My Husband's Sweethearts

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-05-19
  • Publisher: Bantam
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When Lucy Shoreman discovered that her charming, cheating husband was dying, she came home, opened up his little black book, and decided she wasn't going through this alone. After all, Artie's sweethearts were there for the good timesis it fair that Lucy should have to manage the hard times herself? So she dials up the women and invites them for one last visit, never expecting any of them will actually show up. But when they do, along with a young man who may be Artie's long-lost son, it's only the first of many surprises in store. Filled with heart, humor, and wisdom, Bridget Asher's unforgettable novel turns a fresh eye on the joys and catastrophes of marriage, family, kindred friendships between womenand the sort of forgiveness that can change one's entire life in the most unexpected and extraordinary ways.

Author Biography

Bridget Asher lives on the Florida panhandle with her husband, who is lovable, sweet, and true of heart—and has given her no reason to inquire about his former sweethearts.

From the Hardcover edition.


Chapter One

Don't Try to Define Love Unless
You Need a Lesson in Futility

Careening past airline counters toward the security check-in, I'm explaining love and its various forms of failure to Lindsay, my assistant. Amid the hive of travelers—retirees in Bermuda shorts, cats in carry-on boxes perforated with air holes, hassled corporate stiffs—I find myself in the middle of a grand oration on love with a liberal dose of rationalizations. I've fallen in love with lovable cheats. I've adored the wrong men for the wrong reasons. I'm culpable. I've suffered an unruly heart and more than my share of prolonged bouts of poor judgment. I have lacked some basics in the area of control. For example: I had no control over the fact that I fell in love with Artie Shoreman—a man eighteen years my senior. I had no control over the fact that I am still in love with him even after I found out, in one fell swoop, that he had three affairs during our four-year marriage. Two were lovers he'd had before we got married, but had kept in touch with—held on to, really, like parting gifts from his bachelorhood, living memorabilia. Artie didn't want to call these affairs because they were spur-of-the-moment. They weren't premeditated. He trotted out terminology like fling and dalliance. The third affair he called accidental.

And I have no control over the fact that I am angry that Artie's gotten so sick—so deathbedish—in the midst of this and that I blame him for his dramatic flair. I have no control over the compulsion I feel to go back home to him right now, bailing out of a speech on convoluted SEC regulations—because my mother has told me in a middle-of-the-night, bad-news phone call that his health is grave. I have no control over the fact that I'm still furious at Artie for being a cheat just when one might, possibly, expect me to soften, at least a little.

I'm telling Lindsay how I left Artie shortly after I found out about the affairs and how that was the right thing to do six months ago. I tell her how all three affairs were revealed at once—like some awful game show.

Lindsay is petite. Her jacket sleeves are always a bit too long for her, as if she's wearing an older sister's hand-me-downs that she hasn't quite grown into. She has silky blond hair that swings around like she's trapped in a shampoo commercial, and she wears small glasses that slip down the bridge of a nose so perfect and narrow I'm not sure how she breathes through it. It's as if her nose were designed as an accent piece without regard to function. She knows this whole story, of course. She's nodding along in full agreement. I forge on.

I tell her that this hasn't been so bad, opting for business trip after business trip, a few months hunkered down with one client and then another, every convention opportunity—a life of short-term corporate rentals and hotel rooms. It was supposed to allow me some time and space to get my heart together. The plan was that when I saw Artie again, I'd be ready, but I'm not.

"Love can't be ordered around or even run by a nice-enough democracy," I tell Lindsay. My definition of a democracy consists of polling the only two people I've chosen to confide in—my anxiety-prone office assistant, Lindsay, who at this very moment is clipping along next to me through JFK airport's terminal, and my overwrought mother, who's got me on speed dial.

"Love refuses to barter," I say. "It won't haggle with you like that Turkish man with the fake Gucci bags." My mother insists I get her a fake Gucci bag each time I'm in New York on business; my carry-on is bulging with fake Gucci at this very moment.

"Love isn't logical," I insist. "It's immune to logic." In my case: my husband is a cheater and a liar, therefore I should move on or decide to forgive him, which is an option that I've h

Excerpted from My Husband's Sweethearts by Bridget Asher
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