Susie B. Anthony Rabinowitz Gersten is enjoying the good life.
After all, she is fairly gorgeous. She has the
as-close-to-a-perfect-marriage-as-reality-allows, to the devoted
Jonah. Oh, and Jonah is a popular Park Avenue plastic surgeon whose
income allows them to live very well. Susie also has a career she
enjoys as a floral designer. She and her husband adore their
four-year-old triplet sons. They also enjoy having twin nannies to
help with the boys and a housekeeper to maintain their tony
Then one morning Susie awakens to one of her sons asking, "Where
is Daddy?" Jonah hasn't returned home or called to say he's been
delayed by an emergency. Susie tries to fake a calm demeanor for
her sons, but she is freaking out. Jonah would never just not show
up. There is no reason she can think of for him not to contact her
or have someone do it for him. Period. She absolutely knows
something dire has happened.
Her first reaction to her calamity is to sit in the Regency
bergère chair --- the one they bought together in an auction
house. The chair, Susie says, makes her feel protected: "We've made
it. We're upper-class, and therefore things go the way we want them
to." Today, though, even the chair doesn't make her feel comforted
and invulnerable. She calls the police. Unlike in TV shows, a
detective arrives immediately. Suddenly, Susie realizes that Jonah
is a missing person case, and she hires a PI.
As she says up front, Susie is definitely not a plucky heroine
type. However, she forges ahead, mostly for her boys' sake. She
goes to her job and combs through Jonah's old address book for
people to call. During this quest, she receives scant (and that's
putting it kindly) comfort from both her parents and Jonah's.
When the police come back with the news that her husband has
been found dead, she's as shocked as if she hasn't been preparing
herself for this news all along. The bad news keeps compounding:
Jonah was found stabbed in the chest with scissors in a
Sorrow, horror, terror. These feelings ripple and reverberate
through Susie. She now must tell her sons that their daddy will
never be coming home and then figure out how she's going to survive
the rest of her life. Even in her shock, though, Susie believes
Jonah could not have been at prostitute Dorinda Dillon's home for
sex. There must be another explanation. When Susie talks to her PI,
the detective alludes to unearthing topics that are intriguing
enough to explore further. The only problem is that Susie knows
those subjects will not be pursued since all evidence points to the
vanished Dorinda Dillon as Jonah's murderer.
Even as the case around Dorinda grows ever clearer to
authorities, Susie is bothered by it. So many details don't ring
true for her. Finally, she turns to an unlikely source to help her
figure out what is true and what is false about her husband's
AS HUSBANDS GO is a fast-paced, delicious read. Susie is a
lively narrator, dishing up not only the sorrow and disbelief she
feels, but also tons of humor --- especially of the black variety.
She skewers the people she encounters with her laugh-out-loud
descriptions. The mystery is intriguing, and Susie's situation is
sure to bring a sympathetic "what would I do in her place?"
response from readers. It all adds up to one big delightful
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on December 22, 2010
As Husbands Go