If you liked Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl,” you will love A.S.A. Harrison’s psychological thriller “The Silent Wife.”
This is a taut page-turner that hooks you right from the start. Jodi Brett is in her lakefront Chicago condo preparing dinner:
She does not have her eye on the future but lives very much in the moment, keeping her focus on the everyday. She assumes, without having thought about it, that things will go on indefinitely in their imperfect yet entirely acceptable way. In other words, she is deeply unaware that her life is now peaking, that her youthful resilience – which her twenty-year marriage to Todd Gilbert has been slowly eroding – is approaching a final stage of disintegration, that her notions about who she is and how she out to conduct herself are far less stable than she supposes, given that a few short months are all it will take to make a killer out of her.
It comes as something of a surprise to learn that the “deeply unaware” Jodi is a psychotherapist. Yet Jodi, it seems, has always been silent. She has lived with Todd for twenty years as a wife, although they never actually married. Determined to create an orderly life and enjoying the luxuries afforded by Todd’s success as a real estate entrepreneur, she has willfully ignored Todd’s history of cheating:
It simply doesn’t matter that time and time again he gives the game away, because he knows and she knows that he’s a cheater, and he knows that she knows, but the point is that the pretense, the all-important pretense must be maintained, the illusion that everything is fine and nothing is the matter.
She learned how to keep silent growing up: her father cheated on her mother, yet her mother turned a blind eye. Jodi believes:
However bad things look to other people, the marriage bond can be indestructible.
She has convinced herself that her “marriage” bond is firm and has been able to live with the lie until he gets in over his head and their world of carefully constructed compromise comes crashing down.
Told in alternating chapters, “Her” and “Him”, “The Silent Wife” moves to a chilling, and perhaps inevitable conclusion – with a genuinely surprising twist.
The recently deceased author of numerous non-fiction books, Harrison has penned a winner with her debut novel. “The Silent Wife” is an razor-edged dissection of a crumbling relationship on a collision course with disaster.
“The Silent Wife” is available on amazon.com and at your favorite New York bookstores.