Book Review: Husband and Wife – Leah Stewart

Title: Husband and Wife
Author: Leah Stewart
ISBN: 9780061774508
Pages: 352
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Harper
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Summary:

It’s just another evening in Sarah Price’s life, another night with her husband and two young children.  She’s getting ready for her close friend’s wedding when her husband delivers a startling and unwelcome confession:  his latest novel, about infidelity, isn’t entirely fiction.  One year ago, he had a short-lived affair with a woman he met at a writer’s conference.  Staggered by his admission, Sarah must decide how to move on with her life and makes some surprising realizations about herself in the process.

Review:

In Husband and Wife, Leah Stewart takes a look at a marriage that is fine and healthy one minute and on its last legs the next.  She really helps the reader to understand the damage an affair can do.  In that instant, that moment of confession, everything is changed irrevocably. Stewart takes us into that moments, and helps us really see the aftermath, physically, emotionally and psychologically.

Sarah is written with such painful clarity, it makes the book difficult to read at times.  She is wasted by her husband’s confession, her soul completely laid bare.  She doesn’t know what to do, how to handle life anymore.  Her actions and feelings ring so true for someone in that situation.  Stewart really helps the reader get inside Sarah’s head as she questions everything and looks for solace anywhere she can find it. 

The subject matter of this book makes it hard to read at times.  It’s not a happy book, and for the first half, Sarah is in such deep despair that the reader feels powerless that they can’t do anything to help.  That changes as Sarah begins to lift herself out of her fog and makes some important realizations about herself, which were the best part of the book for me.  I really loved the self-introspection of this novel.  When did I stop being a poet, Sarah asks herself.  What did I give up so my husband could pursue his dream of being a novelist?  He says he misses” “the old me,” but didn’t I give that up for him?  I really loved it when she asked herself these questions, and the conclusions Sarah came to.  I wish this had taken up more of the novel, as the first part, where she’s grappling with the consequences of her husband’s infidelity seems a bit too long.

Husband and Wife was an interesting novel.  Leah Stewart is a talented author, and she writes beautifully about the most horrible of situations.  Sarah was a deep and well-written character that I enjoyed getting to know.  Despite the fact that it was a bit depressing, I’m still glad I read this thought-provoking work.  It would definitely make a very good book club pick, as there is a lot to discuss within its pages.

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Comments

  1. You just described my feelings about Red Hook Road. Not happy subjects, these. But pretty relevant ones that brings the reader just a little bit closer to humanity. It is frightening when I look around me and acknowledge how many marriages are in the same situation…

  2. You just described my feelings about Red Hook Road. Not happy subjects, these. But pretty relevant ones that brings the reader just a little bit closer to humanity. It is frightening when I look around me and acknowledge how many marriages are in the same situation…

  3. This does sound like a sad book, but I do like those from time to time.

  4. This does sound like a sad book, but I do like those from time to time.

  5. Eek! Infidelity seems to be at the heart of so many novels I’ve read lately, and I’m getting a little tired of it. Definitely wears on your soul after a bit! Sounds like a thought-provoking read, though.

  6. Eek! Infidelity seems to be at the heart of so many novels I’ve read lately, and I’m getting a little tired of it. Definitely wears on your soul after a bit! Sounds like a thought-provoking read, though.

  7. What a nightmarish situation! I also have been reading a lot of books about infidelity in the past few months, and would hesitate to read another, but your description of how moving this one is turns my head. I think this might make an interesting read for me in the future, after I have gotten over my infidelity burn out. Very thoughtful review!

  8. What a nightmarish situation! I also have been reading a lot of books about infidelity in the past few months, and would hesitate to read another, but your description of how moving this one is turns my head. I think this might make an interesting read for me in the future, after I have gotten over my infidelity burn out. Very thoughtful review!

  9. I can’t even begin to think how the wife would feel in light of such revelations. Relevant but very sad indeed.

  10. I can’t even begin to think how the wife would feel in light of such revelations. Relevant but very sad indeed.

  11. I don’t mind depressing books too much so I’ll keep this one in mind. It sounds much deeper than I expected it to be. Thanks for the review!

  12. I don’t mind depressing books too much so I’ll keep this one in mind. It sounds much deeper than I expected it to be. Thanks for the review!

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