These people are messed up

A review of The Silent Wife: A Novel by A.S.A. Harrison

The reader knows from the second page of this sanity-bending tale of marriage and deception that half of the narration is murderous and unreliable. The question is: is the other half equally murderous or unreliable? 

Told in alternating "Her" and "Him" chapters, The Silent Wife explores the demise of the twenty-year marriage between Chicago psychotherapist Jody Brett and her real estate mogul husband Todd Gilbert. One of the first big problems the reader discovers is that Jody and Todd aren't actually married. Uh, oh. Common law marriage is not legal in the state of Illinois. One of the following even bigger problems is that Todd is a serial philanderer and incapable of handling confrontation. This actually works out quite well for Jody and Todd at first, because as the "silent wife," Jody doesn't do much confronting. Until things get out of hand with Todd's latest girlfriend. And then everything explodes.

I immediately got lost in the drama of this book - I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. Both Jody and Todd behaved despicably, but I kind of understood where they were coming from. Not in a good way or acceptable way, but understandable. 

The secondary character that I really felt for in this messed up situation was the dog. He had a pretty good gig going with lots of attention, regular walks along Lake Shore Drive and treats and leftovers from lovingly prepared gourmet meals. Poor guy. I bet he didn't see it coming.

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