Review – The Wife Drought

The Wife Drought – Annabel Crabb

Ebury Press, 2014

How do you have it all? By not doing it all. Where many studies examine the workplace and the home as separate spheres, Annabel Crabb looks at the points where they connect – and in many cases, painfully collide. From examining the advantages of having a stay-at-home spouse, to historical precedents in enforcing there be one, to the modern shake-up of gender roles that still somehow raises eyebrows, this book tries to pinpoint exactly what it means to have a ‘wife’, and what it means to manage without one.

I don’t read much non-fiction, let alone non-fiction containing half as many statistics as The Wife Drought, but Annabel Crabb’s breezy, wry style makes this book immensely readable. She turns questions of gender roles around to look at them from all angles and makes some truly fantastic points (how I opened that blurb is one of them and she is so right). You don’t realise how ingrained some of your assumptions are until they are gently poked into the open. Crabb also hosts the ABC’s political cooking show Kitchen Cabinet.

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