Title: The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
Publisher: Penguin Books
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A chilling psychological thriller about a marriage, a way of life, and how far one woman will go to keep what is rightfully hers
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.
A.S.A. Harrison’s debut novel, The Silent Wife, is an fascinating novel about the disintegration of Jodi Brett and Todd Gilbert’s twenty year relationship that takes an ominous turn when Todd leaves Jodi for another woman.
Jodi and Todd are a forty something couple who enjoy a luxurious and self-indulgent lifestyle. Jodi is a part-time psychologist who works from home and Todd is a successful property developer. Their common law marriage has withstood Todd’s numerous affairs and Jodi has no reason to believe his latest fling will change the status quo. Needless to say, Jodi is stunned when Todd moves out and she learns that she is not entitled to any financial compensation because Illinois does not recognize their common law marriage.
Neither Jodi nor Todd are particularly likable or sympathetic characters. They are both self-absorbed and selfish. Neither accepts responsibility for their actions and they each have an amazing sense of entitlement. Todd is weak, malleable and constantly tries to justify his actions. Jodi is distant, petty and will go to any lengths to keep the comfortable life she has created for herself.
One of the things I particularly liked about The Silent Wife is the fact that each chapter contains a “his” and “her” perspective. The reader gains valuable insight about the characters’ thought processes and motivations. However the story is often mired in superfluous detail and the plot is slow moving due to the characters’ constant inner dialogue.
The Silent Wife is an interesting character study and the psychological aspect of the storyline is quite informative. The characters are deeply flawed and complex and A.S.A. Harrison throws in some very intriguing plot twists late in the novel. The ending is satisfying but a little ambiguous since there a few questions left unanswered.