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October 2021

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The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Three Stars

Best for:
Fans of mysteries told from a couple of different perspectives.

In a nutshell:
Jodi and Todd have been together for 20 years, though they aren’t married. Todd regularly cheats on Jodi. Todd has gotten his latest paramour, Natalie, pregnant. Natalie is the daughter of one of Todd’s childhood friends, Dean. Events transpire.

Worth quoting:
Really anything Todd from Todd’s perspective was so representative of how I imagine oblivious vaguely misogynistic men think. I could quote him endlessly here, always followed with a giant eye roll.

Why I chose it:
It’d been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years and thought I’d finally read it.

Review:
Ah, this book has one of my favorite storytelling devices: alternating perspectives. Every chapter is from either Jodi or Todd’s voice. They never talk about the same events, so it’s not like we get Saturday night’s perspective from Jodi, followed by Todd’s take on Saturday night. Instead, they alternate each chapter, building on the time line.

Todd is a builder / property investor. Jodi is a psychologist. She never wanted to get married, so they didn’t. They also don’t have children. Then one day Todd is told by his lover Natalie (who is a good 20 years younger than him) that she is pregnant, and she expects that he’ll be leaving his wife and marrying her. And he just sort of … does. Without ever directly telling Jodi. She hears it from Dean, Natalie’s dad. And him leaving her, when they aren’t married, leaves her in a bit of a pickle, financially speaking.

Neither Todd nor Jodi are particularly sympathetic. I kept wanting to throttle them, telling them to use their words, act like grown-ups. Not be assholes. Todd is the primary jerk, but Jodi definitely doesn’t do herself any favors.

I can’t share more without giving away way too much of the plot. But I do think it’s worth a read, especially if picked up at your library.

(There was a sort of shoehorned in story line about possible child abuse that I just didn’t think really fit; otherwise this would have been a four-star book for me.)

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