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The Husbands

"When Lauren’s husband goes up into the attic, he comes down a new man – literally – in Holly Gramazio’s brilliant high-concept novel about life-changing relationships. "

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

This unexplained supernatural event soon becomes commonplace for her – she goes from coming back from a night out in her original life, unmarried, to cycling through an array of spouses, familiar and unfamiliar to her from her old life. But how is she meant to know who is the best one for her, and what if she gets stuck with a rubbish one who she can’t force to go upstairs?

When Lauren’s husband changes, so does her life around her – the house, her job, her appearance, even which friends and family members she is still close with – as if this had been the man she’d always been with. It’s an excellent example of how an unreal concept can help bring clarity to relatable parts of the readers’ lived experience. This novel helped me think with new freshness about commitment and dating (which, though not explicitly compared in the novel, felt relevant to dating app culture), the ways in which we adapt and compromise to others, and as the best time-loop-esque novels do, concretised the butterfly effect, how our decisions have consequences on all the other options we make down the line: ‘She doesn’t always like the new versions of herself, but they help her understand the edges of who she might be.’

I absolutely loved this book. I always looked forward to returning to it, and it’s really stuck with me. Given that my attention span is rubbish and I’ve been typically reading shorter books, it’s also impressive that this is a longer book (450 pages, albeit in comfortably spaced paperback) kept my attention and its momentum. There are satisfying increases in the tension throughout, including a very fun twist in the middle with a favourite character. In fact, I think The Husbands was one of my favourite books of the year. 

Lily Lindon

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