Icon Tag: Women's Fiction

🎧︎Take My Husband by Ellen Meister

Posted on September 22, 2022 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 6 Comments

In 🎧︎Take My Husband, Ellen Meister gave her readers a twisted, unconventional and strangely humorous tale. Despite the craziness of the situation, the story held me captive from start to finish.

 

🎧︎Take My Husband by  Ellen MeisterTitle: 🎧︎Take My Husband
Author(s): Ellen Meister
Narrator(s): Stacey Glemboski
Published by Harlequin Audio on August 30, 2022
Pages: 400
Length: 11 hours and 45 minutes
Genre(s): Dark Comedy, Women's Fiction
Source: Netgalley, Scribd
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon|B&N|Kobo|Audible|ITunes
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Only one thing stands in the way of Laurel Applebaum's happiness…Doug Applebaum.
In this darkly comic novel about a wife whose rope is so frayed it's about to snap, Laurel gets a call that her husband has been in an accident. She imagines the worst. But as she is on the way to the ER, another emotion seizes her. Relief. Doug's death could solve all her problems. No more catering to his incessant demands. Then there's the insurance money. Laurel's dreams seem so close. There's just one problem: Doug is very much alive. Now Laurel has to decide if she is going to do something about it.
Subversive, irreverent and surprisingly poignant, Take My Husband probes the deep corners of a marriage and emerges to find the light. For anyone who's spent a little too much time with a significant other and thought, One of us has got to go.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

 

Laurel Applebaum has been married for thirty years. However, it was not thirty years of wedded bliss. Therefore, when she received a call from the hospital informing her that her husband had met in an accident, she was on cloud nine. Yes! You read right. She began imagining what her life would be like without Doug in the picture. Access to the funds from his insurance policy, and all the things she could not have in the thirty-year marriage. Most importantly, she would not constantly be at his beck and call. However, upon her arrival at the hospital, she would be in for a big disappointment, as Doug was very much alive. Disappointed, she began plotting, with the aid of a coworker, a myriad of ways to get rid of her husband. She feels justified in her reasons for wanting her gone forever. 

I may not have been able to relate to Laurel, but I found her character quite interesting. For thirty years, she fell prey to Doug’s manipulations. He never seems able to do anything for himself. Making his coffee, fetching the newspaper, making his own coffee and setting his appointments were all done by Laurell. Then, to make matters worse, his jealousy over the years has grown intolerable. She’s had enough, but a divorce would mean no insurance payout, so he had to die. The question is, how will she accomplish her goal?

Honestly, Laurel’s attempts to off her husband cracked me up. Not only did I laugh at her attempts, I cheered her on. The author did a wonderful job of portraying Laurel’s unhappiness in her marriage. In doing so, she nudged the reader in the position of feeling sympathetic towards her situation. For her to be harboring these thoughts to the point of putting them into action shows how far down the rabbit hole she ventured. Laurel’s journey towards self- discovery was fascinating despite the many wrong turns she made. Fortunately, she found her way in the end.

The secondary characters added another dimension to the story. One in particular had my alarm bells ringing like crazy. The story ended on an interesting note, with both parties receiving what they richly deserved.

I enjoyed the Narration. Stacy Glemboski delivered a solid performance, bringing the characters’ personalities to life.

Overall, 🎧︎Take My Husband delivered an entertaining tale. If you enjoy dark humour blended with women’s fiction, then this makes a great addition to your reading list. 

 

Story Evaluation
Plot
4.5
Characters
4.5
World Building
4
Writing Style
4.5
Pacing
4
Cover
2.5
Narrator (Audio)
4.5
Enjoyment
4
Ending
4
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

 

EXCERPT

Laurel Applebaum heard a familiar ringtone as she shuffled toward the lockers at Trader Joe’s, tired and spent after a full day on her feet. Was that her phone? Her first instinct was to rush, but she stopped herself. It was probably her husband, Doug, with one of his inane emergencies, like running out of chocolate-covered almonds. God forbid he should go ten minutes without a snack.
The phone rang again, but still Laurel didn’t pick up her pace. She could have—there was always a little reserve left in the tank—but she decided to indulge in her end-of-the-day crankiness, even though she might pay for it later, when Doug started whining about his deprivations. For now, for this one moment she had to herself, it felt like a miniature vacation.
Sometimes, Laurel told herself she should get a job where she could sit all day, like her sister-in-law, who answered phones in a doctor’s office. Then Laurel would look at her co-worker Charlie Webb, who was more than twenty years her senior and the fastest cashier they had. Always smiling, he was beloved by staff and customers, and Laurel thought of him as a cross between Kris Kringle and the philosophical deathbed guy from Tuesdays With Morrie. He made her laugh. And want to be better.
By the time Laurel opened her locker, the ringing had stopped and started up again. She pulled her purse from its hook and fished out her phone. Sure enough, DOUG was on the caller ID.
“Hi,” she said wearily, hoping she conveyed enough pathos with the single syllable to elicit some sympathy.
“Laurel Applebaum?” said a woman’s voice.
A chill swept through her. Something was wrong.
“Yes?”
“I’m so glad I finally reached you. I’m calling from Plainview Hospital. Are you Douglas Applebaum’s next of kin?”
“That’s my husband,” she said, her scalp prickling, her whole body suddenly alert. An instinctive chill had her in its grip. “Is he okay? What’s wrong?”
“He was brought in by ambulance after a motor vehicle accident. We’re still assessing his condition, but he’s unconscious. Right now the doctors—”
“I’m not far,” Laurel said. “I’ll be there in ten minutes. Less.” She dropped her phone into her purse and grabbed her jacket. Dear god, was this really happening? And why did it take a near tragedy for her to remember how much she loved him?
I have to do better, she thought, a lump taking shape in her throat. I have to.

About Ellen Meister

Ellen Meister is the author of several novels including THE ROOFTOP PARTY, LOVE SOLD SEPARATELY, DOROTHY PARKER DRANK HERE; THE OTHER LIFE and others. Ellen is also an editor, book coach, ghostwriter, and frequent contributor to Long Island Woman Magazine. She teaches creative writing at Long Island University Hutton House Lectures and previously at Hofstra University. Her latest novel is TAKE MY HUSBAND. For more info visit ellenmeister.com.

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Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading

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