Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Silent Wife

Speaking of "silence" -- please forgive my lack of blogging lately.
I blame old age decrepitude, general laziness [coupled with specific laziness], and lack of initiative due to tiredness. Early-Onset Lassitude might sum it up!
But I have been doing some good reading. Five books in the month of March.
The last one I finished was just terrific, so I want to mention it.
The Silent Wife is the debut novel by A.S.A. Harrison -- who passed away in 2013 in the midst of working on her next thriller.
Jodi and Todd are forty-somethings who live together in their beautiful downtown Chicago condo. They've never been officially "married", and have no children. Todd is a Porsche-driving successful real estate developer, and Jodi is a psychologist. To all appearances they are the perfect couple, and after two decades together, everyone thinks of them as happily married. Everything is not quite as idyllic as it seems, however, especially as Todd has fallen for his best friend's 22-year old daughter, Natasha.
Jodi, aware of what is happening, opts for an attitude of silence. For a while, Todd thinks he is [for lack of a better term] "getting away with it".
That is, until a baby is on the way -- and it's not Jodi's baby. This ups the ante, considerably. Todd shacks up with Natasha, and Jodi faces eviction.
Dean [Natasha's father and Todd's former best-friend] is livid -- as one might imagine. Todd's world narrows -- his finances and business begin to fail him. The world of multiple concubinage is, among other things -- grossly expensive! The toll on the conscience even costlier.
The tale is told in alternating chapters entitled "Him" and "Her" -- and we get the inner perspective of what each is thinking along this descending spiral of relationship. The reader is struck with the depths of loss that can come from wrong decisions made. Terrible decisions, on Todd's part. But some equally uncharacteristic decisions, on Jodi's part.
I found it difficult to put the book down for any great length of time -- which is to say I devoured it. There was never a boring moment -- and one thing is quite clear at the end -- Todd is not alive any more.
That is not a spoiler though, because four pages in we are told that Jodi's "notions about who she is and how she ought to conduct herself are far less stable than she supposes, given that a few short months are all it will take to make a killer out of her."
The author tells us right up front, that this is going to get crazy, fast!
And just when I was thinking "This book ought to be a movie" I found out that it is indeed, in the works. And it will be starring none other than a former [expensive as hell] girlfriend of mine: Nicole Kidman.
Get this book. There is no other way to read it than at full speed. It's damn good.



Stefanie said...

Oh this does sound good. How terribly sad though that the author died after completing only the one book.

Anonymous said...

I like that: "There is no other way to read it than at full speed". Sounds like a definite must-read.

Melwyk said...

This was such a great read! I agree with you on all of this -- and that opening was fantastic.