May 10 2013 9:15am

First Look: Amy Sue Nathan’s The Glass Wives (May 14, 2013)

Amy Sue Nathan
The Glass Wives
St. Martin’s Griffin /  $14.99 print / $8.89 digital / May 14, 2013

Evie and Nicole Glass share a last name. They also shared a husband.
When a tragic car accident ends the life of Richard Glass, it also upends the lives of Evie and Nicole, and their children. There’s no love lost between the widow and the ex. In fact, Evie sees a silver lining in all this heartache—the chance to rid herself of Nicole once and for all. But Evie wasn’t counting on her children’s bond with their baby half-brother, and she wasn’t counting on Nicole’s desperate need to hang on to the threads of family, no matter how frayed. Strapped for cash, Evie cautiously agrees to share living expenses—and her home—with Nicole and the baby. But when Evie suspects that Nicole is determined to rearrange more than her kitchen, Evie must decide who she can trust. More than that, she must ask: what makes a family?

The title of Amy Sue Nathan's The Glass Wives is wickedly clever. Glass is fragile. Glass can break and shatter. Glass wives can, too. The premise alone—that of an ex-wife and a widow—had me thinking, could I do that? Could I share my life with someone who caused me so much pain? Could I share my grief over the death of an ex, the father of my children, with the woman he left me for and her newborn son?

Nathan and I have a few things in common. Well, one big thing that can add up to a lot of small things. We’re both from Philly. Northeast Philly to be exact. It is ingrained in our Rocky-tainted DNA to fight back. So, reading about Evie’s dilemma of do I have to be nice to the grieving mistress/stepmother had me screaming “Hell to the no!” as I turned the pages. I kept waiting for the fisticuffs  to ensue. Surely there had to be a face-punch. A slap or two or three? Broken furniture or a vase? Hair pulling? Just a little name calling?

It didn’t happen. “What-the-what?!” I exclaimed. If my ex-husband’s mistress-turned-wife-now-baby-mama/widow showed up on my doorstep wanting to be housemates, I think I’d lose my proverbial shiznit. Nathan had me contemplating anger management classes. How can she be from Philly and not give this character a slapdown? Insert teachable moment by way of reading an amazing novel:

Evie is a mother first helping her children grieve over the loss of their father. Like it or not, she’s grieving too. Grieving for the same man all over again but for very different reasons this time around. Nicole is a widow. She did not end her marriage by choice, as Evie did. She is raising a baby who will never have a memory of his father. Ouch. Even I, the sometime anger laden girl from under the El, felt bad for the woman.

Damn you, Nathan!

Evie has a heart too. She’s long been over her failed marriage. It’s now Nicole who’s lost Richard. Evie lost him already and grieved it. Together they’re trying to figure out how to raise his children together and without their father.

At first Evie says moving her into her home is purely financial. Without his child support she can’t afford to keep her kids in their home. They’ve already lost too much. So, the basement is Nicole’s new apartment. It works, at first. Evie needs a babysitter for work or for her love life, for when her overprotective girlfriends need to hang out. Plus, the rent keep her able to provide for her children. Then things change. She actually starts to like Nicole and their new modern family. They bond and even bake together. Then things take a turn. Possibly betrayed once again by Nicole, Evie is faced with the biggest dilemma of her life. Lifelong friendships are tested. Her future and the future of her children is at stake. Evie must define who her family is and what it will become.

The Glass Wives made me made me realize that at the end of the day our kids matter more than petty jealousies that no longer exist. It reminded about forgiveness. I wanted to reconnect with my girlfriends afterward. Let go of some past issues with family. And I really wanted to hug my husband, and did.

The Glass Wives is a family drama that’s as warm as the cover and as thought-provoking as the title. There is even a little romance in it. Can’t go wrong with that.

Learn more about or pre-order a copy of The Glass Wives by Amy Sue Nathan before its May 14 release:

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Charli Mac writes Women’s Fiction and YA Paranormal set in Philly and the South Jersey Shore. Snorts & screams are probable and fist-pumps are highly discouraged at Twitter her @charlimacs.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. scarlettleigh
I can't decide on this one. Is there any romance? Or is it just the relationship between the two women and their children?
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
@scarlettleigh: I'll ask Charli, but I think it's romantic women's fiction, if that helps.
Charli Mac
3. CharliMac
@scarletlleigh The Romantic plot line is in the background. The center story is the mothers and their children. It's a novel about relationships and very well done. :-) When the romance is there it's great to see, especially under the main characters circumstances.
4. scarlettleigh
Thanks CharliMac and MFrampton! I don't have to have the romantic relationship front and center, I just like to know that there is hints of one. I do plan to read it now. Thank you for showcasing this one.
5. Patricia Yager Delagrange
What a great theme for a book! Can't wait to read it. I would have been waiting for the great "slap down" as well, so this intrigues me.
Thanks for this post and CONGRATULATIONS, AMY.
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