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The Silent Wife Paperback – Jun 25 2013
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"A.S.A. Harrison knocks it out of the park with her first novel The Silent Wife. With a spare, elegant, and deft hand, she paints two dueling psychological portraits of longtime live-in lovers who become putative killer and hapless victim in a tale that no one is likely to forget any time soon. I couldn't put this book down." - Elizabeth George, New York Times bestselling author of Believing the Lie
“What a deliciously wicked pleasure The Silent Wife was to read. I love books where I can’t guess the outcome although I was rooting for Jodi all the way. A very clever, very funny comedy of manners spliced with a domestic thriller.” - Kate Atkinson, New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life and Case Histories
“Like a tiny crack in the windshield of destiny, The Silent Wife examines the ultimate shattering of a perfectly civilized marriage. Intense, hypnotic, and thoroughly absorbing, Harrison challenges her characters to venture beyond their comfort zones, into a world where anything is possible, even murder." - Elizabeth Brundage, author of A Stranger Like You and The Doctor's Wife
“A.S.A. Harrison's The Silent Wife is a chilling portrait of a relationship gone terribly awry. Harrison takes the reader down a wickedly twisted path that has us at once rooting for and wary of the protagonists. A breathtaking story that will keep you reading well into the night and wide awake long after the final page.” - Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
“A gripping story of deception, denial and double-edged revenge. The Silent Wife combines taut pacing and psychological nuance to haunting and memorable effect.” - Nancy Richler, author of national bestseller and Giller Prize nominated The Imposter Bride
“Beautifully written and deeply unsettling, this darkly funny examination of what happens when you've got nothing left to lose is also brilliantly addictive. It left me almost breathless as I raced towards the devastating finale.” - S.J. Watson, bestselling author of Before I Go To Sleep
'SUPERB… As a novel about the dark side of marriage and relationships, it's better than Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. A must read for anyone who is occasionally ruthless, reckless or psychologically weird - and anyone who loves clever books with depth and heart.' - Sophie Hannah, bestselling author of Kind of Cruel and Room Swept White
About the Author
A.S.A. Harrison is the author of four non-fiction books. The Silent Wife is her debut novel and she was at work on a new psychological thriller when she died in 2013. Harrison was married to the visual artist John Massey and lived in Toronto.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Penguin|June 25, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-14-318704-2
Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Both are at the mercy of their unrelenting wants and needs, and both are unaware that the path they are on is careening toward murder. 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, oblivious of the destiny they are jointly creating, caught in the thrall of disaster unfolding.
Chapter by chapter, the narrative evolves from their alternating perspectives. 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. The alternating voices pitch the reader back and forth between protagonists in conflict who are fighting for self-preservation, both of them making deeply consequential mistakes, behaving in ever more foolhardy ways, losing at the games they're playing.
The Silent Wife is a finely wrought emotionally charged psychological thriller 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 doesn't let go.
Jodi and Todd, never legally married have been together for about twenty years. Jodi just never felt a piece of signed paper to prove their togetherness as a couple was really warranted. short hours. She makes just enough money to purchase little extras.Read more ›
Jodi is a psychologist with several degrees after her name. Todd is a renovation expert and a developer with no degrees. He is also a cheater. They have been together for twenty years and now their relationship is disintegrating. Jodi is in denial.
The story is told in alternating chapters giving two different viewpoints, HER and HIM.
Jodi is 45 years old and still sees herself as a young woman. She lives in the present and never thinks about the future. If she doesn't think about it, life will go on as usual. However, she is now strongly aware that her life is peaking and her twenty year old "marriage" has been slowly falling apart. Jodi and Todd live in a beautiful waterfront condo. They have no children. They have a dog named Freud. Jodi lives the life of a diva. Her days are well mapped out in a daybook. She must have a daily schedule of activities planned and this keeps her feeling secure and happy. She needs to have things to look forward to. Keeping busy is the key to staying healthy. She is a part-time psychologist who sees two clients every morning before noon in the spare room at home. This gives her a little money. Then she's off to the gym, which is in the same building. There are Pilate sessions, hairdresser appointments, spa visits which she loves going to, meetings from the Order of Psychologists, taking courses in whatever interests her etc. She likes driving around in her Audi Coupe with the windows down and enjoys just looking around and taking it all in. On her way home, she stops for a Frappuccino.Read more ›
The only similarity to Gone Girl is the deterioration of a marriage, so ignore the editorial comparisons before you open The Silent Wife, an artfully crafted novel.
Although Jodi and Todd or unlikable characters, it is the reality of their humdrum life and their inability to communicate that are the heart of the story. Jodi’s passive aggression builds alongside her troubles, and Harrison subtly adjusts her character’s behaviour to depict the psychology. Todd’s jarring selfishness has roots in massive insecurities that Harrison shows in understated situations, and his physical dependency on Jodi illustrates his weaknesses and self-loathing.
Told through first-person POV, alternating between Todd and Jodi, the reader glimpses the characters’ motivations and inner turmoil. Harrison details atmospheres and settings to illustrate Jodi’s control issues and to support her character’s co-dependent disorder. Day-to-day scenes aren’t riveting and wrought with excitement. This stylist choice paints the self-destructive nature of the key characters with a delicate hand. Although there is limited suspense, following Jodi’s mind through her cognitive distortions is fascinating.
Harrison’s gift with words is poetic in places, but if you’re looking for a gripping thriller or a suspenseful murder mystery, give The Silent Wife a pass. However, if you’re a fan of understated psychological dramas, read the book.
Most recent customer reviews
Really not a thriller but a very well written drama, rather in the vein of joy fielding novelsPublished 4 months ago by DrBooze
Very well written captivating book that shows how much us humans might be able to deceive ourselves. This book is also a psychologic thriller of sorts. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Britt Bright
If you are under 30 or male and don't yet realize how a scorned woman's' mind actually works...you may find this interesting.... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Nina
I thoroughly enjoyed the buildup to the climax in the story. The characters are well defined and the story flows naturally. I was intrigued right to the end of the book.Published 8 months ago by Cheryl Wilson