The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison – 2 stars (out of 5)

The Silent Wife

*I received a copy of this title from NetGalley for review*

Synopsis from Good Reads:

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.

I was pretty excited to start reading The Silent Wife, mostly because it was being called this Summer’s Gone Girl. I feel like that comparison was a great disservice to this book. Sure, there are some parallels, but they are actually really different. The tone. The characters. The pace. I’m not going to go into any more comparisons. I’m just going to say that I loved Gone Girl and this was not Gone Girl. But it shouldn’t have to be.

It took me a month to read this book. That’s basically unheard of for me. I usually finish a book in about 2-3 days. Sometimes less if things like work don’t get in the way. The pace was incredibly slow. A lot of the time was spent relaying the past and going into great detail of daily routine. I’m not a big fan of such minute detail, so my attention wandered.

We also find out in the opening pages – in the synopsis even – that Jodi kills Todd. I’ve read books like this before, knowing the ending before the story even starts, and they’re not usually my favorite. I like to be surprised and there weren’t really any surprises in this book.

The characters, all of them, were also very unlikable. I’ve read some other reviews that debate whether a character has to be likable to enjoy a book. For me, I want to have an emotional connection with them – at least just one of them. But I can also appreciate a good villain. If the characters are unlikable, the reader should at least like to dislike them. For those most part I felt Todd and Jodi were just very broken, very sad people.

I did, however, find Todd to be at times very interesting. He was kind of despicable human being and had zero self-awareness about it. Listening to him explain away his behavior as normal with no need to apologize for anything was kind of fascinating. I even found that when his death finally comes, I’m a little sorry for it. I wish he had an opportunity for redemption. But even if he did, I’m sure he wouldn’t have found a need to take it.

Overall, The Silent Wife was just ok for me. The writing was solid, the attention to detail was impeccable, but it just wasn’t the book I wanted it to be. I would recommend it to people who enjoy in depth character studies and caution them to ignore the comparisons to other books.

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3 thoughts on “The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison – 2 stars (out of 5)

  1. I’ve wanted to read this one since it came out, and was put off by the negative reviews, so I never got to it. I will probably read it oneday to see for myself 🙂

  2. Pingback: 2013 Year in Review | Stephanie's Book Reviews

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