In “The Glass Wives” by Amy Sue Nathan, Evie Glass is reeling from the sudden death of her ex-husband when his young widow asks to move into Evie’s home. Nicole, the new Mrs. Glass, is the reason why Evie and Richard’s marriage ended, and everyone in town thinks Evie’s crazy for letting her and her baby stay. What they don’t know is that Evie desperately needs the rent money to stay afloat, and that Evie’s twins don’t want to give up the relationship with their baby brother and stepmom.
“The Glass Wives” manages to be both heartwarming and heartbreaking as Nicole and Evie reevaluate what it means to be a family.
Nathan, a Philadelphia native, took the time to discuss her debut novel, favorite summer pleasures and her next book.
KC: The idea for “The Glass Wives” was based on your real-life experience losing your ex-husband. If faced with the same situation as Evie, do you think you would’ve taken Nicole and Luca into your home?
ASN: Isn’t it funny that I’ve never contemplated this before? Actually I don’t think I would want anyone to live with me at such a hard time. I remember all too well how draining it was on me and my kids to get through every day back then, and the thought of having to deal with an extra adult, and a baby, well, it wouldn’t have appealed to me much at that time. Plus, I’m a lot more private than Evie. I wouldn’t want someone just showing up in my kitchen! But, like Evie, I do really love babies, so maybe I would give in after all.
KC: Evie understandably holds a grudge against Nicole, but grows to love her baby, Luca, as part of the family. Even so, she still doesn’t feel Luca should be entitled to any money from Richard. Why do you think this is?
ASN: I think it really has nothing to do with Luca or Nicole and only to do with Evie protecting Sam and Sophie’s future. It wasn’t against Luca, just FOR her own kids.
KC: How long did it take you to write “The Glass Wives?”
ASN: I started writing in 2007, then I signed with an agent in 2010 and we spent a year revising the book, sold the novel to St. Martin’s Press in 2011.
KC: What was the hardest part about writing “The Glass Wives?” Favorite part?
ASN: In real life I avoid conflict whenever possible, so writing conflict and emotional upheavals was probably the hardest part for me. My favorite part was writing the few male characters that appear in the book. I won’t say more!
KC: Is there anything you wish you did differently when you first started writing a novel?
ASN: Not really. I started slowly and learned all about publishing as I started the novel. It went hand in hand for me because I wanted desperately to understand the business.
KC: If your book became a movie, whom would you cast as the main characters?
ASN: I’m pretty stuck on Sandra Bullock for Evie. I know people say she’s Southern, but she’s a great actress and she could totally pull it off. I think she has the serious and comedic sides that would bring Evie to life. And even though Drew Barrymore is older than Nicole’s character, I totally see her in that role. I watched an interview with Drew Barrymore as a new mom and knew she’d understand where Nicole was coming from. I also think she could pay a mix of vulnerable, strong, and sneaky—which is how I think of Nicole.
KC: What’s on your summer reading list this year?
ASN: Don’t do this to me! I will say that I’ve read two books YOU should put on your summer list and both hit bookshelves in July. First is “Shake Down the Stars” by Renee Swindle, and the second is “The Life List” by Lori Nelson Spielman.
KC: Favorite summer guilty pleasures?
ASN: I think summer skipped over Chicago this year. Spring too, for that matter. But if we were having normal weather? I’d say the a guilty pleasure is taking a day off and high-tailing it to Michigan just for lunch or an afternoon. Lake Michigan beaches are stunning, some of the most beautiful I’ve seen, and that’s coming from someone who grew up going to the Jersey Shore. I will say the only thing that’s missing is the saltwater smell. Oh, and the boardwalk.
KC: Dream vacation destination?
ASN: Montana. Actually it’s illogical since I don’t like the cold, so let’s say Montana in summer. I like the combination of mountains and water that you find out West.
KC: What can readers expect next from you?
ASN: My next novel is called “Falling Into Place” and it’s about a divorced mom and anonymous blogger, Izzy Lane, whose lies about a wonderful boyfriend land her a plum job as a dating columnist on a popular website. The only problem is, Izzy hasn’t dated in years. You might be glad to hear this book is set in Philadelphia, my home town (and yours)!