Title: The Wife Between Us
Author(s): Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: 01/09/18
Dates Read: 12/07/17 – 12/10/17
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Cue the standing ovation.
Cue the slow clap.
This was without-a-doubt, one of the best books I have read in quite a while. Seriously… I just want to call everyone I know and tell them that they have no say in the matter, they have to read this book. Screw free will. Just read it people.
Have any of you noticed the incredibly annoying over use of “the next Gone Girl” or “the next Girl on the Train” on book descriptions? And then you spend the entire book subconsciously rolling your eyes because they totally out-punted their coverage when they made that claim. Yeah.. it’s exhausting. I’m ready for authors/publishers to stop trying to hook reader with that claim. Why you gotta’ try to be someone else? Just do you, authors.
… Anyway. Let me get off of this rambling subject.
This book did not claim to be the next anything. There were no comparisons made to other texts. But this novel echoed all of the quality characteristics that some of my favorite novels contained, without losing its own individuality. It was as if the authors borrowed some seasoning from their neighbors (who happen to be very talented authors), but what they brought to the table was an entirely new dish.
First off, I love how the book introduces itself to the readers.
From the book jacket description:
“When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife. You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement–a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle. Assume nothing.
Twisted and deliciously chilling, The Wife Between Us explored the hidden complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.
Read between the lines.”
Wow. They had me– hook, line, and sinker. I have read so many crime novels, psychological thrillers, and downright twisty novels. I never assume anything and I can usually sniff out a good twist before it is revealed.
They warned me up front and they still got me. And I’m not talking about one big twist at the end of the novel. I’m talking about every corner I turned I was being smacked in the face with something new and beautifully twisted that I didn’t even see coming.
When we first crack open this novel, we are introduced to three big players in this game. First we meet Vanessa. A recently-divorced mess. There is no better way to put it. She is falling apart at the seems and is gob-smakced to learn that her ex-husband is now engaged to the new, you guessed it, young-and-blonde-and-better replacement. Then we meet Nellie, a young, attractive preschool teacher who is hopelessly in love with the man of her dreams, Richard. The novel very quickly paints a portrait of Mr. Perfect–rich, successful, handsome, and overly sweet.
And then things start to get messy…
It is very hard to describe to you the things I loved most about this novel without giving anything away. It’s one of those masterpeices that you almost have to go in relatively blind.
The novel is broken into three parts, and in my honest opinion, I think Part One could be a total standalone piece of writing. It is brilliant. The juxtoposition of the two points of view is phenomenal. This section had its very own twist at its conclusion and I wasn’t expecting it at all. I can distinguish one single moment where I stopped, thought “wait a minute”, flipped back a few pages, and reread a few sections. I felt something coming, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. (I would love to share with you which moment this was once you have read the book for yourself.. I’m curious as to where other readers had their own questioning moments).
And then when I finished part three, I admired the contrast of the sections when stringed together. The evolution that takes place was perfect. Hendricks and Pekkanen release small tidbits of information at a time, going back in time to present a mere portion of a memory, and returning later in the novel. to completely change what you thought about said memory. I am just awestruck at their talent with this style of writing.
And just when I thought I was finished and I was ready to spike the book and do a touchdown dance (before I ran off to my computer to write a review)… I read the epilogue. Shut the front door, The Wife Between Us. I thought we were at the end of our journey and you smacked me with another twisty tidbit.
Bravo, Hendricks and Pekkanen.