Husband and Wife, by Leah Stewart

Husband and WifeFinished 7-21-11, rating 4.75/5, fiction, 344 pages, pub. 2011

When Nathan and I married, I was a poet.  When we met, I was a poet.  When Nathan confessed, I was a mother, a business manager, a wife.  I’m not saying I held this against him.  I’m saying he held it against me.

Chapter 1

Nathan is a stay at home dad and author.  Sarah works a 9-5 job to provide financial stability for their family.  On the day the galleys arrive for his new book, Infidelity, Nathan confesses that he had cheated at a writer’s conference.  Sarah tries to stay sane, but after only a few days she kicks Nathan out and finds herself a mostly single mother.

This book spoke to me.  As a new mom, Sarah’s struggle to find her identity was one I could understand.  I think any mom and wife, especially ones with young children now, will find themselves nodding in agreement with many of Sarah’s thoughts.  I felt completely understood.

That being said, Sarah is no saint and some of the things she does are destructive and dangerous.  But Stewart does such a good job of making me understand Sarah that I never totally wrote her off.  I felt her pain.  I didn’t like Nathan either, he seemed like a loser with a capital L, until I started to understand their relationship and marriage- the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I love stories about marriage and all the complications that inherently make themselves known.  When one person cheats, can trust be restored?  Can she stay in the marriage?  When a woman becomes a mother, is she still the same woman she was before?  Should she be?  Is there a way to be a mother and retain your identity and your dreams?  Again, the identity issues are ones I’m struggling with right now so I loved this book.  As an older mom this passage made me nod my head,

“My mother was twenty-two when she had me.”

“My mother was twenty-five.”

“Can you imagine?  That was when we were in grad school.  Can you imagine having had kids at that age?  I didn’t even know who I was.”

She settled back into the couch cushions.  “Don’t you think knowing who you are makes it harder?  I mean, you know who you are, and then it becomes really hard to be who you are.” 

Chapter 16

For some reason this book inspired me.  It made me take a step back to look at me, not just the mom or the wife.  And then I had to go back to being mom, but those minutes mattered!  I highly recommend it.  I look forward to reading Leah’s other two books.

I bought this book on Tuesday night, read my post here.