- Paperback: 326 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; 5/26/13 edition (June 25, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143123238
- ISBN-13: 978-0143123231
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3,784 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Silent Wife: A Novel Paperback – June 25, 2013
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"It’s this summer’s Gone Girl – I gobbled it down in one sitting, and because of the wonderful writing, I did not feel one speck guilty.” – Anne Lamott, People Magazine
"Utterly absorbing." —Laura Miller, Salon
"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 anytime soon. I couldn't put this book down." —Elizabeth George, New York Times bestselling author of A Banquet of Consequences
"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
"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 toward the devastating finale." S. J. Watson, New York Times 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, author of The Other Woman's House
“This summer's sleeper hit” – The New York Times
“The Silent Wife is a boning knife of a novel, sharp and quick.” – Newsday
“Watch out, Gone Girl.” – USA Today
“A.S.A Harrison's The Silent Wife is a clean, understated thriller” – NPR.ORG
“You can't blame the publishers of The Silent Wife for hyping it as ‘the new Gone Girl.’ It's not. It just might be better.” – The Huffington Post
“For those who loved Gone Girl… The Silent Wife is a quick-witted marital pas de deaux featuring a psychotherapist and her philandering husband.” – Vogue, “Summer’s Best Mystery Reads”
“May be as popular as Gone Girl was last summer.” – CBS This Morning, “Best Reads for Your Summer Vacation”
“The surprises keep coming, pager after quiet page… Harrison writes well with a light touch, but her touch is devastating nonetheless.” – The Guardian, US Summer Reads pick
“That final revelation from Harrison, who, regrettably, died before she could see her debut novel published, inflicts the stealth damage of an icepick to the carotid artery.” – Sarah Weinman, New Republic
About the Author
A. S. A. Harrison is 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.
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What made me slightly sick is that the roots of Her silence is incestuous child sexual abuse at the hands of her older brother. She learns to loll into acceptance at the age of six and carries that into her adult sex life. "He" remarks how she immediately becomes "slack" with glazed eyes before/during sex at the of 45ish. Queasy-making. That is an image I can't unread. Must every story be about childhood sex abuse? Piling on, the brother moves on to the younger brother.
The story is not Her/Him, but of their parents' marriages. Each - despite deliberate actions to avoid doing so - becomes their parents. Her - silent and seething; Him - an abusive alcoholic hiding from everyone. The unraveling which reads as though it's taking years, the author reminds us is only a matter of weeks - shown through the stages of a first trimester pregnancy. Ironically, it's not Her to whom He is physically abusive; it's the young student who is deliberately pregnant w/His child that he rages and hits as He is dragged toward the altar.
Unfortunately, only one of this vile cast is murdered.
In the beginning, we are told that this novel is all about a murder. Jodi will be the murderer and Todd the victim...and it will take only "a few short months" to "make a killer out of her."
So you might ask: with a novel that starts like that, how could it possibly be marketed as a thriller? Where's the suspense?
In fact, there's plenty of delight and surprise in this captivating cerebral psychological thriller. It's a thriller because we readers must ultimately understand and figure out the complex psychological unfolding of "the how" and "the why." And if you can see and understand the emotional dynamics of what is happening, you'll find a great deal of humor (oh yes, very black and subtle) all along the way. This is an intricate and impressive dance of inner survival where both characters keep stumbling no matter how hard they try to make the right move.
The book covers the few short months while this relationship is coming apart. In detail, we learn of the events that propel these two toward their fates. The story is told in alternating chapters from Jodi's and Todd's points of view. As readers, we exist in these character's minds. We are privy to their inner motivations, rationalizations, distortions, and self-delusions. But with two separate and very differing viewpoints, readers are left to figure out what really is going on. That's what's fun. That's part of the thrill.
The author expects her readers to have a high social IQ and a fair amount of arm-chair academic psychological knowledge...and what she figures readers may not know, she explains--of course not directly, but the psychological facts are there, hidden in the fabric of the storytelling. Perhaps you'll recognize these "lessons" when you see them, or perhaps you'll just pick them up subconsciously along the way. In either case, you should eventually start to understand how these characters are fated--by their pasts, and by their own specific and differing temperaments and character flaws--to affect what happens in their lives.
This is a very clever book--intelligent, compelling, and exceedingly well written. If my review has piqued your interest, you are probably one of those readers who will find this book as remarkable as I did. For me it was clearly five stars.
I read this for a book club and I had to gut it out. I didn't like or connect to any of the 3 main characters. The writing was unnecessarily wordy and I found myself skipping big chunks.
He was a serial cheater who knocked up a young girl he knew since she was born. She knew it and was a pathetic doormat who looked pretty and cooked him dinner every night after he banged other women...and she was a therapist too...eeeesh. So the story is about a doormat, an overbearing knocked up young girl and a pathetic week philanderer who gets caught by younger vjj and then gets whacked....the end. Don't waste your time.