Book: The Silent Wife | Author: A.S.A. Harrison | Started: 5/9/14 | Finished: 5/12/14 | Rating: 5 stars
Synopsis: 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.
My review: This book is often regarded as similar to Gone Girl. I can see the parallel, but this is beyond Gone Girl in a few different ways. I don’t want to spend this whole review doing a compare and contrast of both books so I’m not going to, but it is important to know that when someone tells you “it’s just like Gone Girl!” that they are wrong and you should not go into this book hoping for Gone Girl because you’re getting so much better.
I think Gone Girl’s biggest problem was that I couldn’t pick a character, the wife or husband, that I really liked. I couldn’t get on one side of either character. The Silent Wife made me dislike both characters for different reasons, but I ended up liking Jodi a lot more than I liked Todd. Todd was repulsive and made me want to punch him, and every guy like him, in the face. Jodi annoyed me and pissed me off, but I never hated her. That’s what makes this book stand out. I think we’re supposed to dislike both characters because they both have problems, but we’re supposed to like one character a bit more than the other.
One reason I think I liked Jodi is because the writing in this book was fabulous. The book goes in alternating voices, her (Jodi) and him (Todd) so we see the events from both of them. That is what made it so easy to hate Todd because I saw everything from his point of view. Todd tried to rationalize why he cheated on Jodi, why he had a mistress when he had a beautiful wife, why he wanted to throw it all away for this younger woman. With Jodi, we had to see her rationalize what Todd was doing because she loved him. Sometimes when she was trying to rationalize everything he did, I wanted to knock some sense into her and other times I wanted to just give her a hug. If the writing hadn’t been as sharp as it was, I don’t think I would have felt strong feelings for either of them.
From the very beginning of the book, we know that something horrible happens. We are prepared for this Horrible Thing That is Going To Happen At Some Point. Once it happened, I did not expect it. It was out of the blue but also fit perfectly. Once I figured out what was going on, I don’t think I put down the book once until I was finished. I had to figure out how it was going to happen, if it would work, and when it would happen. It was a big turning point in the book. Anyone that liked the twists and turns in Gone Girl will appreciate this one as well.
Something that I liked about this book was the occasional flashbacks to before Todd and Jodi were married, when everything was peaches and cream with them. Both characters had flashbacks and talked about their first date or their first few months of dating. Flashbacks made Todd more likable because he was likable before. Then I had to remind myself that I hate him and go back to hating him. Then there are parts in the book where Jodi talks about her life before Todd. With her brothers and her parents. It wasn’t an “important” part of the plot per se, but it was important to know about Jodi.
Both Jodi and Todd had dysfunctional home lives growing up and I think that’s what made them such an unnatural couple. After learning about their families, it makes sense that Jodi and Todd were dysfunctional together.
I would read this book over and over again. It was an easy read but also had me on the edge of my seat at times. I went into this thinking it was like Gone Girl and got so much more out of it. I’d recommend this to anyone that liked Gone Girl and anyone that didn’t. It’s too good not to read at some point.