“The New Husband” begins with a startling discovery – a boat, a dog, and blood. Do not worry, the dog, Daisy, does not die, but other people do.This one event drives the whole book. Seventeen months later, readers meet social worker Nina Garrity, thirteen-year-old daughter Maggie, sixteen-year old son Connor, five-year-old golden retriever Daisy, and Simon Fitch, the new man in their lives. Glen is gone and will be declared officially “gone” in eight months.
Readers follow the natural disorder of this family. Their tale is told in alternating narratives from all sides so readers get a picture of what is going on from each person’s point of view, and includes the recounting of background events as well as personal explanations — all the trauma and drama one could expect in a family who has lived through chaos.
Without giving away too much of the plot, the family’s new situation is tenuous at best, and at times volatile. The real issue, of course, is Glen, the husband who disappeared. Nina is in therapy, and as she discovers Glen’s affairs, mishandling of money, and general bad deeds, she reveals this information to the therapist and to readers. Nina struggles to provide stability for her family by keeping control and eliminating mistrust. In a first person narrative, daughter Maggie talks directly to readers. She is angry; she distrusts even hates Simon, and she just wants her “old” family back. The family faces a lot of trouble and a lot of mistrust. Insecurity escalates when Nina receives a message telling her that she is not safe.
“The New Husband” has a plot filled with twists, turns, and the unexpected. Daisy, the dog, is the hero. I received a review copy of “The New Husband” from D. J. Palmer and St. Martin’s Press, and I was glued to the pages. I thought I knew what was coming, but then something else happened that I was not expecting. In the end, Daisy is “Dog of the Year.”