Book Reviews,  Fantasy,  Humor,  Literary Fiction,  Magical Realm,  Romance,  Womens Literature

Book Review: The Husbands

The HusbandsThe Husbands by Holly Gramazio
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m a sucker for a good book blurb. I know how hard it can be to write one that’s short while also compelling. “Do you take this man? No? What about this one?” did it for me. I even managed to ignore “A Novel” on the cover – I usually shy away from novels who proclaim themselves to be such, as that means I’m likely to be entering the realm of Literary Fiction, which can be tedious stuff.

But the blurb hooked me, and in no time I’d settled into my favorite reading spot, cracked into the book, and was willing to give it my afternoon. It’s a longish book, so it took three of my afternoons to reach a conclusion I’d grown to greedily anticipate as I had absolutely no clue how this situation could be resolved.

While the premise may sound cute and fairy tale-ish, it’s anything but. Our protagonist and perpetual new bride in old marriages is Lauren. How her attic turned into a reality-changing space that switches out not only husbands but entire realities isn’t known, and not important. What IS important are the people it affects. That’s Lauren, her endless parade of husbands, and also Lauren’s family, friends, workplaces, and neighbors.

As the novelty of being able to change husbands as soon as one becomes annoying wears off, Lauren’s rationalization and actions become darker, more cynical. When she thinks she may have found ‘the one’ to stick with… well I won’t go into details because following the escalation of events is most of the fun.

Most of the people in this story, and there are many, are a mess. Author Holly Gramazio doesn’t flinch away from showing people at their absolute worst, when the situations call for it. And you’ll recognize people you know, and even yourself among them. In a nutshell, The Husbands is a scathing commentary on modern-day relationships. It shines a scolding light on how we treat hook-ups, dating, and marriage.

My thanks to author Holly Gramazio, Doubleday Books, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a digital advance review copy of this book. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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