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.