A Second-Hand Husband by Claire Calman

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.

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.

My Thoughts


Imagine living near your husbands ex-wife… would you always end up feeling like the other woman?.

Natalie and Carl got married after six months of being together, and are looking to move to the countryside so they can be closer to Carl’s ex-wife and his two children. Natalie understands this completely, but when Carl announces he has found the perfect place for them, and he has already purchased it without discussing it with her first, her life is about to change in more ways than she could begin to imagine.

When Natalie meets Antonia – the ex-wife, she knows this move is going to be far from straightforward. Antonia seems to have made it her personal mission to ensure that Natalie is made to feel like second choice, and second best in every sense. As Natalie struggles to fit in to the new life that she has been thrust in to by her new husband, she starts to wonder whether she will ever be more than the second wife.

This was a story full of humour and heartache, and as the characters learn to adjust to their new lives we get to learn more about them as individuals along the way. Carl is a character that I felt quite a strong dislike towards from the start, he seems completely unable – and unwilling – to consider Natalie’s feelings and continues to make life changing decisions without talking to her about them first. This did feel rather fitting though, and didn’t take away any enjoyment from the story as a whole. Natalie is a character I warmed to throughout, but I did find her reluctance to speak up for herself utterly infuriating at times, but that also plays in to the overall theme of the story.

The book is well written and flows wonderfully from beginning to end. With a mix of humour and emotionally charged moment, this is a book I am sure others will thoroughly enjoy.

You can purchase a copy of this book by following the link below

Amazon – https://amzn.to/3bVgrKi

About the Author

Claire Calman is a writer and broadcaster known for her novels that combine wit and pathos, including the bestseller Love is a Four-Letter Word. She has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Loose Ends. Her first book for Boldwood was published in June 2020.

Social Media Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/clairecalman

Newsletter Sign Up Link: http://bit.ly/ClaireCalmanNewsletter

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/claire-calman

*Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources, Boldwood Books and Claire Calman for providing me with a gifted copy of this book in return for my honest review. All thoughts are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.*

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