Author: Sherry Helms
A.S.A Harrison has spun a masterfully frightening psychological thriller, “The Silent Wife” of an intimate relationship gone terribly wrong. Set in Chicago, this is the suspenseful story of Jodi Brett, a psychotherapist, and Todd Gilbert, a developer, who have been living a successful and seemingly perfect life together for 20 years. The childless couple possesses energy and time to indulge in fulfilling their hobbies. However, not everything that glitters is gold. After being in a relationship of more than twenty years, the fun in life has dimmed to a flicker yet they are both agreeable to push this aside since there is still so much to get from such relationship.
The disentanglement in Jodi and Todd’s relationship is the central plot of the Harrison’s outstanding first, and sadly her last novel. Todd is a committed philanderer; Jodi knows about his dalliances but overlooks them. Todd’s silent wife assumes everything is going orderly and remains uncomplaining without having a thought about that her marriage to Todd Gilbert has been slowly approaching a final stage of disintegration.
Chapter by chapter, the story alternates between ‘Her’ and ‘Him,’ giving the reader the point of view of both Jodi and Todd. Jodi believes her silence as a great weapon, she is a kind of woman who avoids objecting and knows how to mind her business. She rationalizes to herself that all relationships are built on compromise, but Todd’s affair with the much younger Natasha disrupts the equilibrium of a series of concessions they have made in their long intense relationship, and compels spouse to re-check their personal lives, causing their marriage to approach at a deadly end and mayhem.
The author makes it clear from the first page of the novel that after a few short months, the therapist Jodi Brett will be worried enough that she eventually resort to killing of the man with whom she has spent her life’s significant 20 years. But Harrison’s skillful narrative does not rely on the customary suspense to hold the reader. The delight is in the small details that make Jodi a putative murderer and more on Jodi’s descent – in the how rather than the what.
The debut novel from Toronto writer, A.S.A Harrison, who died just before the publication of this fascinating tale of lust, betrayal and revenge, is skillfully plotted and reminiscent of, and the successor to, Flynn’s Gone Girl. It is really very sad that the author is not here to see it published and to take pleasure in the acclamations now being heaped upon her page turning novel.
Although the book is simple as far as plot goes but what makes The Silent Wife impossible to put down is the way author handles the characters. Harrison’s omniscient perspective and hypnotic plot gives us a well-drawn glance into the cataleptic and twisted web of human emotions. Moreover, the insidious and terrifying portrait of a marriage ensnares the reader from its starting to its shocking ending.