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Husband and Wife: A Novel Hardcover – May 4, 2010

3.4 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From 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)
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Review

“Stewart’s book does what real life doesn’t always allow: It gives the woman a voice.” (Raleigh News & Observer)

“Stewart creates a crisis of faith where adult reality collides with youthful dreams. The writing is tactile, elemental, even comical, providing readers with a situation that could so easily be their own.” (Library Journal (starred review))

“Heartbreaking and darkly humorous. . . . [Stewart] is an acute social observer.” (BookPage.com)

“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.” (Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Castaways and Barefoot)

“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.” (Amanda Eyre Ward, author of Love Stories in This Town)

“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!” (Marisa de los Santos, author of Belong to Me and Love Walked In)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061774502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061774508
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,840,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I couldn't summon any sympathy for Sarah. I found her (and just about every other character in the book) to be tremendously unlikable, and I was disgusted with myself for forging on to finish. The premise of the book -- that Sarah discovers her husband has cheated on her -- is familiar, but the reader is tempted with the carrot of something new and fresh in her reaction. Alas, it doesn't come. Instead, we find a woman who (dare I say it?) probably deserved it. She's cold, almost deliberately plain, and downright contemptuous toward her children. Indeed, she doesn't seem to even like her infant son, for whom she can barely spare a loving moment -- he is merely all about "poop." She speaks of her young daughter as though she is a bother -- I challenge readers to find a long passage about her that is complimentary in Sarah's eyes! And as for Nathan? I managed to feel sorry for him, and to wonder why he married Sarah in the first place. The only characters I liked were Helen, because she seemed to be the most "human," and Sarah's elderly neighbors. On the other hand, I wondered why Smith and Rajiv were there at all. Neither one served any purpose other than to show that Sarah was contemptible and selfish. Drowning herself in wistfulness for her writing, she manages to overlook her children, her husband, her job, and even herself. She's immature, self-centered, and I'm embarrassed that I wasted my precious time on her.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It had potential, but turned into another of those pretentious, quasi-intellectual, self involved ramblings that works for bedtime reading, but not much else. I can't figure why any author believes that a character that displays this amount of self-absorbtion, page after page, would make for an interesting read. Sadly, another book where you can skip over not only paragraphs but pages and still not miss anything.
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Format: Hardcover
In this compelling family drama, we meet Sarah Price and her husband, Nathan. She has given up her dreams of creativity for a steady job that supports them, while her husband devotes himself to his fiction and their two small children.

Then, out of the blue, while they are getting ready to attend the wedding of friends, he announces that he has cheated on her. Is this confession a way of escaping the life they have created? And what does it mean for the future?

In the pages that follow, we experience, almost as if it has happened to us, the rage, the fear, the insecurities that characterize Sarah's life. When she thought she knew him and understood the life they had fashioned for themselves, had she been wrong? Now what?

Husband and Wife: A Novel is not your typical story about a life coming apart. It's more about how the characters look back upon who they were and try to rediscover those selves. It's also about how the day-in-and-day-out ordinary stuff of life can sometimes steal the essence of our being.

I loved the parts of this story that delved into the everyday grittiness. The parts that showed us how completely imperfect a life can be. The author granted us a peek into the humorous aspects of parenting, like when the baby has diarrhea during a stopover at McDonald's and how a mother matter-of-factly deals with that.

In the end, the partners have to decide whether or not they can put their lives back together, amidst any other options that might be available.

A complete page turner, I could not wait to see what would happen next--which was why I gave this book five stars.
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By Mimi on March 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book just dragged on and on for me. I reached the point where I just gave up because it was wearing me out and depressing me. One character continually dwells on the others transgression. Meanwhile the one who transgressed grovels in an attempt to return to "before". I couldn't make a connection with either of the characters.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't like this. Silly writing that meandered off into boring detail about reflections on life from the heroine's viewpoint, and I just didn't even like her. Maybe it got better, but I couldn't finish it. Don't waste your money...I wish I hadn't.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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