Books Magazine

Book Review: The Silent Wife

By Mamakbest @mamakbest

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


They had the perfect life…

If you’re in search of one final, beach-worthy, thrilling read for the summer, pick up The Silent Wife. In the book, we meet Jodi and Todd, an unmarried couple in a 20-year-long relationship. They live a very comfortable, affluent life on the Chicago waterfront. However picturesque their lives appear on the surface, Todd is actually a philandering serial cheater and Jodi is co-dependant, unwilling to acknowledge that her relationship is a sham. Jodi spends her days keeping a lovely home for Todd, cooking exquisite meals for him, and occasionally seeing clients as a psychologist in her home, something that is more of a hobby than a career. A. S. A. Harrison writes, “Life has a way of taking its toll on the person you thought you were.” When one of Todd’s extra curricular relationships finally pushes Jodi over the edge, she goes from being passive housewife to a killer.

You can see from my description of Jodi that I had a hard time feeling sympathy for her. I felt that her circumstances had everything to do with her own choices, so while it was sad that this woman was being cheated on, I thought she really needed to grow some cajones, become an independent woman, and leave him. This is the point where I sound like some sort of crazy feminist. I’m really not, but I just don’t have compassion for women whose lives depend on men. I found Jodi to be a pathetic character, who killed someone to change her circumstances, when she could have taken a look at herself and what she should change about her own behavior to improve her life.

While I didn’t like Jodi, I still enjoyed this fast-paced novel. It was written from the alternating perspectives of Jodi and Todd, which was an interesting he said, she said format. When reading the book, you can’t help but compare it to Gone Girl. Though I liked The Silent Wife, if you’re choosing between the two books, I’d recommend Gone Girl. The Silent Wife, however, was a solid, entertaining piece of fiction.

The Silent Wife
By A. S. A. Harrison
Released June 25th, 2013 – 336 Pages

I’ve mentioned that I read a lot. But one thing that I don’t think I shared with you is that I consider myself to be an incredibly slow reader. A book that takes a friend a week to read could take me three. What I lack in speed, I make up for in dedication. Even if the book isn’t that great, I’ll finish it. I feel that if I’ve already invested 10+ hours in reading a book, I’m going to see it through to the end. Sometimes this is a grueling process. Both The Night Circus and A Season On The Brink both took me more than a year to get through because I found them so slow that I could only bring myself to read a couple pages at a time before putting the book down. I can probably count on one hand the books that I haven’t finished. Sadly the majority of them fall in the Classics camp. Even though The Fountainhead is my favorite book of all time (I’ve read it three times), I couldn’t bring myself to get through Atlas Shrugged. Sorry, Ayn Rand, I tried twice to do it. Catch-22 just didn’t do it for me. Crime and Punishment…that was a chore I wasn’t willing to do. In the category of contemporary literature, I have a dusty copy of Special Topics In Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl sitting on my bookshelf right now that I couldn’t get into. Something all these books have in common is that they are all excessively long. Well, Catch-22 isn’t THAT long (452 pages in the paperback), but the rest are all over 500 pages with Atlas Shrugged coming in at 1,200 pages! You’re probably wondering what the point of me telling you about long books is. That brings me to the part of my monthly review where I tell you about what I’m reading now. This month I’ve got two books on my plate that are both over 600 pages long. One of my book club’s rules is that we don’t make selections that are too long. When we were going through the choices on the table last week, we liked the sound of one so much and saw that it was very well reviewed, so we went for it. It was only when I went to buy it in the Kindle Store that I realized how long it was. Melissa, one of the club’s members, bought an audiobook version and revealed that it was 23 hours of content! I let her know I was worried that I may not be able to finish it in four weeks. But I’m going to try. Whether or not I’ll be able to finish both those long books in four weeks is highly unlikely, but I like challenges…

What I’m Reading Now

The Book Club Selection


Night Film: A Novel
By Marisha Pessl

The 24-year-old daughter or an infamous film producer is found dead at the bottom of a freight elevator shaft in an abandoned warehouse in New York City’s Chinatown, the victim of an apparent suicide. Scott McGrath is a disgraced investigative reporter whose career was destroyed years ago when he failed to authenticate information he received on Stanislas Cordova, producer of films so vile that they are only screened underground. When McGrath learns Cordova’s daughter, Ashley, was found dead under strange circumstances, he digs up his old investigation of Cordova to try to uncover the truth about Cordova and Ashley’s death. The book is of the classic noir genre, full of secrets and shadows. It’s also interspersed with media clippings from newspapers, magazines, films, and websites that grippingly inform the plot. While I mentioned above that I previously couldn’t finish one of Pessl’s books, I’m 20% through this one and am loving it so far. The writing is chilling and I’ve been tearing through it. The book received excellent reviews for its elaborate, twisting plot. I look forward to sharing my own review of it with you next month.

On My Night Stand


A Prayer for Owen Meany
By John Irving

This is a moving, lovely tale of friendship and faith. Johnny Wheelwright tells us the story of his life growing up in Gravesend, New Hampshire with his best friend, Owen Meany. Owen is a boy who is unlike any other child. He’s very small for his age and has an arrestingly odd voice, characteristics that draw a lot of attention to him. At a Little League game one day, Owen is given the rare go-ahead from his coach to swing away at the plate. He steps up and hits a foul ball that strikes Johnny’s mom in the temple while her back was turned from the game. She dies instantly. Despite this awful tragedy, Johnny’s narration takes us through his friendship with Owen over the years before and after his mother’s death, describing the many ways that Owen is an instrument of God and how Owen is the reason Johnny is a believer. Owen’s consistently profound statements throughout the novel are riveting. He is a boy that I can’t get enough of. The book is criticized for a repetitive plot, but I think the repetition serves the reader well in fully understanding just what an extraordinary little boy Owen is.

At 624 pages and 640 pages, respectively, both these books are hefty. But I’m obsessed with both of them. What I’ve read of them so far is completely addicting. I am going to do everything I can to get through them this month and tell you about them next time we meet.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog