Category Archives: Stewart, Leah

Leah Stewart. Husband and Wife. New York: Harper, 2010.

Sarah Price has just learned that the novel her husband (whom she has been with for ten years) is about to publish is truth rather than fiction. Unfortunately for Sarah, the title of his new book is Infidelity, and his own cheating behavior was the inspiration for the story. Sarah’s life is turned upside-down. At 35, she is the mother of two – a three year old girl and an infant son – and the breadwinner of the family. Before Sarah and Nathan moved from Austin to Chapel Hill, the couple had been free-spirited artists who avoided conventionality. However, with two children, a mortgage, a car payment, and extensive credit card debt, Sarah had to give up her dream of being a poet to get a “real job.” As Nathan admits, part of what attracted him to the other woman was her unconventionality. She reminded him of the old Sarah, who was pre-children and preferred The Last Picture Show to Spider Man 2.

None of Nathan explanations do anything to make Sarah feel better about the situation. At first, she thinks that they can make it work as long as the book, sure to be a bestseller, does not get published. Publication would make them the subject of others’ speculation, which would be humiliating. However, knowing that her husband has been with another woman zaps Sarah’s confidence, and she begins to fall apart. She stops eating, snaps at her daughter, and leaves the house in the middle of the night to speed on the interstate. Sarah’s personality alternates rapidly: at various times she is a petulant toddler, a self-conscious teenager, or a distraught woman going through a mid-life crisis. Feeling like a failure, she longs for the acceptance and love of another. She misses the irresponsibility of her youth and the version of herself in graduate school. On an impulse, she drives herself and her children to Austin with the intention of meeting up with an old flame who is still enamored of her. Although Sarah succumbs to his advances, when Nathan flies to Austin in an attempt to bring his family home she must make a choice. Is getting back at Nathan as satisfying as she imagined? Will they ever be able to mend their relationship?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Orange, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Stewart, Leah