It’s early September. Jodi Brett is in her kitchen, making dinner. Thanks to the open plan of the condo, she has an unobstructed view through the living room to its east-facing windows and beyond to a vista of lake and sky, cast by the evening light in a uniform blue. A thinly drawn line of a darker hue, the horizon, appears very near at hand, almost touchable. She likes this delineating arc, the feeling it gives her of being encircled. The sense of containment is what she loves most about living here, in her aerie on the twenty-seventh floor.
At forty-five, Jodi still sees herself as a young woman. She does not have her eye on the future but lives very much in the moment, keeping her focus on the everyday. She assumes, without having thought about it, that things will go on indefinitely in their imperfect yet entirely acceptable way. In other words, she is deeply unaware that her life is now peaking, that her youthful resilience – which her twenty-year marriage to Todd Gilbert has been slowly eroding – is approaching a final state of disintegration, that her notions about who she is and how she ought to conduct herself are far les stable than she supposes, given that a few short months are all it will take to make a killer out of her.
Published by Headline in June 2013
Todd and Jodi have been together for more than twenty years. They are both aware their world is in crisis, though neither is willing to admit it.
Todd is living a dual existence, while Jodi is living in denial. But she also likes to settle scores. When it becomes clear their affluent Chicago lifestyle could disintegrate at any moment, Jodi knows everything is at stake. It’s only now she will discover just how much she’s truly capable of…
There isn’t much of a surprise to The Silent Wife; we know from the start that the seemingly perfect marriage of Todd and Jodi is on the rocks. Todd is having an affair, but Jodi is perfectly happy to pretend that everything is just rosy, until Todd reveals he is leaving her. When her world is suddenly about to be turned upside-down, just how far will one woman go to maintain the life she loves?
If Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl was one of the most talked about books of 2012, then A.S.A.Harrison’s similar tome The Silent Wife is set to be the hit of 2013. This is her first novel, and unfortunately, set to also be her last, given her untimely and unexpected death only a month ago. Comparisons between the two novels are bound to arise, as they feature a parallel theme - a once-loving couple whose relationship takes a murderous path. Where The Silent Wife differs in my opinion, is that it has a much better ending than Flynn’s novel. Read both and compare them to see if you agree, but beware a woman scorned!