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
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This eerie psychological thriller starts out as an amusing look at gender roles before taking a dark turn. When seemingly perfect couple Nora and Hayden Spangler start looking for a larger house for their expanding family, someone slips them a pamphlet for an exclusive enclave called Dynasty Ranch. It’s a community where all the wives are high-powered executives and all the husbands are super-supportive and nurturing—and Nora, an ambitious lawyer, is immediately welcomed into the neighborhood. But things are not what they seem, and best-selling author Chandler Baker (whose 2019 Whisper Network was the perfect workplace thriller for the #MeToo era) makes us feel deeply for Nora’s working-mom frustrations. (Why can’t her husband seem to do anything without being given specific directions, which he then chafes at?) And Baker gives us the creeps when Nora receives an offer of help—with strings attached. The Husbands is a domestic thriller with lacerating wit and insidious charm.
House-hunting Austin, Tex., attorney Nora Spangler, the protagonist of bestseller Baker's disappointing sophomore effort (after 2019's Whisper Network), thinks Dynasty Ranch looks like a dream come true, an "enclave community" of enviably accomplished professional women—and husbands who, unlike her own spouse, Hayden, seem to pride themselves on sharing domestic duties. But all may not be quite as idyllic as it appears. After Nora meets Dynasty Ranch resident Penny March, a renowned advice columnist, Penny retains Nora to explore a wrongful death suit on behalf of her husband, who was burned alive in the blaze that incinerated their home. Though wary of a potential conflict of interest since she and Hayden are weighing an offer in the community, Nora starts investigating—and grows increasingly suspicious about the fire. She also gradually becomes more and more uneasy about all the Stepford-like hubbies. While Baker puts everywoman Nora in frightening peril, she paints such a convincing picture of her stretched-to-the-breaking-point existence that the novel proves something of a downer, a situation its unbelievable final bombshell does nothing to improve. Hopefully, she'll return to form next time.
Loved it! If only we really could make this happen.
Jk. Well, sorta. Great book! Should be required reading for every man. Loved the story, the author has a nice, easy writing style. I love how she held certain details back to build the anxiety of the narrative.
Wow wow wow
Every mother and female must give themselves the gift of pleasure from reading this story that’s so deeply rooted in factual biases and systemic racism while simultaneously taking on a diabolical view on solutions to their antiquated plights in the workplace and homestead. I was cheering on our protagonist and shaking my head in solidarity and agreeing with so many of her perspectives observations and opinions regarding societal and cultural issues based upon the patriarchal powers that have existed since colonization began in this country
Waste of time and money
What a terrible book! Waste of money .