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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 24 June 2015
Didn't really work for me.
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on 29 August 2013
A good read which kept my attention right to the end. A little drawn out however hence the four stars.
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The premise for The Silent Wife doesn't sound the most appealing. It's about the break-up of a twenty-year old relationship that disintegrates into a nasty business that involves bitter recriminations on both sides and, inevitably, lawyers and writs. The messy business - emotional and financial - is covered realistically with almost forensic detail. If you really want to get into the heads of the two parties involved in either side of a divorce dispute, the thought processes and step-by-step breakdown of the break-up are all laid out here in fascinating psychological and behavioural detail. The Silent Wife however is more than just a manufactured situation for the airing of dirty linen.

For a start, the couple involved - Jodi and Todd - are not a typical couple. In fact they're not even married, which makes "divorce" proceedings technically less complicated, even if the actual separation of their life spent together is still rather problematic. Living in Chicago in a comfortable apartment, Jodi works part-time as a psychotherapist, while Todd as a property developer. Also, untypically, Jodi knows about and has tolerated Todd's affairs for the sake of their relationship as long as he keeps them discreet and they don't interfere with their lives. Todd however as got in deep with the considerably younger daughter of his best friend and - just to force circumstances to a head - Natasha is pregnant.

So, yes, you can expect lots of salacious detail and drama over the initial shock, followed by the disbelief and indecision over how to proceed as events seem to take on a momentum of their own. The author covers this brilliantly, delineating the personalities of the characters with almost psychological precision but without ever regarding them as merely "case studies". Even if there is some deep psychological probing of the backgrounds of the characters - inevitable considering Jodi's professional background - the writing is fascinating for how it expresses the real human responses as well as the text-book behavioural patterns that have evolved out of Jodi and Todd's childhood and family experiences.

The Silent Wife is deliciously sharp in its observations, summing up characters, situations and social context with a few well-chosen words, but it can also be quite strongly dramatic and even quite poetic, with even something of a thriller element creeping into proceedings. The writing is superb, thoughtful and considered, and even if the thriller element feels a little bit out of place here, it does add one further element of unpredictability that nonetheless rises naturally out of the situation so well elaborated here. The author A.S.A. Harrison died just before The Silent Wife - her first fiction work - was published, and was reportedly working on a new book which sadly we'll never get to see now.
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on 30 May 2015
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on 26 October 2014
Great easy book to read.
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on 9 September 2013
An easy and entertaining read. The unfolding story holds your attention and the plot and characterisation have you guessing what will happen next. Compared with 'Gone Girl' (as comparisons are being widely drawn), I enjoyed the characters and the plausible story line and opportunity to speculate with 'The Silent Wife' whereas the extraordinary plot in 'Gone Girl' was its strength (provided you can suspend disbelief and just enjoy the ride). Psychotherapists may like to know that the central character in 'The Silent Wife' is a part-time therapist so you can perhaps enjoy the descriptions of the client sessions, transcripts from supervision, comments on Jungian and Adlerian thinking; even the dog is called Freud...
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on 1 September 2013
I read a review of this book where is was said to be on the same line as Gone Girl so I thought I would give it a go.
First of all it is NOT like Gone Girl at all but it is a very good read.
Jodi i thought was an interesting character as regards the way she organised her life and ran her home like clockwork. This was interesting as it was her way of staying controlled and maintaining equilibrium in her life.
Her husband was an interesting character too, he did like a bit of spice in his life but his life with Jodi was like his comfort blanket. When his latest affair with his friends daughter gets out of hand he gets pulled along by circumstances and his lack of backbone costs him dearly.
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on 18 January 2014
The title is a misnomer but I suppose the silent partner could also be misconstrued. However, the book takes you through a relationship that is not straightforward. Many would have kicked Todd into touch long ago but Jodi has her problems which you discover through her therapy sessions with her mentor. You know from the start that she is going to commit a serious crime and the book keeps you wondering when and how she is going to accomplish this. I was very slow to realise how sad her childhood was, but maybe that is the way in which the author keeps you slightly in the dark right up until the end. Well written and much better than "Lost Girl", to which it has been compared.
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on 27 September 2014
good read, enjoyed it
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on 24 December 2014
Bought as a present
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