Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Book Review: How To Kill Your Husband (And Other Handy Household Hints) by Kathy Lette

How To Kill Your Husband (And Other Handy Household Hints) - Kathy Lette

Cassie O’Carroll and her best friends, Jasmine Jardine and Hannah Wolfe, couldn’t be further apart in terms of looks and lifestyles, but their differences do nothing to hinder their strong friendship.
Cassie is a harried mother of two who juggles two full-time occupations- working as a primary school teacher, and looking after a household filled with the injured animals her vet husband takes in.
Hannah lives with her ‘artist’ partner Pascal, runs her own art gallery, and sees her career as the perfect substitute for having a childless relationship.
Jazz, on the other hand, gave up a promising career as a chef to become a stay-at-home mum to her beloved son Josh, and a domestic goddess for Studz- her incredibly rich husband who is renowned for his humanitarian efforts in the medical field, and his flawless work as a cosmetic surgeon.
When Jazz is thrown into prison, accused of murdering her husband on their ‘make-or-break’ trip to Australia, her friends are unable to believe that she is capable of such criminal activities.
But as Cassie recalls the months before the unexpected arrest, she realises that her friend’s sanity may not be completely trustworthy. This is especially the case when she considers all of the betrayals, adultery, toy boys, marriage counselling, work issues and acts of revenge that the women have experienced within that time, and which have impacted immensely on their relationships with their husbands and partners.
It would be enough to drive any self-respecting, modern housewife mad. But could Jazz really have put an end to her marital woes and bumped off her husband?

What I gained from reading this book:
The main thing readers ‘learn’ from perusing this novel is that marriage is a one-way ticket to hell! But there is also a less overt message of love nestled deep within the often-caustic marriage storylines. Cassie habitually complains about her husband Rory’s inability to do anything domestic in the household, but she still defends him when her friend Jazz brings up the issue of his lack of cleanliness. When events in the novel see her and Rory reach breaking point, she comes to realise that even though he has his faults, she still has strong feelings for him, and that a life with him and his messy ways is better than a life without him. This realisation is important for readers because it shows that every relationship has its ups and downs and sometimes the only way to solve the problem is to endure the hardships, and attempt to make things work, no matter how difficult it seems.

Lette never fails to put down men in the most humorous, tongue-in-cheek ways possible. Of course, some of the phrases she uses are clichéd, and don’t really come up often in natural conversation, but they’re still good for a laugh.

There are many people who probably won’t be amused with the author’s continuous insinuations about the relevance of men in the family household. Admittedly, sometimes the consistency of her putdowns can get a little overwhelming. But this book is marketed as a comedy, so if Lette’s humour doesn’t appeal to you, then you can always put it down and find something else to read.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Genre: Black Comedy

Recommended for: People who enjoy reading Kathy Lette’s ‘man-bashing’ literature.

Australians can buy the book by clicking the picture below:

How to Kill Your Husband (and Other Handy Household Hints)

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