Thursday, August 12, 2021

The Husbands - Chandler Baker - Audiobook

The Husbands
by Chandler Baker 
Narrated by Allyson Ryan
Published August 3rd 2021 by Flatiron Books

Chandler Baker, the New York Times bestselling author of Whisper Network, is back with The Husbands, a novel that asks: to what lengths will a woman go for a little more help from her husband?

Nora Spangler is a successful attorney but when it comes to domestic life, she packs the lunches, schedules the doctor appointments, knows where the extra paper towel rolls are, and designs and orders the holiday cards. Her husband works hard, too... but why does it seem like she is always working so much harder?

When the Spanglers go house hunting in Dynasty Ranch, an exclusive suburban neighborhood, Nora meets a group of high-powered women--a tech CEO, a neurosurgeon, an award-winning therapist, a bestselling author--with enviably supportive husbands. When she agrees to help with a resident's wrongful death case, she is pulled into the lives of the women there. She finds the air is different in Dynasty Ranch. The women aren't hanging on by a thread.

But as the case unravels, Nora uncovers a plot that may explain the secret to having-it-all. One that's worth killing for. Calling to mind a Stepford Wives gender-swap, The Husbands imagines a world where the burden of the "second shift" is equally shared--and what it may take to get there. 

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4 Stars

With fun influence from The Stepford Wives and enough twists to keep you hooked, in Chandler Baker's The Husbands, it's the wives who do it all, who have the hotshot careers, who need their husbands to step up. Satirical in tone throughout, The Husbands is a psychological drama told in mixed mediums from the perspective of Nora Spangler and various online articles, forums, and social media posts. Nora is a lawyer looking to make partner after having her first child. While keeping her second a secret she pushes her husband to step up his game like the men from Dynasty Ranch, her dream community to live in. The men respect their wives, they do the household chores, they're, well, perfect. Nora is brought in as both a prospective buyer and as a potential lawyer for a wrongful death suit, but little does she know the wool is really being pulled over her eyes.

The men get to work and relax, while the women get to work and work and work. We hear this every single day, it's commonplace, and it's fun that Baker takes a true-to-life scenario and adds some science fiction thrill to it. It felt relatable, while also being totally impossible. Nora as the narrator is just fantastic, with so much sass and spunk, while also being incredibly smart. As the reader it was so easy to know what was going to happen, but I liked stepping into Nora's head while it occurred. While I think Baker missed the mark on making this a true thriller read, it had all the drama I could want and plenty to keep me entertained. It does drag on a bit and somehow she wraps up all the dirt and drama in the last 10%, but I still found myself totally enjoying The Husbands. I'd recommend this one to readers of suburban dramas, it's certainly a fun, relaxing day read.

Audiobook: The narrator of The Husbands is Allyson Ryan and she really does a fantastic job. Her voice really lends itself to the wealthy, elite women in The Husbands, but it does not work great at my preferred listening speed. Her tone is just so perfect, but at 1.5x it came across as quite shrill. I was able to listen to this while working and driving, so for me, as a busy woman, I have to say this audiobook was still great and I would recommend it.

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