Husband Material by Emily Belden
ARC provided by publisher for a fair review.
Publish date: December 30, 2019
After losing her husband unexpectedly, Charlotte drastically changed her life and now only those directly related to her late husband her parents know about him. Shes been keeping the fact that she’s a widow a secret from her roommate, coworkers, and other post-Decker friends that she has gained. Unexpectedly, Decker’s ashes are delivered to her home and she is left reeling from the grief she didn’t fully deal with. On top of all that, his best friend shows up to help deal with the ashes along with all the secrets that have been unfolding.
This sort of had a slow start. By 25% I was still waiting to really start connecting with the characters. But once all the players were on the field the story started picking up. I could slowly feel Charlotte start to unravel more and more, and when her expectations really start to misfire, that’s when my heart was cinched (That still didn’t happen till 57%). So I only docked a star because of the slow start. I really appreciated the rest of the story.
From the cover and title you might expect a grand romance novel rife with meetcutes and comedic relief. But this actually a montage of a woman who is still recovering from the loss of her husband. A woman who suffers from the occasional panic attack. It’s the realization that how she handled the post-traumatic experience very poorly in the respect that she basically shoved it under the rug. I love how the transition is handled from her high horse to her finally falling apart. If you’re looking for a cutesy romantic comedy story this isn’t it. While it does have a smidge of romance, its not quite the eeek and awwwww that you might think would come from this book looking at it on the shelf. While it was slow to start and didn’t have my heart in shambles over whether or not they romantic interests would end up together, I commend the writer for making a story that is visceral in its grief while still keeping it somewhat light.
What I really like about Charlotte is that she has learned to take care of herself. It takes her a lot to actually accept help from others, and it was something I could see a little in myself. People were just trying to be nice to her, but due to her lack of control in a scenario she backlashed in a way that put her in too much control. It just goes to show Newton’s third law in a emotional side, most actions call for an equal opposite reaction.
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