Sunday, July 7, 2013

Review: The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

Summary (courtesy of 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.

And here's what I thought:   This is one of those great reads where you have two viewpoints, and a sense of impending doom about what's going to happen to both of them.   And it's great.

We have Jodi, the wife, who leads what appears on the surface to be a quiet, nice life with her husband.   And then we have Todd, her husband, who not only leads a nice life with Jodi, but who also is having an affair with the daughter of one of his close friends.  Who is finishing up college.  I'm including this so you know there is an age gap going on in this relationship.

The thing that I think makes this an absolutely delicious read is that as a reader, you know what's happening, but the characters may or may not know what you know, and as the story progresses, they both figure things out .... but they may or may not let on to the other person about what they know.   It's very much cat-and-mouse at times, and since you know from the back of the book that Jodi is going to kill Todd, it's a lot of wondering when and how it's going to happen.   And when it does ..... well, it's not necessarily as clear-cut as you think.

The author does a great job of creating these two characters, who I was readily able to envision.  I liked that the book is set in Chicago (I live in one of the Chicago suburbs, and lived in a few different neighborhoods in the city, as well).   I also liked that the author kept me off-kilter with a few twists in the storyline.  Just when I thought I knew what to expect, there would be a move in a different direction.

If you enjoyed the back-and-forth and suspense of Gone Girl, I'd definitely suggest adding this book to your reading list.  It's a short book, with a quick pace, and I found it to be a really good read.

First lines:   It's early September.  Jodi Brett is in her kitchen, making dinner. Thanks to the open plan of the condo, she has an unobstructed view through the living room to its east-facing windows and beyond to a vista of lake and sky, cast by the evening light in a uniform blue.  A thinly drawn line of a darker hue, the horizon, appears very near at hand, almost touchable.  She likes this delineating arc, the feeling it gives her of being encircled.  The sense of containment is what she loves most about living here, in her aerie on the twenty-seventh floor.


Annette Mills said...

Loved Gone Girl. And, I too like a book where the reader knows, but the characters don't. Usually i find myself screaming at the characters while I'm reading! Great review!

Amanda said...

Just found your site from the comment you left on my blog . . and this sounds really good. I enjoyed how the two stories were woven together in Gone Girl, so I'll be adding this to my to-read list!

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