By Amy Bromberg
I’ve been looking forward to reading The Glass Wives, Amy Sue Nathan’s debut novel, ever since I met Amy on Facebook and Twitter, and saw her novel mentioned in her bio. Even though Amy and I have never met in real life, I feel like we have become friends.
Evie and Nicole Glass share a last name. They also shared a husband.
When a tragic car accident ends the life of Richard Glass, it also upends the lives of Evie and Nicole, and their children. There’s no love lost between the widow and the ex. In fact, Evie sees a silver lining in all this heartache—the chance to rid herself of Nicole once and for all. But Evie wasn’t counting on her children’s bond with their baby half-brother, and she wasn’t counting on Nicole’s desperate need to hang on to the threads of family, no matter how frayed. Strapped for cash, Evie cautiously agrees to share living expenses—and her home—with Nicole and the baby. But when Evie suspects that Nicole is determined to rearrange more than her kitchen, Evie must decide who she can trust. More than that, she must ask: what makes a family? (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.com)
The Glass Wives takes the reader into the lives of two women who have suddenly lost the father to their children: Evie being the ex-wife, and Nicole who is the wife/now widow.
As you can tell, this is a story about an unconventional family. What makes this one stand out for me is the story line and how it affects two women. How are these women to co-exist? I don’t have kids yet, but I can’t imagine how I would deal as a mother who would have to move forward after her husband (or ex-husband) suddenly dies. Personally I don’t see myself being able to do what Evie did, welcoming Nicole into her home. But in the end the situation is best suited for her kids. Sam and Sophie. As we see, for the most part, Evie handled it with grace. Unfortunately Nicole doesn’t handle it as well. Many times I wanted to kick her in the butt, and make her realize that she was being childish. I’m glad she was able to grow up and mature as the story went on. It’s obvious that she looks up to Evie, which yes, is quite odd in this particular situation. But hey, nowadays what family doesn’t have some kind of oddness to it?
Be aware when you’re reading this that you will get hungry. If you’re Jewish (or have had the pleasure of eating traditional Jewish foods), then you’ll get EXTRA hungry. I was salivating when Amy shared all of the foods for the Seder. If I was at my mom’s I would have rushed to Lox, Stock & Deli, the awesome Jewish deli around the corner from her house, and gotten myself some matzo balls. Not sure whose are better…my mother in laws or theirs…don’t tell her I said this. Evie is also a girl after my own heart because she makes dynamite chocolate chip cookies!
Reading The Glass Wives reminded me that family is formed not just by blood. A family encompasses friends, loved ones, new additions to the family, neighbors, and those who have a special place in your heart. I guarantee you will laugh (love Amy’s wittiness) cry a bit, smile and want to go hug your loved ones.
It is possible to move on after something tragic occurs. Of course we don’t see this right away. But with family, loved ones and friends beside you, we need to believe that anything is possible.
Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the book in exchange for an honest review. They're giving away some copies along with Amy's visit to CLC.