The Glass Wives

Amy Sue Nathan
  • Review
November 8, 2013

When Richard Glass dies, he leaves behind two women named Mrs. Glass: Evie, his first wife, and Nicole, the young, new sec­ond wife whose affair with Richard led to the break-up of Evie and Richard’s mar­riage. Of course, how could Evie think of Nicole as any­thing but her arch-neme­sis? Still reel­ing from her divorce, Evie — armed with a Mas­ters degree in his­to­ry that she wish­es she could find some­thing to do with — now has to face life as a sin­gle moth­er, find a way to sup­port her­self and her ten-year-old twins, Sophie and Sam, hold onto her cozy house, and get along in the sub­urbs of Chica­go. On top of all that, she has the added chal­lenge of deal­ing with the sec­ond Mrs. Glass who longs to be part of the first fam­i­ly Richard Glass left behind.

Evie isn’t sure there’s room in her heart for the sec­ond Mrs. Glass, and when Nicole sug­gests they find a way to work togeth­er, Evie snaps, Eas­i­er? I don’t think this is going to be easy no mat­ter what we do.” Evie’s two friends also pull her in oppo­site direc­tions. While Beth believes in look­ing for the best in Nicole, Laney views her with the cyn­i­cal, sharp eye of a mem­ber of the First Wives Club. Evie clear­ly doesn’t want Nicole in her life — but she’s forced to turn to Nicole to help. Nicole and her ten-month baby move in, spark­ing the ques­tion, what kind of fam­i­ly can an ex-wife and a wid­ow make?

Told with wit and humor, Amy Sue Nathan pulls off a sto­ry brim­ming with domes­tic de­tails that make the char­ac­ters’ dia­logue sound like con­ver­sa­tions over­heard from next door. More­over, Nathan man­ages to lace com­ic obser­va­tions into the seri­ous ques­tions of how to move beyond obvi­ous dis­trust toward friend­ship, and how to cre­ate a new and nov­el def­i­n­i­tion of family.

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