Monday 10 February 2014

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

A chilling psychological thriller about a marriage, a way of life, and how far one woman will go to keep what is rightfully hers

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. 

The Silent Wife was published in the UK by Headline on 21 November 2013.

There are readers who carry on with a book, right to the end, even if they are not enjoying it.  I am not one of those readers.  I don't believe in spending my free time on something that does not give me pleasure, after all you wouldn't carry on watching a TV programme that you hated, or eat a meal that tasted bad would you?  This doesn't mean that the books that I don't like and don't finish are bad books, it just means that they are not for me, but undoubtedly many other readers will love them.

This brings me to The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison.   I read every page, right to the end, but I really didn't like it.  I wanted to like it, I liked the premise, I love the cover, but I just didn't like the story, or the writing. So why did I finish it?  Well, there is something there, something that pulled me in and tempted me right the way through, that made me carry on reading - I really thought that this was going to turn out to be one of those surprises - a book that proved me wrong.    It wasn't and it didn't.

Jodi and Todd, or 'Him and Her' as their alternatively narrated chapters are titled.  They've been together for twenty years.   Todd's a bit of a bloke, likes his fast car, his swanky office, being the boss and shagging around.  Jodi puts up with it, she's always refused to marry him, children have never appeared, but by God, she's a great housekeeper and cooks a fine meal every night - along with folding Todd's newspaper and making sure that his shirts are ironed.

Then Todd strays just a little too far.  His best mate's teenage daughter - yes, that far.  Then she's pregnant, and the next thing he knows, he's leaving Jodi and getting married to his young lover.  Both Jodi and Todd crumble.  Todd convinces himself he's going to die  ..... be careful what you wish for!!   Jodi realises that she should have married him, and that the past twenty years don't count for anything when you are a common-law wife.

I disliked both Todd and Jodi - I don't have a problem with unlikeable characters, but these two were boring aswell.  Their story was a chore to read, especially Jodi's - hers seem to be a study in psychology and drifted off into reams of academic speak quite often.  Todd was just an arsehole if I'm honest - no redeeming features and basically got what he deserved.

Lots of well known and respected authors have praised this book.  Maybe I missed something, I'm not sure, but I do know that I won't be going back to have another look.


  1. I found your review very interesting, Anne. Before reading it - at the stage when I had only seen the cover and the title - I thought to myself that it would probably be one of those books that one reads in between more serious books. Of course, you did not say as much in your review, but it was obvious that you did not like it. Unlike you, I am one of those people who reads a book to the end (well, most of the time) even if I don't particularly like it. I have always had this strange feeling that I must not let the author down, but perhaps it is an attitude that needs revising.

  2. Hello Diane, welcome to my blog, and thanks for your comment. I really do understand that feeling of letting an author down, however I just have so many books to read, and not that much time, that I have to be very strict!