The Gallery of Vanished Husbands

  • by Natasha Solomon
  • Narrated by Karen Cass
  • 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When Juliet Montague's husband disappears, so does she. As far as the conservative Jewish community in which she lives is concerned, she is invisible. She does her best to conform to their rules, but then on her thirtieth birthday she does something unexpected. Instead of the fridge she has scrimped for, she impulsively spends her savings on a portrait of herself. It is the first in a series of portraits that punctuate Juliet's adult life as she joins London's lively post-war art scene and proves to be an astute spotter of talent.
Yet she remains an outsider in both her worlds: a mother of two, drawn to a reclusive artist who never leaves Dorset, and unable to feel free until she has found her husband - a quest that leads her to California and a surprising discovery. Absorbing, intriguing and richly evocative, this is the tale of one woman's life and an unusual emotional journey, each stage hinged on a painting. It is a bravura performance by a highly talented young author.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Best for those with a vivid visual imagination

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

To my artist friends, I know that Solomons' words will blossom into images, primed by paintings named in chapter headings.


What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The story moves between quite distinct visual genres; including a detailed interior and portrait focus: a kaleidoscope of British Sixties happenings: Arts and Crafts in the deep woods: and a sparse Hopper-esque America. The plot itself is secondary, and toward the perfunctory.


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- Expat Sidekick

Complex main character in an interesting time

I found myself quite caught up in the story of the not-entirely-sympathetic main character: a woman in an observant Jewish community in post-WWII London who becomes an art dealer -- and therefore is friends with artists from backgrounds very different from hers -- but is still part of her own community. I thought the author does an excellent job of maintaining and developing that tension, even as times change. Along the way, I learned about an aspect of English life I knew nothing about. Super narration: I could identify every character separately.
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- Margaret

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-01-2013
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton