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Husband and Wife    by Leah Stewart order for
Husband and Wife
by Leah Stewart
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Sarah and Nathan Bennett are married with two young children. At thirty-five Sarah is very responsible, always striving to do what is right. Sarah is a poet, but has given up on her dream so Nathan can follow his. Nathan writes fiction, and his new book, Infidelity, is soon to be released. Sarah works full time to help support the family, but struggles with everyday realities.

While on the way to a good friend's wedding, Nathan confesses to Sarah that he has had an affair. Sarah is stunned, but Nathan insists it was one time only and he is deeply remorseful. Reeling from shock, Sarah does not know how to handle this information. Will she be able to forgive him and move forward after he has betrayed her? Will she be able to make it on her own with the children?

Sarah looks back on her past and wonders if she made the right choices. She has given up so much of herself to please others. She thinks of her friend Helen from college, the two of them gradually losing touch over the years. An old love, Rajiv, who once kept in contact with her, is now just a memory. And her passion for writing poetry, also abandoned for Nathan. Now she questions herself on how well she really knew him at all.

After asking Nathan for time alone, Sarah packs the kids up and heads across country to Texas where she stays with Helen and begins to rebuild their friendship. She reunites with Rajiv and old feelings bubble to the surface. Sarah struggles to find her true feelings and begins a journey of self discovery. Is she a wife, mother, or an artist? Can she have it all?

Husband and Wife is a multi-layered story. It is sad, funny, and very thought provoking. As adults, can we step back and start over?

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