The Silent Wife

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison, audiobook read by Karen White and Donald Corren

Rating:  * * * *

Jodi and Todd, together for 20 years, are unraveling as a couple.  Todd goes too far and Jodi can no longer tolerate his philandering.  Todd no longer sees the need to pretend he has only one reality, the one he inhabits with Jodi.

Told in alternating “his” and “hers” chapters, this is an unnerving tale related through Jodi’s dogged denial and Todd’s casual ability to lead multiple lives.  The life they have built together is equally as solid as a relationship can be and as shaky as if built on quicksand.  What is truth?  What is betrayal?  If one doesn’t acknowledge a truth or a betrayal, does that make it a lie?

Jodi reminds me a good deal of Madolyn, the psychiatrist in the 2006 movie The Departed.

The publisher’s description of this book does the reader a gross disservice by saying it “rush[es] haplessly toward the main event.”  In actuality, this book rushes not at all.  It does, however, cover a great deal of ground before it reaches the main event, which by that time does seem hapless.  And that’s the genius of the book:  it is disturbing precisely because it is not disturbing enough – until it is.

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