Monday, June 7, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway: Husband & Wife CLOSED



My husband and I will have been married for four years this month (together for six). And while we love each other deeply and are dedicated to preserving our vows, things are not always easy. In our relatively short years together, we've had to overcome a lot. College. Careers. Miscarriage. Infertility. Parenthood. Life is not always roses, waterfalls and unicorns. We are happy, but we have the same struggles as any other couple. One of my favorite sayings is "you have to put up with the rain if you want to see the rainbow". So, I was understandably intrigued when I was offered to review Husband and Wife by Leah Stewart.

Husband and Wife is a complex new novel about humanity and self-discovery in the midst of marital turmoil.

Sarah Price is thirty-five years old, a mom to two small children and wife to her husband, Nathan. Ever the responsible one, Sarah put her passion for poetry aside for a stable job so that Nathan could concentrate on his fiction career. She is happy - until Nathan drops a bombshell. His upcoming novel, Infidelity, is not entirely fictitious.

At first, Sarah remains stoic, trying to forget about his deep, dark confession. But as time goes on, she falls into a downward spiral, reeling from Nathan's betrayal. She begins to question all that she once held sacred and suffers from a bit of an identity crisis as she reflects upon the past, searching for clues that could have lead to this moment. Tempted by an old flame and reminiscing on her artistic twenty-something life, which revolved around Proust rather than poopy diapers, Sarah takes us on a journey of self-exploration. Plunging the depths of her soul, she searches for the most essential version of herself. Poet? Wife? Mother? Can they ever truly coexist? And most importantly, where does she go from here? Should she stay or should she go?

I found this book to be very powerful and emotional, almost unnerving at times. While I have not had to deal with the same profound crisis in my marriage, I could relate a lot of myself to Sarah. While she was not a stay-at-home mom, I understood the sacrifices she made for her family. I, too, gave up a fledgling career I loved so that I could be home with my son. There are many times I wonder if I made the right choice in doing so. Once Sarah learns of the affair, she tries to compare herself to Nathan's lover in an attempt to make sense of it all. I could see myself reacting similarly, all of my self-doubt and insecurity rising to the surface.
If I'd finished my MFA a single woman, if Nathan and I hadn't decided to put our writing first, make do with part-time jobs, let the chips fall where they may, I probably would have followed this path. If I hadn't stayed with Nathan, if I hadn't yet had children, I would have a life very much like hers. Nathan wanted to be with the sort of woman I'd be if I hadn't been married to him.
I, too, ponder if I'm staying true to myself - the woman my husband fell in love with. I think about how much I've changed and sometimes I believe I would be hardly recognizable to my single, pre-baby, determined, career-minded, straight-A student self. Does my husband ever long for that Kristen back?

Sarah's feelings are so raw and believable, it's hard not to get sucked into her world of "what-ifs" and lost youth. Her simultaneous anger, sadness and confusion make for compelling introspection.
Picture a wrestling ring. Around the edge circled relief and love and anger and despair, and every so often a couple of them jumped into the ring and tangled and one of them emerged the victor, but mostly it was just them circling that blank gray ring in the center, the empty battleground.
I appreciated that the novel kept it real. The ending was no fairytale with storylines tied up in a neat little knot. It is messy, like life I suppose. The conclusion is not black and white; it lies somewhere in the complicated, gray area in which we all reside.

Bottom line: Husband and Wife is a heartwrenching yet earnest tale about self-realization and fortitude in the face of deception. Any woman could walk in Sarah's shoes, although I doubt we'd be as eloquent.

BUY IT: You can find Husband and Wife online at Amazon.com or at most major book retailers nationwide. (ARV $24.99).

WIN IT: Harper Collins is kindly giving away a copy of Husband and Wife to one lucky GGG reader!

MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Visit Harper Collins and tell me about another book you'd like to read. Remember to please leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile to prevent disqualification!

SUGAR ON TOP (BONUS ENTRIES): To maximize your chances of winning, you may do any or all of the following. Be sure to complete the above mandatory entry or your bonus entries will not count!

1.) Follow my blog and/or subscribe via reader or email. Comment telling me which method you chose. If you already follow or subscribe, that counts! (1 entry each)

2.) Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this contest. You can do this daily! You may use the following tweet or come up with one of your own:

#Win a copy of Husband and Wife: A Novel by Leah Stewart from @HarperCollins and @kris10chumley ENDS 6/21 http://bit.ly/9F7IQw

Just leave me a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry per day max)

3.) Add my button to your site and comment with a link where I can find it. (1 entry)

4.) Sign up for the Hot @ Harper newsletter and tell me the email address you used. (1 entry)

Giveaway will end on June 21, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. Open to U.S. and Canada. Winner will be chosen via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to congratulatory email or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest
review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. The thoughts and opinions expressed are purely mine. Your experience may differ.

107 comments:

suburban prep said...

There is a cookbook called The Pleasure Is All Mine that has intrigued me.

msgb245 at gmail dot com

debbie said...

The bucolic plaque looks like a funny read.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I am a gfc follower.
debbie penny
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Kim said...

I want to read: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man

Kim said...

follower

Kim said...

subscriber

walkabout said...

I would like to read "Sylvia Brown"
karenthaeter@hotmail.com

Benita said...

I'd like to read, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

Email subscriber.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

Follower via GFC.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

mindy said...

death echo thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dot net

5webs said...

I'd also like to read Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich.
Alicia Webster
5webs@comcast.net

McKim said...

I would like to read The Council of Dads

Mary said...

I would love to read The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman. I bet that would leave me laughing!

mryward(at)yahoo(dot)com

Rita M said...

I'd like to read Psychic: My Life in Two Worlds by Sylvia Browne.

Nicole C. said...

I would like to read Somewhere Inside
By Laura Ling, Lisa Ling.

choateorama(at)gmail(dot)com

Nicole C. said...

I follow on gfc.

choateorama(at)gmail(dot)com

Rebecca O said...

Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home
By Laura Ling, Lisa Ling looks like an awesome read as well. Thanks for the chance. bekki1820cb at gmail

Derinda said...

I would like to read A Duke of Her Own thanks for the giveaway

max_cd@sbcglobal.net

Derinda said...

I am following you on google reader
max_cd@sbcglobal.net

Derinda said...

I tweeted about your contest as steelerfanoh
http://twitter.com/steelerfanoh/status/15815253400

max_cd@sbcglobal.net

Diane52 said...

I want to read Act like A lady, Think like a Man
Diane Baum
esldiane@gmail.com

Diane52 said...

I want to read Act like A lady, Think like a Man
Diane Baum
esldiane@gmail.com

aledol said...

To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my all time faves!!
I'd really like to read "Somewhere Inside"

aledol said...

http://4tmama.blogspot.com
button Faves

aledol said...

EM

aledol said...

G rd~fd

aledol said...

GFC

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/15821400385

aledol said...

Have the Hot @Harper button @ my blog
http://4tmama.blogspot.com
same em

sohamolina said...

I'd like to read Somewhere Inside.

eddiem11@ca.rr.com

sohamolina said...

email subscriber---eddiem11@ca.rr.com

sohamolina said...

GFC follower---eddiem11@ca.rr.com

sohamolina said...

http://twitter.com/sohamolina/status/15825178793

sohamolina said...

email subscriber to Harper Collins

eddiem11@ca.rr.com

casey aubut said...

I would also love to read Psychic by Sylvia Browne!
cassandra@aubut.net

casey aubut said...

follower
cassandra@aubut.net

casey aubut said...

follower
cassandra@aubut.net

abfantom said...

I would like to read The Gardner Heist by Ulrich Boser.

abfantom at yahoo dot com

abfantom said...

I'm an email subscriber

abfantom at yahoo dot com

abfantom said...

I follow publicly via GFC.

abfantom at yahoo dot com

sohamolina said...

http://twitter.com/sohamolina/status/15862845703

littlelatina said...

sounds like a good read

Derinda said...

here is my daily tweet
max_cd@sbcglobal.net

http://twitter.com/steelerfanoh/status/15871090167

Deborah Wellenstein said...

I'd like to read Broke, USA. Thanks!

Carol W. said...

I'd like to read Somewhere Inside by Lisa Ling.

Carol W. said...

Email subscriber

wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

Carol W. said...

GFC follower

wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/15901486422

snowluvnferret said...

I'll read
The Council of Dads
by Bruce Feiler

that looks interesting

rugerpuppies at hotmail dot com

snowluvnferret said...

GFC Follower. :-)

rugerpuppies at hotmail dot com

megan said...

I'd like to read Insatiable by Meg Cabot. Loved her other books.

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/15976150732

sohamolina said...

http://twitter.com/sohamolina/status/16011776568

Proud Wife of a U.S. Soldier said...

I would also like to read Brava, Valentine A Novel. It looks very interesting & a good read for my vacation.

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/16050465675

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/16217323296

tantalizingtastes said...

Somewhere Inside By Laura Ling, Lisa Ling sounds interesting too!

Tarah
tarah716[at]ymail.com

sohamolina said...

http://twitter.com/sohamolina/status/16237302433

sweetsue said...

Don't Know Much About the Universe
By Kenneth C. Davis sounds interesting!
smchester at gmail dot com

sweetsue said...

I follow you on Google Friend Connect.
smchester at gmail dot com

JHS. said...

I really want to read Psychic by Sylvia Browne. I've seen her in person and find her fascinating.

Stop by my site and enter to win a copy of "This One is Mine" by Maria Semple!

JHS
Colloquium

jhsmail at comcast dot net

JHS. said...

Following on Google friend connect.

JHS
Colloquium

jhsiess at comcast dot net

Darcie K. said...

I would love to read Lowcountry Summer by Dorothea Benton Frank
dmkayes@gmail.com

Darcie K. said...

I follow via Google Friend Connect
dmkayes@gmail.com

Darcie K. said...

I subscribe via email!!!
dmkayes@gmail.com

sohamolina said...

http://twitter.com/sohamolina/status/16399945701

Jolee said...

Still haven't gotten to The Alchemist and would like to try. joleehamlin AT comcast DOT net

Jolee said...

email subscriber. joleehamlin AT comcast DOT net

sohamolina said...

http://twitter.com/sohamolina/status/16556404058

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/16579281248

aledol said...

http://twitter.com/aleshamom4/status/16579281248

luckycat1818 said...

I would like to read The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond.

luckycat1818(at)yahoo(dot)com

luckycat1818 said...

I follow with google friend connect as luckycat1818.

luckycat1818(at)yahoo(dot)com

jandsfox_143 said...

I would like to read Act like A lady, Think like a Man
jandsfox_143@msn.com

Louis said...

I'd like to read Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging

JD said...

Somewhere Inside

jdmimi at gmail dot com

Hotsnotty2 said...

I would love to read Act like A lady, Think like a Man, thanks!

Hotsnotty2@hotmail.com

captainjaneway said...

I would like to read somewhere inside.
George Ferris
k1n2@sweeps.ws

ECHOSIDE320 said...

"So Much for That" by Lionel Shriver...
I've heard about this book and never had the time to pick it up and start reading it.

Thank you for the opportunity to win.

ECHOSIDE320 said...

oh yeah, oops

brian_swp(at)yahoo(dot)com

Breanne said...

I would like to read Dragon Haven

Breanne said...

I follow via GFC

Breanne said...

I subscribe in a reader

saturdaynightfever said...

"Somewhere Inside" by Laura Ling and Lisa Ling!

edgenemmers@gmail.com

tina reynolds said...

I think it would be nice to read
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
By Steve Harvey thanks for the chance to win eaglesforjack@gmail.com

tina reynolds said...

I follow your blog

tina reynolds said...

i subscribe by email

tina reynolds said...

i signed up for the hot at harper newsletter

tina reynolds said...

I follow on twitter and tweeted http://twitter.com/mrstinareynolds/status/16729783950

FDP 4 Life said...

# Somewhere Inside
By Laura Ling, Lisa Ling
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

Nancye said...

I would like to read "Lowcountry Summer" by: Dorothea Benton Frank

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

GFC Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

email follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

subscribe via reader

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I follow you on Twitter and I Tweeted about this Giveaway
@NancyeDavis

http://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/16740954007

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I signed up to reacive the Hot@Harper newsletter with the email below

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Julie said...

I would also like to read Stories by Neil Gaiman, Al Sarrantonio

Julie said...

I'm a follower

Julie said...

I subscribe with email

Julie said...

I subscribe with google reader

Julie said...

I tweeted
http://goo.gl/7uFp

Julie said...

Your button is on my bar
http://goo.gl/tlMp

naynays1 said...

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man sounds like another good one. Thanks

mightynaynay(at)cs.com

1993wel said...

I'd like to read The Bucolic Plague.

tina reynolds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tina reynolds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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