Canadian author Leah McLaren walks a fine line in A Better Man, and following along as she navigates it is part of what makes her novel worth reading. A Better Man is a deft blend of comedy, wisdom and character, and it’s one of the most entertaining books of its kind you’re likely to find.
Nick Wakefield, a successful man with a big house, a pretty wife and twins, wants out. He’s tired of the grind of married life, but his best friend—a divorce lawyer—warns him that the split could cost him. To preserve his financial future, he needs to spend time playing the perfect husband and father first. As Nick tries this tactic, he finds that he’s actually growing to enjoy married life again . . . at least, until his wife, Maya, learns his secret.
Though the overall premise would be right at home in a screwball comedy, A Better Man has an incisiveness that goes straight to the dark core of a troubled marriage. Key to this is McLaren’s mastery of character. We see it in Nick’s careful yet cavalier approach to flirtations with other women and in Maya’s pragmatic evaluation of her body.
A Better Man is a gripping, intimate book that will thrill with its juicy plot and win you over with its powerful insight into relationships.
This article was originally published in the July 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.