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The Husbands: A Novel (Hardcover)

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The Husbands: A Novel By Holly Gramazio Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

The premise of The Husbands is unique, and amusing. Lauren comes home, drunk, from a hen party , and finds a man in her house who says he is her husband. Her flat is subtly improved, and a search of her phone reveals that they are indeed married and have been together for years. But when he goes into the attic to change a light bulb, he disappears, to be replaced by a new husband. It seems that there is an infinite supply of husbands and lives available from the attic. Over the course of a year, Lauren tries on husbands and lives, finally coming to the realization that she must choose a path in order to live fully in the present. Gramazio skillfully explores the ways in which the partners  we choose can inform our lives in so many ways, from the relationships with our friends and family to home decor and hobbies. This was definitely a book I found difficult to put down. Loved it.  

— From Robin's Picks

April 2024 Indie Next List

“Lauren is faced with a troubling situation — not only is she married to a complete stranger, she can also trade her husband in for a new one. The story leans into the wacky possibilities and bittersweet potentials that could tempt many of us.”
— Erin Pastore, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH


INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • READ WITH JENNA’S APRIL BOOK CLUB PICK • The Husbands delights in asking: how do we navigate life, love, and choice in a world of never-ending options? (“A bottomless champagne flute of a novel —The Washington Post)

When Lauren returns home to her flat in London late one night, she is greeted at the door by her husband, Michael. There’s only one problem—she’s not married. She’s never seen this man before in her life. But according to her friends, her much-improved decor, and the photos on her phone, they’ve been together for years.

As Lauren tries to puzzle out how she could be married to someone she can’t remember meeting, Michael goes to the attic to change a lightbulb and abruptly disappears. In his place, a new man emerges, and a new, slightly altered life re-forms around her. Realizing that her attic is creating an infinite supply of husbands, Lauren confronts the question: If swapping lives is as easy as changing a lightbulb, how do you know you’ve taken the right path? When do you stop trying to do better and start actually living?

About the Author

HOLLY GRAMAZIO is a writer, game designer and curator from Adelaide, currently based in London. She founded the experimental games festival Now Play This, and wrote the script for the award-winning indie videogame Dicey Dungeons. She’s particularly interested in rules, play, cities, gardens, games that get people acting creatively, and art that gets people interacting with their surroundings in new ways. The Husbands is her first novel.

Praise For…


“Delightfully addictive . . . a bottomless champagne flute of a novel.”
The Washington Post

"Charming...there’s plenty of intelligence and candor in the author’s creative spin on the conundrum of commitment."
Publishers Weekly

"Richly characterized, philosophical, and funny. I enjoyed all the husbands, even (especially?) the terrible ones. A time-bending gem about the way we live now."
Gabrielle Zevin, New York Times bestselling author of Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

"The Husbands is a wily and wonderful exploration of modern decision-making, kaleidoscopic and bright and very, very funny."
—Claire Lombardo, New York Times bestselling author of The Most Fun We Ever Had

"Brilliant, hilarious, surprising and wise. I devoured it."
—Naomi Alderman, New York Times bestselling author of The Power and The Future

"The Husbands is WONDERFUL: fresh, original, hugely entertaining and oddly comforting. . . . I laughed out loud countless times. . . . [This] was the most fun I’ve had reading in the longest time. It is an utter delight."
—Marian Keyes, bestselling author of Again, Rachel and Grown Ups

"Clever, fresh, inventive, The Husbands is wholly original."
—Louise O’Neill, author of
Asking For It

"The plot allows the author to explore current attitudes and approaches to dating and mating from a fresh perspective... A fun take on a big question."
Product Details
ISBN: 9780385550611
ISBN-10: 0385550618
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 352
Language: English