Thursday, October 3, 2013
There was so much buzz over the summer about THE SILENT WIFE by A.S.A. Harrison that I decided to pack it for my beach vacation. (Yes... I'm still catching up on reviews from almost two months ago!) I had seen in more than one place that THE SILENT WIFE was being compared to GONE GIRL; and quite frankly, that set my expectations pretty high... probably unfairly so.
THE SILENT WIFE does have a few similarities to GONE GIRL. It is a psychological thriller told in alternating chapters by the "husband" and the "wife," and their "marriage" is far from sound. However, it didn't quite have that same shock value that the first half of GONE GIRL did. It's not that I didn't enjoy THE SILENT WIFE. I actually thought it was a very good book. I just think it might have been a disservice to compare it to the mega-hit GONE GIRL.
In THE SILENT WIFE, the reader is introduced to Jodi and Todd, a couple who have been together for twenty years. Their relationship is strained to say the least, partly because of Todd's serial cheating and Jodi's ability to deny. However one day, Jodi gets fed up and decides to do something. Both sides of the relationship are presented in alternating chapters in Jodi and Todd's voices, and it's clear that the couple is headed towards something big -- namely Jodi deciding to murder Todd!
I really liked THE SILENT WIFE. It is a very well written novel and I thought the author did a wonderful job of capturing the individual stories of both Jodi and Todd. I especially appreciated getting Jodi's story because it became rather "twisted," and I liked seeing how her character evolved from the point of denial to the point of murder. Talk about a woman scorned! Having said that, I also enjoyed getting Todd's view on their relationship. I think presenting both the "him" and "her" sides of the story was the ideal way to tell this story.
I think what I appreciated the most about THE SILENT WIFE was how smart it was. The story was clever, as was the writing, but I most enjoyed the psychological insight into the characters. I found the path towards destruction of their relationship to be extremely interesting, and while I didn't really like either of the main characters, I found their interactions (and lack thereof) to be almost humorous given the resentment each one was harboring towards the other.
THE SILENT WIFE would make a great book club discussion. Truly, Jodi and Todd are fascinating and it would be a lot of fun to dissect their relationship over a glass of wine or two. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a discussion guide but I doubt that one is necessary. Some of the themes you might want to explore include love, betrayal, resentment, infidelity, and revenge.
It wasn't until I finished THE SILENT WIFE that I realized that the author passed away just months before the publication of this novel. Such a tragedy for so many reasons....
While I hesitate to compare THE SILENT WIFE to GONE GIRL, I do think readers who appreciate psychological thrillers will enjoy this novel.
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.