Blog Post Book Reviews Literary Criticism

The Husbands ― Chandler Baker ― “Women can do anything, but they can’t do everything”

The Husbands by Chandler Baker has become the go-to for husbands who do not fully understand the struggles of being a woman, a mother, a worker, and a wife.

Nora Spangler is a successful attorney and a master at work. However, she feels like a failure in her domestic life because she needs to do everything in her home. Aiden, her husband, “helps” her, but that right there is the problem. He helps her as if housework belongs to her only, and he deserves a gold medal for doing the littlest task. However, everything goes better when she discovers this new suburban compound that promises offers the solution to all her problems.

Many men and women will find it insulting that people keep bringing up the topic of inequality and inequity between men and women. Many men and even women will try to defend that husbands do as much work as wives or that people are not objective and take sides on the “gender war.” However, the data available supporting Baker’s novel or even that inspired this novel do not lie.  

The distribution of housework has been a topic discussed by many for decades, and the problem has stayed and will stay for many generations until we do a hard reboot to people’s minds. For example, the 

World Economic Forum said that 136 years need to pass for the gender gap to disappear. We come from a completely different society where men used to work while women stayed at home and cared for the kids and the house. However, this same society has made it impossible for that arrangement to keep working. The cost of living, including the housing market, has drastically increased that young people see it as an unfeasible option of buying a house or even moving out on their own. Now, if the equation changes from one to two people, then the arrangement changes and the possibilities widen since the “household” will have a double income; however, part of the old arrangement seems to be rooted deeply in the conscious mind of men that check-out themselves out of housework. 

As an example, the Australian Bureau of Statistics shared how more women spend longer times doing unpaid work than men – in this context unpaid work means housework -. Women spend around 54% more time doing indoor housework, men only around 27%. Women spend 52.6% more time cooking and baking, whereas men spend 30% of their time on these chores, and the lists persist with the care and supervision of children and the groceries. The only task where this survey seems to overpass women is doing repair and outside housework, or more “manly” work.

The situation has worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and both partners started working from home. How many of us have been on a working call and seen a kid interrupting a dad’s meeting? How many of us have seen a kid interrupting mom’s meeting? Or even worst, how many of us have seen a husband interrupting a wife’s meeting because the kids are uncontrollable? If you have seen this, then you know what this book’s themes go around.

Get it free with Audible

Baker covers these themes of housework, carrying children, and also the “carrying” of the husband in her novel. Her story is accurate, on point, and exasperatingly close home that causes pain. The book is perfect for discussion and debate whether we agree or not with the plot. Baker makes her novel available while calling for reflection in a twist of thrilling fiction and reality reflection.

We read the audio version of The Husbands by Chandler Baker, and our experience was great. Allyson Ryan, the narrator, makes the story more appealing and easy to navigate. The Husbands is the kind of novel that you do not want to put down, so Audible’s version is perfect to keep going even when you cannot sit and read.

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