April 15, 2014
The Silent Wife
The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
2013 Blackstone Audio
Readers: Karen White and Donald Corren
Finished on 2/7/14
Rating: 2.5/5 (Fair)
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.
I first learned of The Silent Wife when I read Bellezza’s enticing review last summer. I loved Gone Girl, so I was anxious to dip into another psychological thriller when I saw that this was being compared to Gillian Flynn’s blockbuster hit. I listened to the audio version of this slim novel and unfortunately was not as impressed as other readers. It’s been two months since I finished the book and I have only a slight memory of the plot! Was I so distracted with my work that I failed to become fully invested in the narrative? Would I have had a greater appreciation for the story if I had read the print edition? Reading through reviews posted online, my memory of this book is slowly awakened. I now remember that I didn’t care for either character, but Todd in particular was completely unlikeable for obvious reasons. Jodi is also flawed and I never felt sympathetic to her plight. The pacing was uneven and I was disappointed at the anticlimactic ending, having anticipated a strong twist at the end.
This may have been a case of poor timing or the wrong format, but it’s not one I plan to read again, nor can I recommend it to others. I didn’t care for either of the audio readers, so if you’re curious, I suggest getting the print version from your library.
A. S. A. Harrison was the author of four books of nonfiction. The Silent Wife is her debut novel and she was at work on a new psychological thriller when she died in 2013. She lived with her husband, visual artist John Massey, in Toronto, Canada.