If you haven’t read “The Stepford Wives,” Ira Levin’s 1972 satiric novel, adapted to film in 1975, about a Connecticut town where all the women are perfect helpmeets, no spoilers. The thing to know about “The Husbands,” Chandler Baker’s smart inversion of Levin’s plot, is that in Dynasty Ranch, Texas, the carefully planned “enclave community” outside of Austin where Nora Spangler wants to move with her husband, Hayden, and their preschool daughter, Liv, it’s the male spouses who seem a bit too good to be true.

About to make partner at her large personal-injury law firm, Nora has not yet revealed to her old-fashioned boss, Gary, that she’s pregnant with a second child. Groomed by our culture to balance family with an ambitious career, Nora feels alienated by Beachbody-workout devotee preschool moms who stay at home, and after a first visit to Dynasty Ranch with a real estate agent and resident named Isla Wong, finds herself drawn to the dynamic, accomplished women who live there, including Alexis Foster-Ross, head of a tech start-up and president of the Dynasty Ranch Homeowners Association; Donna Hedges, just elected to the state senate; and Dr. Cornelia White, who provides counseling services for a number of the local couples.

Hayden has reservations about the move, but he gets a taste of the place after Nora accepts Dr. White’s offer to represent a neighbor whose husband died in a suspicious fire. Soon the Spanglers are taking part in Dynasty Ranch activities, including a lavish Mother’s Day party and regular sessions with Dr. White. Initially those sessions involve talk therapy and — to Nora — a somewhat annoying flood of compliments for Hayden. So far, so benign.

However, things start to get more intrusive, leading Nora to scrutinize the other husbands. Max Foster-Ross keeps on a tight housekeeping schedule so that his wife can socialize and manage the HOA. When Asher White, Cornelia’s husband, gets an unexpected visitor with a house that’s “an absolute volcano of a mess,” he isn’t flustered. “You’ve caught me mid-Marie Kondo,” he explains. “Don’t you just love an organized closet?” What’s up with the treadmill stress tests, the electromagnetic treatments and the elegant gold pens each Dynasty Ranch wife seems to keep close?

What’s really going on at Dynasty Ranch? As Nora starts to put the pieces together, seeing that the marriage dynamics there are set up for a particular kind of woman, her questions lead her to think about what she really wants for her own marriage and her own life.

Baker dedicates her book to “the millions of women who are struggling to be caregivers, mothers, co-workers, and spouses all at once,” and she adds, “women can do anything, but they can’t do everything.” Her novel implies that no easy answers exist, but she’s written a fun, fast-paced book that at least asks the hard questions. Because something needs to change, drastically, if women are expected to continue combining careers with raising families.