Man of the House: A Novel
3 journalers for this copy...
For more than a decade, Linc Menner has raised the status of househusband to an art form. . . .
While his wife, Jo, brings home the bacon, Linc Menner holds down the fort–his gourmet cooking is sublime, his cleaning unrivaled, and his devotion to his daughter, Violet, unparalleled.
But when the Menners relocate from upstate New York to the steamy beaches of Naples, Florida, life takes an unexpected turn. As the Menners renovate their new home Linc’s bliss turns into a war zone of contractors, dry wall dust, and chaos. And suddenly being surrounded by guys whose faces go blank as he expounds on the virtues of lump-free gravy makes Linc realize he has forgotten what it feels like to be a man.
So Linc trades his flip-flops for work boots, and his wild mop of hair for a barbershop buzz, and marches his flabby physique to the nearest gym–attracting the secret devotion of one of Violet’s teacher in the process. And his stunned family watches helplessly as they lose the man who keeps them all together. To make matters worse, it’s hurricane season and there’s a category 5 heading right for Naples. As life on the home front explodes into hilarity and catastrophe, Linc must chart his own delightfully crooked course to finally become the Man of the House.
Linc has been the perfect housekeeper. His meals are nutritious and supplies never run out. Violet is well tended to. Linc is getting to talk to males on a daily basis. Clearly these contractors do not care about gourmet cooking or cleanly houses. Linc finds himself getting sick of 'Girlyland'. When one of the sub-contractors makes a disparaging remark, Linc embarks on a transformation.
Violet is growing up and distancing herself a little but is bewildered when her Dad lets her drink pop and puts a meal cooked in a pressure-cooker on the table. Linc hits the gym to buff up his abs and starts hanging out with the guys.
Jo works long hours and frequently has to travel away from home. She feels her marriage is getting stale. When Linc is not at home as much she has to fill the vacuum caused by his absence.
Jessica, Violet's English teacher, is increasingly interested in Linc. She ends up stalking Linc and involving Violet by getting her to blog about her father.
Man of the House is told in four voices: Linc, Jo, Jessica and Violet. It is interesting to have the four voices as each of them see a situation differently. Although Linc does not formally recognize his transformation, each of the characters notices different things. Each character is forced to come to terms with the changes in Linc and how they react and compensate. The Menners all change and learn how to fit together as a family again.
Throughout the story there is a threat of a category 5 hurricane. Linc at first goes completely overboard in preparation. I found this part hilarious as I imagined Violet walking though the neighbourhood collecting coconuts.
This book is a sequel to Househusband but is a stand-alone read. It is a funny, light, very enjoyable read.
Each of the characters, including Violet's stalker teacher, adds their perspective to why Linc is going through his changes and how it affects them. Unfortunately, I felt this book fell a bit short. I found most of the characters annoying and couldn't relate to them. Perhaps it's a problem that this book is trying to address - that there aren't many stay at home dads in the world? Regardless, it got to the point where I just didn't care. To add to this, what is the point of having a stalker obsessed with Lincoln?