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Mary’s Pick of the Week The Husbands by Holly Gramazio



I’m celebrating 25 years of marriage this week, so The Husbands, a book about a husband-generating magic attic was certainly timely!


After a night out celebrating the impending nuptials of a dear friend, Lauren is shocked to be greeted at the door by her husband.  While she’s had quite a bit to drink that evening, she’s pretty sure she isn’t drunk enough to forget ever getting married.  Things get even stranger when Michael goes up to the attic to change a lightbulb and a completely different man comes down the ladder in his place.


In addition to getting used to a new partner, Lauren quickly realizes that slight alterations to her life occur with the onset of new husbands; different jobs, classier furniture and surroundings, and most frightening, the loss of her darling niece and nephew in one case.  


For as much as the husbands come fast and furious, Gramazio uses such well-drawn details that we can picture exactly why Lauren sends them back up the staircase.  There’s a host of lousy habits and behaviors that would doom many partnerships (bad beards, startling ankle grabbers and the like).  For all the laugh-out-loud moments, I found myself getting choked up on more than one occasion.  The author with just a few brushstrokes paints a nuanced picture of some of the men – even a few that end up winning Lauren’s heart.


Some husbands end up being repeat visitors, albeit unaware of their previous iterations and Michael is one of them:  “She has always hated being wrong, the idea of doing something that turns out to be an irredeemable mistake.  And with Michael she is always working out the best thing to do, and then doing it.  Figuring out the ideal way to be. (Gramazio 291)”  Lauren gets chance after chance to find the perfect man and Michael is one of the few that she’s willing to change for.  It’s fascinating watching Lauren’s character develop and progress throughout this story.  Many of the relationships, if you can call them that, are played for laughs but there are moments of true growth and introspection.

Fans of Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life will enjoy this funny and charming take on taking chances, making choices and learning along the way.

Categories: Books and More

Tags: Books and More

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