Friday, January 29, 2016

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: The Silent Wife


As 2016 commences, I am back with the program (a bunch of snow days helped with this), and once more I’m participating in The Cephalopod Coffeehouse blog hop. This is a gathering of readers who meet up once a month to discuss the best books we’ve read in the past thirty days.

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I have actually read quite a few books this month, but the one that really sticks out in my mind is a soon-to-be-made-into-a-motion-picture, best-selling novel entitled The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison.



The Silent Wife is deceptively simple. On the surface it seems like any other story about a wife in denial of her husband’s infidelities. But as the layers start to peel back, we learn that nothing is as it seems. Todd may think he’s having his cake and eating it too, but as he tries to make a life with his mistress, he realizes that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. As for Jodi, life without Todd is much harder than she expected, and her resentment soon turns to deep bitterness that takes root in a dangerous form.



My take:  After having read about a half a dozen of these things, I’ve decided I’m a huge fan of the psychological thriller genre.


When I first began reading this novel, I wasn’t sure I could finish it. The entire story is written in present tense, although told in alternating points of view. Present tense annoys me greatly. Quite honestly, neither of the characters are particularly likable. Todd is clueless and spoiled; Jodi is cold and out of touch with her own feelings. After the first chapter or two, I was sucked into the story and forgot all about the present tense. And the plot is so simple, yet engrossing, that even the character’s deep flaws didn’t bother me after a while (and I’m finding nowadays that many novels contain unlikable protagonists). The bottom line? I could not put this book down. It was absolutely compelling to read, and although the basic premise is familiar, I still found myself wondering—what is going to happen?


The story is claustrophobic in a good way, if that’s possible. There really is very little in the way of side plots. We get some insight into the mistress, her family and issues, but the main focus is on these two people—their short comings and emotions (or lack thereof).


A thriller and domestic mystery (there is a twist to the plot) in the vein of Girl on a Train or Gone Girl, The Silent Wife is by far the most riveting page-turner I’ve read this year.  I give it four out of five quills.




Now run on over to these other great bloggers’ sites and check out their reads for the month!




What good books have you read this month?

12 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting book, will have to put it on my to read list. I just finished The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy. It was very good, hard to get into at first, but then riveting.

    Betty

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    1. I just looked that one up. It looks great! I'm really into historical fiction right now.

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  2. I always struggle with infidelity plots, always.
    That said, this sounds like a fantastic thriller. And that COVER! Somebody;s gonna die, right? DON'T tell me!!
    Thanks for sharing.
    V:)

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    1. Infidelity plots get old if there's no kind of twist to them. This one is strangely compelling though...

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  3. Books written in present tense aggravate the fire out of me, too, so it has to be a reeeeally good book to allow me to get past it enough to enjoy the story. Sounds like this one does just that. Thanks for the recommendation. I enjoy psychological thrillers, too.

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  4. Sounds like fun. I like your quills too.

    Present tense seems normal now and I don't think that's a good thing.

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    1. I agree! There seems to be this trend now of writing entire novels in the present tense. I don't think it's a good way of telling a story. I'm not sure why it has become so popular.

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    2. I wonder if immersive video games have fueled this trend or if both stem from a common cultural thread. If it's not happening right now, it's not important.

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  5. I'm not into present tense, either.

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  6. Sounds very gripping indeed! I still haven't read Gone Girl but thought the movie was pretty amazing - if strange, like 2 movies pasted together. I will take a look into this one, thanks for the rec!

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  7. Yikes. I'm intrigued, but I don't like claustrophobic stories! I watched The Affair on Showtime when I had it briefly and WOW...very powerful. It tells the story of an affair from both the man's and woman's side, complete with "memory bias," so when we're in his POV, we think she lured him into it and when we're in hers, we think he was the seducer. Fascinating stuff.

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    1. That does sound good. I wonder if it's on Netflix...

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