Monday, July 12, 2010

Husband and Wife

Leah Stewart's book Husband and Wife is a look at a marriage up close after one spouse has broken their marriage vows. Nathan, a writer, is about to have his novel (aptly titled Infidelity) published. One night as he and his wife are getting ready to attend the wedding of a friend, he decides to admit that his novel, while not based on his own infidelity, does have some basis in fact. Sarah, his wife, tries to go about life as normal, keeping her daily routines, yet after a short span of time passes, realizes how different she feels about things. She begins to reflect on their past as well as what may have led them to this place in their marriage. Stewart's ability to convey the way Sarah's mind works - at first keeping up the front of normalcy, then becoming angry, followed by desire to "get back at" her husband- are feelings that many women in this situation may be able to identify with. While Sarah tries to decide whether she should stay with Nathan or move on, we can see the various reasons she uses while making her decisions. To go or stay is not revealed til novel's end; for me it was less about what Sarah chose than the way she thought about how her decision would affect her family.

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