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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"The Silent Wife" by A.S.A. Harrison~"Gone Girl" gone haywire!


"This summer's Gone Girl –  I gobbled it down in one sitting." – Anne Lamott, People

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.


Published by:  Penguin Books
Pages:  326
Genre:  Fiction/Thriller
Author:  A.S.A. Harrison
Purchase:  Amazon


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.


I was so distressed to learn that Ms Harrison passed away from cancer in April of last year.  What a bright future she had in fiction writing as shown in this novel.  We have lost a very special author.

As it's been touted "The Silent Wife" is a sort of "Gone Girl," but I'd say it's definitely on steroids!  This is a major psychological study replete with records of the wife's visits with her therapist.  Most interesting concept...she's a psychotherapist, too!  I absolutely was glued to the pages all day.  There is never a word wasted in this book.  Every nuance is captured as the wife is acting them out.  Perfect timing in every "scene." The husband lives in a state of constant tension... in an environment of the unknown.  It's just a book that brings out a gut reaction in the reader!

I always enjoy a book that flips back and forth between the characters' viewpoints and individual lives as the action builds.  Ms Harrison manages to keep us tense and guessing even using this technique.  I was spellbound by their different mindsets...both having different life histories that led up to their actions, different coping mechanisms, and rationalizations for what was happening to them.  This is a love and hate story, one of a web of lies and deception of the highest order.

You'll find here a very sophisticated novel with a plot that isn't easy to guess for an outcome.  I stayed up well into the night reading it until my eyes just wouldn't stay open, I wanted to finish it so much to find out what happened in the end.  You'll never figure it out until the final pages.

Perfect book for book groups to discuss.

5 stars                     Deborah/TheBookishDame



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