Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

The Silent Wife is a psychological thriller set in Chicago about a 20-year-marriage that is speeding towards a crash. A.S.A. Harrison gets us inside the heads of Jodi and Todd through alternating Her and Him chapters. Their destination is clear from the second paragraph, where we learn that Jodi's "notions about who she is and how she ought to conduct herself are far less stable than she supposes, given that a few short months are all it will take to make a killer out of her."

The narrative has an inexorable pull -- the details of how things can fall apart in such a spectacular way. The central characters are not admirable specimens, but Harrison makes them believable and fully human. Even though I sped through this like an express train, Jodi and Todd will live on in my memory.

Readalikes: Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn); The Middlesteins (Jami Attenberg); The Woman Upstairs (Claire Messud).

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