I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 9th 2018
Barnes & Noble
A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.Assume nothing.
Discover the next blockbuster novel of suspense, and get ready for the read of your life.
THE WIFE BETWEEN US is the debut novel of co-authors Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Hendricks, a former book editor with a major New York publishing house, lives in Manhattan with her family. Pekkanen, the author of seven bestselling solo novels, lives in Maryland with her three sons. THE WIFE BETWEEN US has been sold in 30 countries and optioned for film by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners. It is a Book of the Month Club Pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and an Indie Next Pick. Hendricks and Pekkanen are currently at work on their next novel, also a psychological thriller.
This is why I don’t write very many mystery or suspense reviews, y’all. It’s so hard not to give anything away! This book definitely falls into the suspense category, as there isn’t a mystery to be solved, just a twisty, turny story that makes you say “Wait, what?” several times and go back to reread pages at a time to make sure you had read them correctly.
What we know going in – basically nothing. The blurb tells us all of the things we will think while we’re reading this book and that we shouldn’t believe any of them. I really wish the blurb had been more vague; I don’t like being told ahead of time that there will be twists in a book. I end up spending more time looking for them and trying to figure out what they could be than actually enjoying the book.
What we figure out pretty quickly – A wife has been thrown over for a younger woman. She’s not handling it well, and there’s something in the way she recites her tale that tells us we’re not getting the whole story. She’s drowning her sorrows in wine that she hides from the aunt that took her in after her marriage fell apart, failing miserably at her new job, and obsessing about the new woman. It’s uncomfortable to read, especially because the writing has you feeling off-kilter about the entire situation. She’s shocked out of her malaise by the news, cattily delivered by an ex-friend, that Richard, her ex-husband, is engaged to her replacement. Finding out that piece of information sends her over the deep end. Or does it?
Part of the reason for the middle of the road rating is the story itself. Hendricks and Pekkanen try to convolute what is at its heart, a story we’ve read hundreds of times before. There wasn’t anything new here; it’s all well-tread territory. They try to make the story fresh by adding in several twists and turns, but most of them come across as entirely too elaborate, too purposely done, if that makes sense. Several of the unexpected reveals showed the work behind them. I’ll tell you, though, there’s a reveal right around the halfway mark that took me by complete surprise. And I don’t say that often. Unfortunately, the rest of the book fell a little flat.
Once we get a better handle on exactly what’s happening, this book turns into a pretty standard unreliable-narrator book, much in the tradition of Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, and all of the other books this one is being compared to. I don’t know if those comparisons are really warranted, though. It takes more than the potential for an unreliable narrator to warrant the “next major phenomenon” raves that we are constantly getting, and The Wife Between Us doesn’t quite get there.