Sarah Price is thirty-five years old. She doesn’t feel as though she’s getting older, but there are some noticeable changes: a hangover after two beers, the stray gray hair, and, most of all, she’s called “Mom” by two small children. Always responsible, Sarah traded her MFA for a steady job, which allows her husband, Nathan, to write fiction. But Sarah is happy and she believes Nathan is too, until a truth is revealed: Nathan’s upcoming novel, Infidelity, is based in fact. Suddenly Sarah’s world is turned upside down. Adding to her confusion, Nathan abdicates responsibility for the fate of their relationship and of his novel’s publication—a financial lifesaver they have been depending upon—leaving both in Sarah’s hands. Reeling from his betrayal, she is plagued by dark questions. How well does she really know Nathan? And, more important, how well does she know herself? For answers, Sarah looks back to her artistic twenty-something self to try to understand what happened to her dreams. When did it all seem to change? Pushed from her complacent plateau, Sarah begins to act—for the first time not so responsibly—on all the things she has let go of for so long: her blank computer screen; her best friend, Helen; the volumes of Proust on her bookshelf. And then there is that e-mail in her inbox: a note from Rajiv, a beautiful man from her past who once tempted her to stray. The struggle to find which version of herself is the essential one—artist, wife, or mother—takes Sarah hundreds of miles away from her marriage on a surprising journey. Wise, funny, and sharply drawn, Leah Stewart’s Husband and Wife probes our deepest relationships, the promises we make and break, and the consequences they hold for our lives, revealing that it’s never too late to step back and start over.
“Stewart (The Myth of You and Me) creates a crisis of faith where adult reality collides with youthful dreams, “the people we were and the people…we always thought we should be.” The writing is tactile, elemental, even comical, providing readers with a situation that could so easily be their own. Highly recommended.” —Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal *Starred Review*
“An unflinching look at what happens when one’s identity is shattered, and “what-ifs” and past choices come back to haunt the present. . . . . Stewart’s graceful prose and easy storytelling pull the reader into caring about what happens to the struggling heroine while exploring the many gray areas of life and marriage.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“Leah Stewart’s brilliantly written novel Husband and Wife is a deeply human book: funny, tender, smart, self-aware. When you read it you will laugh, you will cry, you will recognize others, you will recognize yourself.” —Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Castaways and Barefoot
“Hilarious, heartbreaking, and wise, Husband and Wife is a novel to savor. Stewart’s bright heroine is faced with an impossible choice—and I couldn’t put the book down until I’d followed her story to the end.” —Amanda Eyre Ward, author of Love Stories in This Town
“This narrative voice is so alive and specific that it moves past the idea of ‘narrative voice’ to become a human woman speaking to you. Sarah Price tells the story of how her life cracks open one day and of how she has to consider each piece of it in order to know which parts of herself she wants to keep, which parts she wants to reclaim, and what to do next. I cherish this wry, funny, aching, intelligent character and this book!” —Marisa de los Santos, author of Belong to Me and Love Walked In