Thursday 24 June 2021

#BlogTour A Second-Hand Husband by Claire Calman

It's my turn on the Blogtour A Second-Hand Husband by Claire Calman.

About the Author

Claire Calman is a writer and broadcaster known for her novels that combine wit and pathos, including the bestseller Love is a Four-Letter Word. She has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Loose Ends. Her first book for Boldwood was published in June 2020. Sign up to hear more from Claire Calman, Follow @clairecalman on Twitter, on Bookbub,

About the book

Natalie and Carl are newlyweds, but the honeymoon period is over already. Carl has just announced he has bought their first home at auction without telling Natalie where it is, never mind showing her a picture of it.

Natalie is horrified to discover that the dream home is in Little Wyford, mere minutes away from Carl’s ex-wife Antonia. And to make matters worse, Antonia’s palatial country mansion has a fully-functioning roof (and a heated swimming pool!), unlike the ramshackle cottage Carl has bought for them…

Antonia is Little Wyford’s Queen Bee, mistress of the book club, organiser of the Christmas Fair and leader of the ladies-who-lunch. No matter how hard she tries, Natalie just doesn’t fit in, and when Antonia insists on referring to Carl as ‘Our Husband’, Natalie’s dreams of happily-ever-after take another nose dive.

Second-hand furniture has much to recommend it, especially when doing up a country cottage, second-hand clothes can be ever-so chic, but second-hand husbands are proving to be a very bad idea indeed… Can Natalie ever escape the label of Wife Number Two or is she destined to share her husband forever?

Hilariously funny, wickedly witty, but with a heart of gold and a warmth and wisdom that are all its own, A Second-Hand Husband is Claire Calman’s tour de force.


Some readers might have a tendency to cringe at Natalie's actions and low self-esteem, and they wouldn't be completely wrong to do so. It verges on embarrassing the way she stumbles politely and ever so apologetically from one situation to the other, where others feel free to mock and belittle her.

She lets herself be manoeuvred into being second best, an afterthought, the friendly mouse and the new wife who doesn't shine as brightly as the old wife. Her first mistake is letting her husband get away with picking a new house right next door to the ex-wife, without any input from her, then keeping stumm every time someone uses her as a doormat.

Oh boy, sorry not sorry, but Carl and his actions aren't romantic in any way shape or form. He has no respect for Natalie at all. Natalie in turn doesn't seem able to distinguish between what possible toxicity or a romantic gesture may look like.

It's story of family dynamics, with romance and how to rebuild trust and relationships when a ready made family needs to open the doors to a new member. Calman doesn't have to wade too far into fiction with this premise, which is probably why certain characters will evoke strong emotional responses.

Buy A Second-Hand Husband at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎ Boldwood Books pub date June 16, 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

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