouse, Wendy Pursch, Lisa and Julia McQueen, and many others. But even before those conversations, the kernel of this idea was planted by the readers of Whisper Network, so many of whom expressed in book clubs, online, and in direct emails to me that their frustrations with work were also deeply rooted in their frustrations at home. Hearing from readers is already the best part of being a writer, and now these readers have helped spark something brand new.
But there is one person I would absolutely not have been able to write this book without, and that’s Rob. To write The Husbands, I had to have a wonderful husband of my own, who knows my heart for women’s issues and stands up for me and what I’ve set out to say—a true ally. We have two beautiful children, but drafting a book with a two-week-old is certainly a family activity and I’m so deeply moved that all three of you took it on with me and gifted me the space to work—thank you.
- On Sale
- Apr 12, 2022
- Page Count
- 352 pages
- Hachette Book Group