Book Review: A Second Hand Husband by Claire Calman

Posted June 9, 2021 by WendyW in Blogging, Book Review / 4 Comments

by Claire Calman
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd
Genres: Contemporary, Divorce & Separation, Family & Relationships, Family Life, Fiction, Friendship, General, Holiday, Humor, Later in Life, Marriage & Divorce, Mashups, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Siblings, Topic, Women
Format: ARC

My Review:

Don’t put this book down, it’s worth it to read it to the end.  This book was a difficult read during the beginning because some of the characters were shallow, selfish, and not likable. The main character, Natalie, was funny and cute, but her insecurities were tough for me to take. However, I do feel like it was worth it, in the end, to see how these characters developed and eventually became worthy of the time I spent reading the book.  

Natalie is newly married to Carl after a whirlwind romance of only six months.  He calls her up one day and tells her he bought them a cottage in Kent for their forever home.  Although Natalie suggested they move to the country so Carl can live closer to his two children, she didn’t expect him to buy a home, without her ever seeing it, and less than a mile from his ex-wife!

The writing is witty and humorous, but the main characters were not very likable in the beginning.  It seemed to take a long time before I felt a connection with Natalie, and I never really liked Carl, however by the end, I found him bearable.  I thought Natalie’s sister, Celeste, and Carl’s brother, Stephan, were the best characters in the book, and they both played a small part.  

Carl’s ex-wife (wife number one) was very obnoxious and was portrayed as the cliched catty ex-wife.  The two kids were cute, but nothing more than the typical children of divorce. 

The author tries to get us to like Carl by talking about his upbringing, but it doesn’t work for me, and it was very difficult during the first half of the book to understand why Natalie could love someone so self-absorbed as Carl.  

The book did a good job of demonstrating the difficulties of newly married life, especially with two people who didn’t know each other very well when they got married.  And the difficulties of being a stepmother and the insecurities of dealing with an ex-wife.  

By the end of the book, I loved Natalie, and could almost feel something for Carl, and even Antonia.  I did enjoy the author’s humor, and her depiction of the village of Little Wyeford, and especially Rose Cottage and the gorgeous pond.  

I recommend this book with the caveat to persevere and make it to the end, as it’s worth it.   

4 responses to “Book Review: A Second Hand Husband by Claire Calman

  1. Fabulous review Wendy! I find it hard to keep going when the characters are shallow and selfish. I’m glad you stayed with it and enjoyed.

  2. Nice review Wendy. I am glad you enjoyed it by the end and stuck with it. It is like a prize when that happens.