The Husbands

A hilariously original twist on the romantic comedy, for fans of REALLY GOOD, ACTUALLY

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on Waterstones.com
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

1
To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add kindle@netgalley.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 4 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 4 May 2024

Talking about this book? Use #TheHusbands #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Description

USE THE HUSBAND GENERATOR: https://bit.ly/husbandgenerator

*A VINTAGE LEAD DEBUT* 

'The most fun I've had reading in the longest time' MARIAN KEYES * 'A time-bending gem about the way we live now' GABRIELLE ZEVIN * 'Brilliant, hilarious, surprising and wise. I devoured it' NAOMI ALDERMAN

You wait ages for The One . . . then 203 come along at once

One night Lauren finds a strange man in her flat who claims to be her husband. All the evidence – from photos to electricity bills – suggests he’s right.

Lauren’s attic, she slowly realises, is creating an endless supply of husbands for her.

There’s the one who pretends to play music on her toes.
The one who’s too hot (there must be a catch).
The one who makes a great breakfast sandwich.
The one who turns everything into double entendres (‘I’ll weed
your garden’).
And the one who can calm her unruly thoughts with a single touch.


But when you can change husbands as easily as changing a lightbulb, how do you know whether the one you have now is the good-enough one, or the wrong one, or the best one? And how long should you keep trying to find out?

USE THE HUSBAND GENERATOR: https://bit.ly/husbandgenerator

*A VINTAGE LEAD DEBUT* 

'The most fun I've had reading in the longest time' MARIAN KEYES * 'A time-bending gem about the way we live now' ...


Advance Praise

‘WONDERFUL: fresh, original, hugely entertaining and oddly comforting . . . I laughed out loud countless times . . . the most fun I've had reading in the longest time. It is an utter delight’ MARIAN KEYES

‘Richly characterized, philosophical, and funny . . . A time-bending gem about the way we live now' GABRIELLE ZEVIN

'Brilliant, hilarious, suprising and wise. I devoured it' NAOMI ALDERMAN

'Clever, fresh, inventive, The Husbands is wholly original' LOUISE O'NEILL

'The Husbands is a wily and wonderful exploration of modern decision-making, kaleidoscopic and bright and very, very funny' CLAIRE LOMBARDO

‘WONDERFUL: fresh, original, hugely entertaining and oddly comforting . . . I laughed out loud countless times . . . the most fun I've had reading in the longest time. It is an utter delight’ MARIAN...


Marketing Plan

*Exciting M+P campaign to come… including a Husband Generator, creative point-of-sale, quizzes and a competition for the most Basic Husband Bolognese!*

Husband Generator: https://bit.ly/husbandgenerator

*Exciting M+P campaign to come… including a Husband Generator, creative point-of-sale, quizzes and a competition for the most Basic Husband Bolognese!*

Husband Generator:...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781784745356
PRICE £16.99 (GBP)
PAGES 356

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send to Kindle (PDF)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 270 members


Featured Reviews

Brilliantly original, Holly Gramazio's book is a time-bending story of continuous choices, multiple possibilities and a trouble with finding the one good for you. Main character is Lauren, whose attic produces new husbands for her. Every time a husband goes up, a new one comes down. But which of them is the best? And who can guarantee that the real catch does not wait one attic away?
I was instantly drawn to this story because of the sheer amazing concept of it –I loved both the idea and the execution. The characters were flawed and believable, and perhaps because of that the book was very engaging. Who doesn’t wonder if the grass isn’t greener somewhere else? Think about this book as a cross between The Time Traveller’s wife and The Groundhog day – there is a humour in it but there is also a vulnerability of the unknown and love and affection. Altogether, a great book, I am looking forward to recommending it to everyone!

Was this review helpful?

Inventive, funny, readable and with a point to make!

Lauren lives a good life with her neighbours Toby and Maryam and her close friend Elena but when her attic starts generating husbands, and creating endless multi-verses for her to live in with them, then the fun really starts.

It’s a brilliant conceit because it plays on notions of perfection and, if you can just ask one husband to check for a noise in the attic, there’s another coming along.

Of course, that’s entertaining and distracting for a while but there’s no going back and it’s unlikely that any man is perfect – which produces any number of situations for Lauren.

Sometimes, the husbands are wealthy, sometimes they have good taste, sometimes they smell good and have nice bodies, sometimes she is in a universe where her friends are thriving and, always, she has marriage photos to look back on and even in-laws!

There are a couple of unexpected twists in the plot to help move things along as well as a twist in the tale at the end. It’s a great read!

Was this review helpful?

Really enjoyed this book - was a real page turner and I wasn't sure how it would end! A house where your attic generates husbands provides a surprising amount of twists and turns to life, particularly when they're not always the best housemate.
Lauren is a good character to spend time with as she's funny but not quite perfect, surrounded by a host of likeable friends and more of a mixed-bag of husbands. It made me glad that I don't have an attic so don't have to worry about any potential ethical choices or judging my relationship status!

Was this review helpful?

What an interesting and fun premise! I can’t wait to read/review and acquire this title for our location. It’s so nice to see fun unique books enter the book genre, I can imagine the women who are going to quite like this book. ;)

Was this review helpful?

my favourite book i have read this year! i could not put it down, loved the story, the characters and the authors way of writing.
a book i will recommend to all my friends

Was this review helpful?

I loved this so much! It's so refreshing to see something so unique entering the category and the premise reminded me somewhat of 'Bunny' which is a title I still think about... which will be the same for The Husbands!

Was this review helpful?

A truly entertaining read with a unique premise. The prose is accomplished and witty. There are moments of tenderness and yearning and the plot is well paced.

I really enjoyed this book, especially the butterfly effects and raced through it in 24 hours.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this. It was clever and funny and well plotted, and just when it risked becoming repetitive it upped the stakes. This book deserves to be a hit.

Was this review helpful?

The Husbands revolves around Lauren who, upon returning home to her flat in London, is greeted by a man claiming to be her husband, even though she is not married. The plot delves into themes of choice, love, and the search for happiness in the context of modern relationships and dating; blending elements of romance, mystery, and a touch of science fiction!
A really entertaining read.

Was this review helpful?

The high concept premise of The Husbands conceals a very perceptive novel about relationships and why people end up with the people they do. Also, what about the concept of the one, or the one that got away? It’s clever (but not clever, clever), funny and rewarding.

Was this review helpful?

Holly Gramazio's debut novel is witty, funny and heartfelt. She tells Lauren's story of multiple husbands that keep appearing in her attic with an amusing eye for the real world and relationships. The writing is light but intelligent and kept me gripped to the very end.

Was this review helpful?

Really enjoyed this light but well written story that was lots of fun but still rather gripping. Fully recommend

Was this review helpful?

An entertaining and unique high concept that is great fun and deftly executed, with a great sense of pace and humour.

Was this review helpful?

Fantastic premise for a book- a revolving loft hatch of husbands who exist in every world but are just not always married to Lauren in the world she occupies.
Lots of humour, lots of wholly unsuitable husbands and lots of tension as Lauren tries to find out how much else of her life may be different outside the flat!
I loved the characters, the descriptions (some so very brief) of the husbands and the decision making process she reaches about how and when to stop the merry go round.

Was this review helpful?

Lauren is happily single. That is, until she returns home one night, to her husband Michael. All evidence points to the fact that she's always been married to him, in fact, from the lock screen on her phone to her friends' memories of them.

Lauren thinks she's going crazy, or maybe someone is playing a prank on her, until Michael goes into the attic and after a flash of light, another husband appears in his place. In fact, every time a husband goes into the attic, a new one appears, and the world rewrites itself around the fact that of their marriage. But with the ability to change husbands and rewrite her life as easily as changing a lightbulb, Lauren must decide which life - and which husband - is the one she wants.

I adored this book. Fast-paced and funny with heart, I read it in two days. Each new situation Lauren finds herself faced with is intriguing, and I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. At times tense, sad, and thought-provoking, this is so much more than the light-hearted romance I took it for at first.

I would recommend this for anyone looking for a compelling and engaging read that explores the idea of lives not taken, and the different ways we can fall in love.

Was this review helpful?

Ahhhhh I was so excited to get this it was one of my top books to watch for this year and I can’t express how much of a privilege it felt to be able to read this early.
I thoroughly enjoyed every thing about this book, it was such a fun read and the best thing about this was there was no ways of time in figuring out the whole time aspect as one would in a time loop sort of situation Lauren just jumps right into it.
I must admit I don’t understand the lesson to be learnt by this book what exactly the premise was why did she have a magic attic I almost feel like I haven’t quite finished it. However it was one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a long time and I couldn’t stop imagining it as a movie I just wanted to see this play out on a screen I could not get enough of Lauren nothing she could ever do will make me hate her I’m on her side always l.
Lastly a big thank you to random house uk, vintage, net galley, and the wonderful holly gramazio for granting me the privilege to read this early considering this was one of the book I couldn’t wait for it’s definitely worth it I can’t wait to pick up my own copy.

Was this review helpful?

I bloomin loved this one, what an amazing concept to write about . Imagine if it were so easy to change husbands- haha.
I read some of the other reviews before I read it and have to say, I was a bit sceptical. However, no need! I couldn’t put it down and read i in just over a day.
It’s a 5 star rating from me- enjoy.

Was this review helpful?

An incredibly vivid, completely original story, which rather neatly sums up be careful what you wish for! The main character is so relatable you can't really judge her for her often questionable choices, and the other characters - though sometimes fleeting! - are distinct and believable. The writing is enjoyable, warm and funny, while the inventive plot carries you along with endless fascination for the what-ifs and what-nexts.
A thoroughly entertaining read!

Was this review helpful?

Loved this book! Very Cleverly written- the idea is brilliantly executed! Can we have this in real life please? Will be buying this book for some of my friends!

Was this review helpful?

There is already a buzz on The Husbands, similar to the kind of buzz that signals change in this book. Lauren is a single woman, who one day has a man she doesn’t know come down from her attic. He is a husband, but she discovers she can control the process by asking/threatening the husband to go back up. They range from the useless, to the sinister, to a despised billionaire and the situation gets rapidly out of control. So, how do you find happiness when you can’t find the right partner?

It’s an ingenious concept and Gramazio has the skill (in her first novel!) to explore the concept, twist it (how would you control it?) to twisting it again to give Lauren a chance of happiness - spoiler free, but let’s just say she’s not alone in having a magic portal. She’s also a dryly witty writer, with her slang for London (‘Zone Four Rich’) alongside Marian Keyes’ ‘feathery stroker’ as the best words to come from books in recent years.

It’s published by Random House on April 4th and I thank them for a preview of what will be one of the best reads this year. Curl, crack open a bag of Pretzel M&M’s and steer clear of your attic.

Was this review helpful?

I got this, because Marian Keyes said it was good, and I’m not disappointed! This is extremely funny and unique and fascinating and makes for a great bookclub discussion. I’m not even married and I spent most of my time, wondering what I would do about the husbands …

Lauren is a single woman with a magical attic which allows her to make spurious choices regarding her ever-spawning spouses. Really, that’s all that needs to be said isn’t it?

I laughed out loud while reading this at the end I felt quite sma wrench having to leave Lauren behind

Was this review helpful?

Oh this is brilliant!

Such an original and interesting premise.

Lauren comes home from a night out with her friend and a man opens the door to let her in to her flat. A man she’s never met before. A man who is actually her husband.

She works out that the husband appeared from the attic and when he goes back up there, he vanishes, only to be replaced by another one.

Lauren’s attic keeps giving her husbands.

Whilst coming to terms with her newly married state, Lauren fast cottons on to doing a quick Google of who the new husband is and tracks back texts and social media to piece together her life with the husband from before she sees him descend from the attic. Years of shared history that she DIDN’T share.

As the story progresses, we see the challenges Lauren faces, from the odd and sometimes annoying decor changes in the flat, to the downright alarming non-existence of her nephew and niece or the fact the couple downstairs become swingers in an uncomfortable night out!

We see how Lauren navigates each situation, including job changes, financial changes, the fact that with each new husband, everything that happened with the one before disappears… and the issue that some husbands are just a little bit worrying to be around. And we even see what happens when a husband decides he actually needs something from the attic and goes up of his own volition!

One day, Lauren realises the most recent husband might know a little bit about her ‘condition’ and the pair of them navigate the strange world they find themselves in.

I enjoyed this story so much, it’s written in such an engaging way, that what, in another, less insightful author’s hand, might turn into farce, is just fascinating, intriguing and entertaining.

I noticed that I was on 94% read and felt very sad that the story was almost over. There was so much else I wanted to see happen!

Such an enjoyable story, so well written, a cracker of a read.

I can’t wait to read more from
Holly.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the early copy.

Was this review helpful?

This is hands down one of the most absurdly brilliant books I’ve read in a while - it’s so fun, sparkling with silliness but with a lot of heart underneath.

The plot is absolute chaos, with a fast pace and quick chapters moving the story along as Lauren tries to figure out what the strange magic attack is up to. It turns from fear, to confusion, to shock to amusement and even enjoyment at her odd new life and endless supply of new and beautiful husbands. But of course, there’s a real bittersweet core there as Lauren tries to figure out what a perfect partner really means to her.

As the attic continues to switch out new husbands, we go through a series of hilarious, awkward, a little scary or embarrassing events with each man — all while trying to solve the mystery along with Lauren as it just gets more and more confusing. And of course, if she can’t solve it yet, she at least needs to find a decent one for her friends wedding next week or it’ll be ruined. There’s no complicated sci-fi or deep plot, just some fabulous fun and a lot of new men.

A delightfully bonkers romcom, original and refreshing - you’re bound to fall in love with the husbands.

Was this review helpful?

I only just realised I didn’t review this and I don’t know what I was thinking because I loved it so much! The first time the thing happens - no spoilers - it made me kick my legs with glee and then I had to put the book down for a bit because I was too excited. What a genius idea. The rest of the book didn’t disappoint. It’s so much fun and so clever, I’m in awe.

Was this review helpful?

I haven't even FINISHED this yet but I had to come and say how much I am ABSOLUTELY LOVING it. I am a total sucker for anything time travel, alternative reality, body swap etc - and this one not only delivers this through a fantastic, thought provoking concept, but does it with a knowing 'meta' perspective (e.g. the lead spends an afternoon binge watching time travel films), bags of humour (one of my favourite moments was when she rejected a husband because she couldn't be bothered to get to grips with the menstrual cup that version of herself used) and - to my surprise and delight - artfully observed, multi-dimensional characters who feel REAL. They have nuanced, interesting flaws that made me think, rather than just being caricatures. And when you're generating hundreds of husbands, it would have been easy to slip into caricatures or stereotypes. Finally, although as I say I haven't finished, I'm really appreciating that the narrative doesn't always do what I expect it to - sometimes I think I know what's coming and it doesn't, so a nice fresh approach.
UPDATE - I have now finished and the ending was perfect. I was quite worried how she was going to end it and trying to predict (a repeat husband? A new perfect husband? Happy with singledom?) but it was ideal - left me feeling uplifted, and I thought the change of speaker was a wonderful touch. Finally reflecting back, I like how the 'life lesson' didn't hit you over the head - the moral was done in a light touch way, nothing saccharine. Overall an immensely witty, intelligent, modern, fun and thought-provoking book.
I can't recommend this enough - am raving about it to all my friends.

Was this review helpful?

This book was INCREDIBLE! So inventive, funny and different from anything out there

The Husbands is the time-bending story of Lauren, who comes back from a hen party to find a man in her flat claiming to be her husband - and everything, from bills to photos, seems to indicate that he is right. She eventually discovers that her attic is producing an endless supply of husbands, some more to her taste and some not so much.

This book was just amazing! The premise was so original and the author managed to build an incredible story around it. I loved Lauren and the friend she makes throughout her journey (I can't say too much about him, but once you read the book you'll know who I'm talking about). This book really made me consider how each and every decision we make can take us on a different path, and her husbands were a product of those different realities possible for her.

Thank you so much to Chatto & Windus/Vintage/Random House UK and NetGalley for this eARC!

Was this review helpful?

This was fun! Every time Lauren sends her husband up into the attic, a new one comes down. They all have a history and a past together, and her life is different with each one. A great variety of personalities and experiences, this is a very entertaining book from start to finish. I love the fact you cannot guess exactly what will happen

Was this review helpful?

I requested this book from Netgalley because I thought the premise sounded fun: a single woman comes home from a hen do one night to find that she has a husband that she’s apparently been married to for 4 years. Then she discovers that every time her husband goes into the attic, he’s replaced by a totally different husband. This book was fantastic. Much of it made me laugh out loud, and I spent the rest of it knowingly smirking. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next, and I’m honestly a bit gutted that it’s finished. When this comes out in May, get it!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to the author and publisher for the opportunity to read this ARC, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I love The Husbands, it’s fun, contemplative, hilarious and really gets you thinking about what matters to the MC. I don’t know what I’d do if I suddenly had lots of husbands generated from my attic, but I certainly can’t wait to see what Holly Gramazio writes next. Five stars from me.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book and read it in one sitting. Brilliant writing, and a refreshing angle.

Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

A third of the way into this proof I knew it was something special and pleaded with the book gods to let the rest of it live up to my expectations. By the end I was thankfully not disappointed - in fact I clapped out loud and cried which may be a first when it comes to a book.

Holly has created a fantasy world in adult fiction that reminds me of the magic of discovering early Cecilia Ahern books. It is so multi-layered seamlessly providing commentary on many aspects of modern life; singleness, dating/swipe culture, control, vulnerability, selfishness and selflessness. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I feel personally challenged in many areas of my own life after reading this.

Husbands is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time and I’ll be the first to watch when the inevitable and highly necessary film comes out!

Was this review helpful?

Absolutely brilliant, loved it. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me an advance copy, I will definitely be recommending.

Was this review helpful?

This is a wonderful example of women's contemporary fiction. The device of the husbands, which could have become somewhat repetitive and wearisome, is used really cleverly as a device to explore relationships and the nature of attraction. Although the novel begins lightheartedly, it becomes more serious as it goes along, as the protagonist realises that she's on a treadmill that she can only get off by choosing to keep a husband. The additional benefit of the attic - to reset time and wipe out past actions and mistakes - is also two-edged - mined for comedy, but also introducing the protagonist to a genuine dilemma: how unethically can you behave when you know you won't take any responsibility for your actions?

I am not currently teaching a module specifically on contemporary women's writing, but this would be a good candidate for the reading list. It's accessible and inventive, but uses humour as an entry point into wider and darker issues. It's very cleverly done, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Was this review helpful?

Very funny and engaging read by Holly Gramazio. I was hooked from early on and every twist and turn had me hook, line and sinker.

Loved the premise of the revolving door (attic!) of husbands that come into Lauren’s life and how she appraised and tried to deal with each of the new arrivals, as well as changes in her life. The novel nicely addressed that not every scenario was going to be a blissful one and dealt with even uncomfortable ones in a swift but effective way.

Really enjoyed Lauren as a character at the centre of all these scenarios. Her plotting, scheming and choices in attempts to return to her regular life or find one she enjoys were a joy to read. I was kept guessing throughout and worried that the ending couldn’t match the quality of the story but was pleasantly surprised and came away satisfied at the conclusion.

Would certainly recommended this book and look forward to more from this author in the future.

Was this review helpful?

This is a novel concept for a book in which Lauren, the MC, somehow ends up with an attic that keeps generating new husbands for her.
Lauren is an unmarried young woman coming home from an innocent night out with her friends when she stumbles up the stairs to her flat and finds a random stranger already in her home.
After a bit of confusion, she discovers that she is in an alternate universe where she is married, but she can't remember how or when she met her husband, their wedding, or anything else.
Then she finds out that the attic is doing a 'thing', where if the husband disappears up there, he disappears, sending her another in his place.
It's not like Groundhog Day, where you relive the same 24 hours again and again. Instead, life continues, and her life changes with every husband's change.
I was intrigued by the whole idea of this. She could search and search for perfection, sending the faulty hubby back to the attic for another, but let's be honest. It's not a sustainable life? Is it?
I loved reading and just had to get to the end to find out what Lauren chooses to do because I'm not sure I could live an infinite loop of husbands...
Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for an ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Many thanks to Netgalley and Random House for an arc of this book in return for an honest review.

4.5 stars rounded up.

Lauren returns home from a hen party to discover she has a husband who she has never met before. She soon realises that if a husband goes up into the attic her whole life resets (although time is still passing) and she has a new husband. She soon realises they are all people she could have met if her life had gone just a little differently. Join her as she tries to find the perfect husband, and which version of herself she can live with.

This is SUCH a fun premise and makes for a really interesting read. I found myself flying through it at times and not wanting to stop reading. The character development that Lauren goes through is SO real and I just love that even with an endless supply of husbands finding the right one is such a struggle.

I really loved the lives not taken and there is one husband that I really am glad we got to meet. Although quite a few of the themes covered in this could be quite heavy, it’s lighthearted and an enjoyable read. It’s a really easy read, and very compelling.

I both loved and didn’t enjoy the ending - I wanted a bit more - but in a lot of ways that wouldn’t have worked for this novel so maybe a sequel would answer the questions I have. But at the same time that would also ruin the ending so who knows. I’ll certainly be looking out for more of Gramazio’s books.

Was this review helpful?

Highly entertaining story, that kicks off immediately with the arrival of husband no. 1.
We follow Lauren, who's attic keeps delivering her different men 'husbands'. As soon as one disappears into the attic, another comes out.
This was such a laugh-out-loud story, with plenty depth to make it work. Read in one evening, and highly recommend.

Was this review helpful?

Oh this book is funny! I don't remember the last time I laughed out loud at a story so much, and I had to keep sending snips to my daughter to laugh at too.

Lauren is wife to the husbands... the husbands who suddenly start descending her attic ladder, when she didn't even know she was married. She has to work out who they are, how they met, whether she likes them enough to let them stick around - or invent a job in the attic whereby she'll get a new husband to try.

There's a great twist partway through that perhaps I should have anticipated, but didn't. All in all, this is a really fun, light hearted read that will get you imagining just what might happen...

Was this review helpful?

Lauren comes home from a night out to find a husband waiting for her. A husband she didn't know she had, and who has suddenly appeared from her attic. When he goes back in to the attic, another husband arrives. Then another. Every time she has to work out what's changed, when they got married, how good their relationship is and then how to get rid of them. Or how to stop them going into the attic again.

It's a clever concept, and I really enjoyed this! I liked all the side characters, like Tony and Maryam, Lauren's sister Nat, and Elena, with their slightly different characteristics depending on which reality Lauren's in this time. I also really liked Bohai - the one husband who knows what's happening, because she's not his first wife either. How the plot worked out was well done, I was getting close to the end and wondering how on earth this was going to finish, but it managed to be satisfying and consistent with the rest of the plot.

I look forward to reading more by Holly Gramazio!

Was this review helpful?

Funny, page-turning and so well-written, THE HUSBANDS is a real breath of fresh air! I’m just gutted that we never really find out *why* it happened, but if you can put that irritation aside, a 5-star must-read for 2024.

Was this review helpful?

This is so much fun, probably one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in ages.
And it was so thought provoking as well, I can honestly say that I have no idea how I’d react if such an impossible thing happened to me, but I can’t stop thinking about it.
It’s such a bonkers concept, and yet the author brought it to life perfectly. I think this could be a great choice for book clubs, you’d learn so much about your fellow readers.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book, such a different concept and story and brilliantly written. It was humorous and thought through with some deeper thinking underlying it. A great book club read or perfect for some escapism

Was this review helpful?

When I first started reading this book I thought I was going to dislike it. How wrong I was.

When Lauren comes home from a night out to discover she’s married she really can’t understand why she can’t remember him. She then realises that every time her husband goes into the attic a different husband comes back down. Which husband do you you choose to keep?

I really loved this book. Funny and endearing.

Was this review helpful?

A great idea for a story! Lauren has been unlucky in love. She wants to find the one. When she returns home from a drunken night out, she finds a man in her house waiting for her. She has no idea who he is but he says he’s her husband! When he goes into the attic to fetch something, he disappears and another ‘husband’ descends! What follows is a great story of husbands coming and going depending on whether Lauren likes them or not. Some she sends back to the attic on the pretence of fetching something and others disappear when she would like them to stay! Very funny but poignant too!

Was this review helpful?

An unusual premise for a novel - a series of husbands appear from the attic and Lauren must decide what she's really looking for in 'the one'. Funny, charming, thought-provoking and with a twist I didn't see coming, this was both an interesting and entertaining read.

Was this review helpful?

In a nutshell, Lauren has an attic that produces husbands. A different one every time the current one goes up there. Not only does her husband change but some aspects of her life change as well.
The husbands is like nothing I've read before. It is a really weird, hilarious and highly original idea for a book that definitely works in my world (I'm a 70 year old granny who is usually a crime and thriller fan)! So I'm sure it will work for younger readers as well.
I couldn't put this book down. I kept thinking just one more chapter, just one more husband......and another hour had past! I was a bit concerned about how she was going to wrap it all up but even this was done in a very imaginative and satisfying way. Very funny, very easy to read and very enjoyable. Recommended to all.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy. All opinions are my own

Was this review helpful?

I loved this fabulous book - what perfect escapism!

Lauren comes home from a night out to find her husband waiting for her. Except she's not married! Initial chaos ensues but when Lauren realises that by sending her husband up to the attic, a different one comes down, she starts to work through them at speed, rejecting them for various, sometimes small, and often hilarious, reasons.

I really enjoyed the wider impacts of Lauren's choices, as every time she switched husband, there was an impact on everyone she knows and sometimes she would find those people weren't in her life, in that current parallel universe. She discovers that she can call into work sick - if she even works at the same place - as her sickness record will reset when she send the current spouse up the ladder to the attic, similarly, spending money she doesn't have will reset. But when her mysteriously magical life starts to become a chore, Lauren has to choose what she really wants from life and from her husband.

Such a great concept and really fun to read.

5 ⭐️ Thanks to Netgalley, Holly Gramazio and Random House for an ARC in return for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Oh Lauren what fun you have! This book grabbed me by the scuff of the neck and dragged me through a rollercoaster of shenanigans. What would you do if you had a magic attic that, each time a husband walked up the ladder, a new husband came down? What a unique premise and one I really enjoyed. There were some laugh out loud moments, and some poignant ones. I just hope Holly has some more ideas as I can't wait for her next book!

Was this review helpful?

One of my favourite books of the year so far, I’ve not read anything like it!

The story opens with Lauren returning to her flat which she co-owns with her sister after her best friend, Elena’s, hen party. But there is a man in her house, and he seems to know her. In fact, there are pictures of the two of them on her phone and wedding photos. The following morning the ‘husband’ goes back to the attic and a new ‘husband’ comes down.

Lauren figures out that the attic is giving her a new husband each time they go up to the attic and goes on search of the perfect future.
I enjoyed the way it makes you look at the infinite ways your life might have taken a different turn if you had made a different choice somewhere along the way. With infinite possibilities, how do you decide which is the best husband to stick with?

My one frustration was that we never found out why the attic suddenly started producing husbands.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced reader copy.

Was this review helpful?

This book had my laughing out loud and feeling thoughtful. A great idea ( for a book) and made me want to send the old man up into the loft to see if it worked. Deep down though it is a book that looks at what a perfect life is (if such a thing exists) , aspirations and FOMO. Loved it.

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely loved this book! The plot flowed well, I really liked the main character, Lauren and I had no idea where the story would go which was just brilliant. I cannot praise this book enough, a must read! I’ll definitely be recommending this to friends. Thank you #netgalley

Was this review helpful?

Pick up this gorgeous hug of a book and get transported to a beautiful place wraps itself round you like a cosy blanket. It has warmth, charm, laugh-out-loud moments and a wistful nostalgia. I absolutely loved it.

Was this review helpful?

I choose to read this book because it sounded a bit quirky and I thought I’d give it a whirl – I didn’t really expect to like it to be honest but I was SO wrong! This book could have been written for me.
We follow Lauren who comes home from her best friend’s hen party to find she has a husband she’s never met. He seems a nice enough fellow, but she doesn’t really want to share a bed with a man she’s never met before. She discovers if she sends him back to her attic, she gets a totally new ‘husband’. So ensues a range of husbands, good, bad, ugly, handsome, rich, poor, every nationality and ethnicity possible. All of whom she has a history with, who know her friends, family and neighbours and whom she married with wedding photos to prove it despite having no memory of the wedding itself. Also, her life changes with the new husbands – new job, new decoration in her flat – new sofas, wallpaper, etc, sometimes new friends too. All this means she doesn’t need to commit to anything because she can just change everything up by sending him up to the attic.
She comes to the conclusion that all these men are people she could have matched with if her life had taken a different turn. Some turn up more than once, whilst some she’s pleased to get rid of and others she mourns. Some turn up and aren’t her husband in the new world and others she can track via social media in her next life.
Above is essentially what you can get from the blurb, but the novel is so much more. There are so many roads taken in this book – so many what ifs addressed that it is totally gripping, and the fantasy element keeps you guessing – I couldn’t see what the writer was going to pull out of her hat next.
I loved this book so much, I loved the characters, the plot, the themes, the setting was so pitch perfect and detailed. I loved the tangled situations Lauren gets herself caught up in, her easy going philosophy and her desire to send back the husband and try another one – just one more please! It’s also very funny and had me cackling away. I can see that some people might find it a bit gimmicky, but I loved that aspect of it, it is such a totally different way of being stuck in a time loop/alternative universe narrative – and I appreciated that! (Also those, whilst brilliant, don’t tend to be funny.) Even the ending – not quite the one I hoped for, works and is very satisfying.
It’s a bit like a combination of Groundhog Day and Matt Haig’s Midnight Library – but without the depression. I can’t recommend this enough – I read it in one day and couldn’t put it down and can’t wait to see what the writer does next. My thanks to the writer, publisher and Netgalley for the free ebook in exchange for a review.

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely adored this book. Lauren is clever and was fun to follow, and the premise is so unique. The “twist” in the middle was perfect, I thought, and I was so curious how she would wrap it up, but I loved the ending. Highly recommended!

Was this review helpful?

Hilarious, unique story about a magic attic and more husbands than anyone would know what to do with. The world needs books like this more than ever now.

Was this review helpful?

If you enjoyed "The Time Travellers Wife" you will love this book. Lauren discovers her attic can create an endless supply of husbands for her which she can change simply by sending them back there.

It is the best and funniest read that I have had for ages, brilliant plot and satisfactory ending.

Was this review helpful?

"The Husbands" by Holly Gramazio is a delightful rollercoaster of a debut novel that revels in the complexities of life, love, and choice. Lauren's surreal journey, encountering multiple husbands and alternate lives spawned by her attic, is both hilarious and thought-provoking. Gramazio crafts Lauren as the perfect protagonist for this whimsical tale, blending her carefree attitude with moments of depth and introspection. As readers follow Lauren's escapades, they're treated to a witty exploration of the infinite possibilities life offers and the challenges of making meaningful decisions.

The narrative seamlessly weaves humor with deeper themes, prompting reflection on the nature of contentment and the pursuit of perfection. Amidst the laughter, there's a poignant undercurrent as Lauren grapples with the loneliness of being the sole bearer of her memories. The novel's strength lies in its ability to balance whimsy with emotional resonance, drawing readers into Lauren's world and leaving them contemplating the value of embracing life's quirks.

At its heart, "The Husbands" is a celebration of life's unpredictability and the beauty of embracing the unknown. With its engaging characters, witty dialogue, and thoughtful exploration of existential questions, this book is a must-read for anyone seeking a captivating literary escape. Highly recommended for those who enjoy a dose of cheeky humor and a dash of existential pondering.

Was this review helpful?

Between requesting and reading this book I'd forgotten the premise, so when I started reading it felt like I was in the same position as the main character, Lauren. Who was this man? Where had he come from? How come she didn't remember him? Why had her flat decor changed? I really enjoyed this feeling, and it was a great way to read the book.

I loved this book, I loved that it got straight into it from page one, it hooked me straight from the start and I love the characters developed as it went through and changed depending on the circumstances.

I did wonder how it would end, and I was not disappointed I really feel that it was a great ending and perfect for everyone.

The writing was amazing and I genuinely can't wait to head more from Holly. I've already recommended it to several friends as I need to talk about it with everyone.

I'm also nervous about sending my husband into the loft!

Was this review helpful?

The Husbands is the best thing I have read in absolute ages, and manages to tie a very readable and fascinating high concept, with a very enjoyable authorial voice and consistently funny comic tone. There is a problem with original high-concept ideas that the central idea is either not developed enough to satisfy the intellectual demands of the concept, or that the idea doesn't necessarily mean that the narrative built around it is as interesting as the premise itself. The Husbands solves both of these problems with breezy ease, and also manages perhaps the hardest thing once all its wheels are set into motion; it has a satisfying ending that feels correct.

The set-up: Lauren is single, has a nice London flat that she owns with her (now married and moved out) sister and some downstairs lodgers. She arrives home after a wedding to discover a complete stranger in her flat who claims to be her husband. And the rest rest of the world agrees; her bills, photos, her sister and downstairs neighbours. It is as if she has turned up in a parallel universe, and it obviously freaks her out. And then when she is trying to make a go of it, he pops into the attic and another completely different husband comes down, and this new world shifts around the her married to him. And repeat. Every time a husband goes in the attic, he gets replaced - whether she likes it or not.

What is great about this scenario is that it gives Gramazio the opportunity to sketch a plethora of modern men, one-paragraph comic summaries which show the breadth (or dearth) of the field in modern London. Like a cosmic Tinder she can work through them, often finding plenty of positive traits before finding their flaws, hoping for something better next time, or - as in one scenario - accidentally losing one she really, really liked. There is a lightness of touch to the writing that always keeps things fun even when deeper philosophical questions are popping up (its a scenario that can deal with loveless marriages, depression and coercive control), and a number of running gags that hit perfectly. Lauren is a well-drawn and relatable protagonist, and the secret of the book's success is how Gramazio unfolds the rules of her husband swops almost in perfect synchronicity with the audience raising another question. Lauren tests the scenario in various ways, tries to work out what is happening in the attic, and the more she understands the more the world unfolds for us as readers. It is a multiverse novel without being a multiverse novel, where the only variable is her getting married a few years back, but all the husbands are plausible: ones who got away, a few times her skeezy ex, and its instructive to see how being with someone changes her life and relationships with others. Slowly but surely Gramazio adds more wrinkles to the magic (and much like most Groundhog Day scenarios, the why is never explained and doesn't need to be). I've not read anything that could happily sit as comic novel, state of the nation, chick lit, and fantasy sci-fi so comfortably and also so addicting to read. A real triumph, it deserves to be a big hit.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this tale of changing your husband when you are fed up of him, or even when you don't like the look of him. Or how you are with him. Every time Holly's husband (that she didn't recall marrying) went up the attic, a new one returned. This was a lightweight story but with heart.

Was this review helpful?

The Husbands by Holly Gramazio

Lauren comes home one night and finds a husband coming down from the attic in her flat! She doesn't know him and doesn't remember getting married but her phone contains photos and messages that confirm it to be true. Even more bizarre is the fact that when the husband goes back into the attic he is replaced by another one... and repeat... Lauren has over 200 husbands over the course of a year before a shocking event makes her question everything.

Wow what an AMAZING book, I absolutely loved it! Such an original idea and brilliantly executed. Fresh, funny, wise... one of my favourite books of the year so far. Very VERY highly recommended.

Was this review helpful?

Original and very funny and a really quick read. Absurd storyline but it sort of works in a weird kind of way. Makes Elizabeth Taylor look kind of almost conservative with her number of marriages. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the chance to ARC this book.

Was this review helpful?

'The Husbands' is a clever, original and highly entertaining multiverse romantic comedy. Lauren is single, but when she returns from her best friend's hen night she discovers a strange man in her flat. Stranger still, he claims to be her husband, and even more strangely, his claim appears to be corroborated when Lauren checks her phone, photos and bills. Strangest of all, when this husband goes up to the attic, a totally different man descends who also appears to be her husband - and the same happens again, and again, and again, on a strictly one-in, one-out basis.

Lauren's 'magic attic' is a brilliant premise for a novel, and Holly Gramazio exploits this for maximum comic potential. Lauren's predicament presents a number of logistical challenge which require considerable ingenuity to resolve. How do you catch up on months or years of shared history with each new husband of which you have no recollection, let alone all the changes to your work, family and relationship in each new life? And how do you coax each husband back into the attic when you've had enough of them, when some are unwilling to return there (or even physically incapable of doing so?) Lauren gets through hundreds of husbands, and some of the funniest are the ones who only appear for a few seconds before Lauren changes her mind, their entire personalities encapsulated within a single trait :
'205 doesn't trim his nostril hair. No.
206 is wearing a hat with a little brim even though he is sitting and watching television on his own sofa. No.
207 is angry because he has an important meeting and no clean shirts, and perhaps this is fair of him, perhaps they have negotiated an equitable division of housework and the laundry has fallen to her and she has let her side of the agreement slide, but: no thank you.'

Alongside the many laughs, however, Gramazio is able to ask serious questions about love, relationships and happiness, many of which feel particularly apt in the age of dating apps and seemingly limitless choice. With a constant supply of new husbands and new lives to go with them, how can Lauren choose when to settle for one and give up on the hope of anyone better coming along? And Lauren gradually realises it is not just the husbands that change: she is also a different person in each marriage, so must also decide how much she likes the version of herself that she has become with each husband.

Despite the apparently repetitive and predictable formula, Gramazio includes plenty of surprising twists which make for gripping reading and give shape to Lauren's story and growth as a character. This deserves to become one of the biggest hits of 2024, and I can see it making a great screen adaptation too. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an ARC to review!

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: