Work hard, but don’t stay in the office too late. Be present with your children, but don’t smother. Keep your household running like clockwork, but don’t slip into outdated gender roles or be a nag. And don’t forget to take some time for yourself! Cathy Rentzenbrink talks to the writers of two novels that tackle the contradictions of contemporary motherhood with scalpel-sharp precision and dark humour. Chandler Baker’s The Husbands envisions a gender-swapped Stepford Wives style community; Emily Itami’s Tokyo-set Fault Lines follows a protagonist taking ‘one last scream’ before settling into her domestic life.

Books available to accompany this event

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from our Waterstones Cheltenham Literature Festival bookshop.

Every purchase supports Cheltenham Festivals.

The Husbands and Whisper Network Fault Lines Everyone is Still Alive


Cheltenham Town Hall, Pillar Room

The Town Hall, situated on Imperial Gardens in the centre of Cheltenham comprises of a Grand Main Hall, distinguished by its Corinthian styles columns and coved ceiling. The Main Hall is accompanied by dining and drawing rooms, as well as the Pillar Room bar.

The venue’s early 20th century Edwardian elegance makes it the classic ‘shoebox’ concert hall. With a seating capacity of 900, the Town Hall is perfectly suited to grand symphony orchestra performances with a thrilling impact.


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