Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Husbands by Holly Gramazio

When Lauren returns home to her flat in London late one night, she is greeted at the door by her husband, Michael. There’s only one problem—she’s not married. She’s never seen this man before in her life. But according to her friends, her much-improved decor, and the photos on her phone, they’ve been together for years.

As Lauren tries to puzzle out how she could be married to someone she can’t remember meeting, Michael goes to the attic to change a lightbulb and abruptly disappears. In his place, a new man emerges, and a new, slightly altered life re-forms around her. Realizing that her attic is creating an infinite supply of husbands, Lauren confronts the question: If swapping lives is as easy as changing a lightbulb, how do you know you’ve taken the right path? When do you stop trying to do better and start actually living?

Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 2, 2024
by Doubleday Canada
2.5/5 stars

This book was an impulse buy for me, and sometimes those work out and sometimes they don't. It's also a ReadwithJenna pick. Again sometimes these celebrity picks work and sometimes they don't.

Let me warn you, I'm going against the flow with my thoughts on this one. The premise is intriguing - imagine coming home single only to find your husband waiting for you in your flat. And it's set in England, which is one of my favorite settings. But it doesn't take long for Lauren to realize she can exchange her husband by sending him back up to the attic and a new one appears. So many questions arise, like how does this happen and how does one stay sane after going through hundreds of husbands?

The writing was good, and I enjoyed getting to know Lauren and her quirky personality, she was kinda flat though. But after 150 pages I was wondering what the point of the book was. And even after 260 pages, I was left scratching my head. Maybe 352 pages was a bit longish. 

I usually like magical realism books with a touch of sci-fi or supernatural elements, but in this case, the magical attic is never really explained. The ending was sudden and fitting, but not satisfying because I didn't feel like I got a clear takeaway from the story.

This book was part of my 2024 Reading Off My Shelf Challenge

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