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Summary

Natalie and Carl are newlyweds, but the honeymoon period is over already.

Carl has just announced he has bought their first home at auction without telling Natalie where it is, never mind showing her a picture of it.

Natalie is horrified to discover that the dream home is in Little Wyford, mere minutes away from Carl’s ex-wife, Antonia. And to make matters worse, Antonia’s palatial country mansion has a fully functioning roof (and a heated swimming pool!), unlike the ramshackle cottage Carl has bought for them....

Antonia is Little Wyford’s Queen Bee, mistress of the book club, organiser of the Christmas Fair and leader of the ladies-who-lunch. No matter how hard she tries, Natalie just doesn’t fit in, and when Antonia insists on referring to Carl as ‘Our Husband’, Natalie’s dreams of happily-ever-after take another nose dive.

Second-hand furniture has much to recommend it, especially when doing up a country cottage; second-hand clothes can be ever-so chic, but second-hand husbands are proving to be a very bad idea indeed.... Can Natalie ever escape the label of Wife Number Two, or is she destined to share her husband forever?

Hilariously funny, wickedly witty, but with a heart of gold and a warmth and wisdom that are all its own, A Second-Hand Husband is Claire Calman’s tour de force. 

©2021 Claire Calman (P)2021 Boldwood Books

Critic reviews

"So engrossing, you’ll read until four in the morning!" (Jilly Cooper)

"Such a lovely, funny read. Smart, witty and full of heart." (Ruth Jones)

What listeners say about A Second-Hand Husband

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easy listening

The first audio book that I've fully listened to! Easy listening but kind of gripping at the same time 🙂

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Loved this

Long winded but brilliant - couldn’t stop listening to it - all the details about the characters were wonderful

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I kept going

Of the 35 I’ve listened to so far this year it was the one that I wasn’t sure if I would reach the end.
I wonder how many couples live like this in life. I imagine a good few.
It is a good listen and I’m so glad I stayed till the end. Would be good to have a follow up for lots of reasons.

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Engrossing story

Front cover states "Hilariously funny" wow if it was I've totally lost my sense of humour.

Story is witty has humorous moments and once started is quite compelling and a little frustrating.

Tilly Vosburgh gives a good performance and she maintained my interest throughout.

I really got into this story and listened to it throughout in a day finishing at 2 am.

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*Friend or Frenemy*

This book is predominantly about one man Carl and his current wife Natalie who he married after a whirlwind romance and his ex-wife Antonia

The current wife Natalie owns an antiques shop and is quiet,soft natured, a bit quirky and basically a people pleaser who would help anyone. Carl travels a lot for work and commutes to see his children. Natalie suggest they move nearer to his children. That’s the type of woman she is.

Carl takes it upon himself to buy a house at auction and tells Natalie at the last minute. She is not happy but at least he won’t have to travel as far to see his children…..

Antonia is glamorous and spends her time, hosting parties at her luxurious home and everything about her speaks money. She is overbearing and a bit snobby. Her current husband has money and it shows.

Natalie goes to see the new house and it’s a wreck with half a roof with spiders etc to match. The shock is the house is only a stones throw away to Antonia’s

What we see is Carl thinking his opinions count and Natalie virtually disappearing in a sea of insecurities and when she finally meets Antonia there is a silent competition going on. Each woman thinking they have the measure of each other and Carl is at the centre of it, hardly being around to support Natalie.

How will Natalie and Antonia get on? How will the react children react to her. Things start to come to a head as Natalie finds out about the things Carl is keeping from her….. Does Natalie possess some inner strength……

At times I wanted to shout at Natalie and her constant doubts about herself, I had no time for Antonia until something happens and the side she seems to keep hidden is revealed…..
Natalie ‘s sister is a hoot…

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Urghh

Only on chapter 15 but don’t know if I can on any longer! The main character is sooo pathetic!!

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Lovely read.

Moral of the story. Never underestimate yourself and things aren't always as they might seem