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Blurb (from goodreads)
Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She likes to settle scores. He decides to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices, The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can’t be made, and promises that won’t be kept. Expertly plotted and reminiscent of Gone Girl and These Things Hidden, The Silent Wife ensnares the reader from page one and does not let go.
Book Review (no spoilers)
Stop the Gone Girl Comparisons!
I had such great expectations when I picked The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison. After all, it was compared to Gone Girl and yes, I loved Gone Girl. However, this Gone Girl comparison that publishers do whenever they are describing a new psychological thriller needs to stop. The Silent Wife has its good points but no, it is not like Gone Girl. It doesn’t need to be compared to Gone Girl to entice readers.
Okay, I just had to get the Gone Girl rant out of the way first. The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison is narrated through two perspectives. There is Todd’s version and then Jodi’s. Interesting thing about this couple is that they are both just unlikeable. They both seem quite damaged and it was hard to relate to them at first. The crack in the marriage is revealed quite earlier on and Jodi’s tolerance of Todd’s infidelity makes it pretty obvious that something is not quite okay with her.
“She didn’t know then that life has a way of backing you into a corner. You make your choices when you’re far too young to understand their implications, and with each choice you make the field of possibility narrows. You choose a career and other careers are lost to you. You choose a mate and commit to loving no other.”
― A.S.A. Harrison,
I liked Harrison’s writing style. The story sort of reveals the ending pretty quickly in the fast chapter and we get to know the fate of the two main characters. Readers also get to know the killer from the start(as indicated in the blurb). However, the author does a good job building the narrative from then on so that we are able to understand why the character turned into a killer.
I think I liked the ending of the book than the rest of the story. The slow pace didn’t really work well for me in this case. I also couldn’t connect with the two main characters especially Todd. At some point, his actions stopped making sense to me. However, the ending was pretty good. It was cold yet dramatic and that is where the twist occurred.
I liked The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison but as I have mentioned, I think that the character development could have been better. Or perhaps, my dislike for the characters could be the reason why I couldn’t connect with them. I enjoyed the writing though and hoped to read more from the author. Unfortunately, I only found out about her death while writing this review.
About the Author
A.S.A (Susan) Harrison’s previous books include Orgasms (Coach House Press, 1974), Revelations, with Margaret Dragu (Nightwood Editions, 1987), and Zodicat Speaks (Viking Penguin, 1996). The Silent Wife is her debut novel and she was at work on a new psychological thriller when she died in 2013, aged 65. Harrison was married to the visual artist John Massey and lived in Toronto.