The Husbands: A Novel (Large Print / Paperback)

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The Husbands: A Novel By Holly Gramazio Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

The Husbands is a high-concept plot like The Midnight Library or Oona Out of Order. The premise is that Lauren, single as far as she knows, comes home one night to find a husband in her flat. When she sends him up to the attic, another husband promptly comes down. As the attic sends out more and more replacement husbands, Lauren keeps finding things wrong with them. It's a unique way to explore marriage and love and the choices we make. A light, engaging read, this would be a good book to take on a trip.

— Em

April 2024 Indie Next List

“Lauren is faced with a troubling situation — not only is she married to a complete stranger, she can also trade her husband in for a new one. The story leans into the wacky possibilities and bittersweet potentials that could tempt many of us.”
— Erin Pastore, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH


A thrillingly original debut, THE HUSBANDS brilliantly asks how we navigate life, love, and choice in a world of never-ending options. “Brilliant, hilarious, surprising and wise. I devoured it!” —Naomi Alderman,  NYT bestselling author of THE POWER.

Thirty-something Lauren has been leading a steady, enjoyable single life: great friends, good job, and a nice flat in south-east London, until, one night, she comes back from a party to find a stranger in her home. His name is Michael. He’s attractive, sweet, and, according to him, her friends, and the pictures on her walls, he’s Lauren’s husband.

Just as Lauren is trying to figure out how she could be married to someone she can’t remember meeting, Michael climbs up  into the attic to change a lightbulb and abruptly disappears. In his place, a new man climbs down, and a new, slightly altered life reforms around her.

Lauren quickly realizes that her attic can somehow—incredibly—supply her with endless iterations of lives and partners. Cycling through marriages—sometimes lasting weeks, sometimes less than five minutes—Lauren grapples with her fate. If swapping husbands is as easy as changing a lightbulb, when do you know you’ve found the right one? How do you recognize what’s good, or what simple happiness feels like, in a world that demands constant optimization with one more search or swipe left?

About the Author

HOLLY GRAMAZIO is a game designer, curator and writer, originally from Adelaide and currently based in London. She wrote the script for the indie videogame DICEY DRAGONS, which sold over 850,000 copies and won the Indiecade Jury Prix Award; and she's worked on digital and physical games with Naomi Alderman, Lawrence Lek, Warner Bros., Tate Modern and the V&A. She has PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide, cowrote a book on games for MIT Press, and has written for the Guardian, among other publications. THE HUSBANDS is her first novel.

Praise For…


“Delightfully addictive . . . a bottomless champagne flute of a novel.”
The Washington Post

"Charming...there’s plenty of intelligence and candor in the author’s creative spin on the conundrum of commitment."
Publishers Weekly

"Richly characterized, philosophical, and funny. I enjoyed all the husbands, even (especially?) the terrible ones. A time-bending gem about the way we live now."
Gabrielle Zevin, New York Times bestselling author of Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

"The Husbands is a wily and wonderful exploration of modern decision-making, kaleidoscopic and bright and very, very funny."
—Claire Lombardo, New York Times bestselling author of The Most Fun We Ever Had

"Brilliant, hilarious, surprising and wise. I devoured it."
—Naomi Alderman, New York Times bestselling author of The Power and The Future

"The Husbands is WONDERFUL: fresh, original, hugely entertaining and oddly comforting. . . . I laughed out loud countless times. . . . [This] was the most fun I’ve had reading in the longest time. It is an utter delight."
—Marian Keyes, bestselling author of Again, Rachel and Grown Ups

"Clever, fresh, inventive, The Husbands is wholly original."
—Louise O’Neill, author of
Asking For It

"The plot allows the author to explore current attitudes and approaches to dating and mating from a fresh perspective... A fun take on a big question."
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593915271
ISBN-10: 0593915275
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 480
Language: English