I was intrigued to read The Wife Between Us because it was written by two authors – Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Since its release, this novel has received rave reviews. The Wife Between Us became an instant New York Times bestseller with reviews comparing it to Gone Girl. I had feared that this novel wouldn’t work because it was written by two people, however, the praise heaped on this book allayed my fears. I couldn’t wait to jump in.
The complexities of married life
Jump in I did. This novel gripped me right from the very first page. Greer and Sarah are very clearly attuned to each other because this novel was seamless. You wouldn’t know that it had been written by two people. Apparently, they would discuss every single sentence, talking and typing on Google docs. The result of that collaboration is a stunning psychological thriller and an in-depth critique of the complexities that is married life.
I’m not going to lie, this novel set me seriously on edge. It even caused me to look at my own marriage. It makes you question everything about married life. I almost took to sleeping with one eye open because I was so fearful that the lovely Mr C would somehow morph into a husband like Richard. The too good to be true Richard.
Who to believe?
This novel takes you into a maze of confusion. Just as you think you have sussed out the wife, her motives pegged, there is another twist and you start doubting yourself. However, that’s the impact Richard has on his women. He seems so sincere but are his actions all that they seem or is he masquerading as something else? Is he the villain of this story or is it the bitter ex-wife?
It soon becomes clear that Richard is not as perfect as he seems. The term ‘gaslighting’ would quite aptly describe his behaviour. He is obsessive in his quest for perfection, controlling and manipulating. He works by isolating his women and trying to mould them into this idealistic vision he has for them and his life. What happens when they don’t conform? When cracks in the marriage start to show? You will have to read the novel to find out.
Yet, just as we think that we have pegged Richard as the villain of this piece, there are more twists that will leave you breathless, outraged even. Is Vanessa, the first wife, an innocent victim or is she just as bad as Richard? Is she just a jealous ex-wife who wants to stop Richard from marrying Nellie, or is she trying to save Nellie from the same fate that befell her? There is no doubting that Vanessa is still in love with Richard, despite how horrific and horrendous their marriage became.
It will torment you
This book will send your head spinning. Just as you think you have sussed it all, another secret, another twist is revealed. It expertly torments and plays with the readers, leaving us gasping for air. We want to escape the confines of the novel, but we also NEED to know how it ends. You will race through this novel because you are so desperate for answers.
I loved this novel. It’s a masterpiece in how a good thriller should be constructed. A clever and punchy read. There were just 2 twists near the end of the novel that for me didn’t ring true. However, that’s just my opinion; many have loved the fact that even as you cross the finish line, another twist surfaces to further muddy the waters.
This is a sensational novel that will stalk your thoughts long after you have finished reading it.