The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison
A Novel

77%

48 Critic Reviews

Ultimately, The Silent Wife reads like an insightful, well-written, carefully annotated case file than it does a novel.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman, fans of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl will love The Silent Wife

"I gobbled it down in one sitting." – Anne Lamott, People

Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She likes to settle scores. He decides to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices, The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can’t be made, and promises that won’t be kept. Expertly plotted and reminiscent of Gone Girl and These Things Hidden, The Silent Wife ensnares the reader from page one and does not let go.







From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About A. S. A. Harrison

See more books from this Author
A. S. A. Harrison is the author of four books of nonfiction. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
 
Published June 25, 2013 by Penguin Books. 337 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Sep 08 2013
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for The Silent Wife
All: 48 | Positive: 42 | Negative: 6

Kirkus

Above average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Mar 11 2013

While readers can probably get over a few mentions of Jodi’s work, the Q-and-A style rendition of her own therapy and references to different schools of psychological thought may make readers’ eyes glaze.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Alison Flood on Jul 20 2013

...ultimately, a frighteningly possible portrait of a marriage, of how things can slip so far without either party realising, of how murder can slowly, insidiously, begin to seem like the best – the only – option.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Emma G Keller on Jul 08 2013

A. S. A. Harrison died of cancer at the age of 65 in April, before she could see her first novel published. She has left behind a terrific work of fiction.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Alison Flood on Jul 20 2013

We are told from the start that Jodi will become a killer, but Harrison takes her time, building and building the small details which make Jodi's move to commit the unspeakable believable.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Emma G Keller on Jul 08 2013

The Silent Wife is one of those books you hate to put down. Harrison writes well with a light touch, but her touch is devastating nonetheless.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Apr 01 2013

Harrison...breathes life into Adlerian psychology, and weaves theory into a heart-pounding thriller that will keep you up at night.

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Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on Jun 28 2013

THE SILENT WIFE is so well-paced and reads so quickly that it’s easy to glide over important points that come back to explode behind you when you’ve all but forgotten about them.

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Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Bookreporter on Jun 25 2013

I devoured --- and loved --- it. This slim novel about a relationship headed for dissolution and the wife's plan for revenge --- which is told in alternating chapters of "Him" and "Her" --- is so well-crafted. It should be a book talked about all summer!

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Hunter on Jun 28 2013

The facility of her writing and ability to create complex personalities allow us to understand Jodi and Todd, even though we may not admire them.

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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by ROBERT J. WIERSEMA on Jul 05 2013

Ultimately, The Silent Wife reads like an insightful, well-written, carefully annotated case file than it does a novel.

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The Washington Post

Good
Reviewed by Kathy Blumenstock on Aug 20 2013

Her death in April at the age of 65 makes the book a bittersweet pleasure to the reader, who knows it won’t be followed by another tour of ordinary lives fraught with doubts and deception.

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The Seattle Times

Above average
Reviewed by Moira Macdonald on Jul 01 2013

This is Harrison’s first and, sadly, last novel (a former art critic and author of nonfiction books, she died earlier this year), and it isn’t flawless: Many of the supporting characters, particularly Todd’s paramour, feel like types, and the book occasionally gets stuck in a bog of psychotherapy.

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Express

Excellent
Reviewed by Michelle Davies on Jul 07 2013

This is A.S.A Harrison’s debut novel and, sadly, will be her only one, as she died early this year. It is immensely sad she is not here to see it published and to enjoy the critical and public praise now being heaped upon it but wow, what a legacy to leave behind.

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The Columbus Dispatch

Above average
Reviewed by Margaret Quamme on Jun 23 2013

This isn’t so much a realistic murder story as it is a psychological study of two people and the conflicting stories they tell about their lives. It wraps the reader inside the joint web that the two weave.

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We Love This Book

Good
Reviewed by Penny Batchelor on Jun 25 2013

A.S.A. Harrison's debut novel delves into the intricacies of love and the reasons of how and why each partner justifies their own actions and behaviour, exposing the way we fool ourselves and mould our perceptions of reality to what we would like it to be.

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The Best Reviews

Excellent
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on Jul 11 2013

The Silent Wife: A Novel is a superb crime or psychological thriller crafted by someone who truly knows her topic and can write a stunning plot as well! Superb writing and consequently reading!

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London Evening Standard

Excellent
Reviewed by David Sexton on Aug 08 2013

The Silent Wife is so poised, so fully composed, so inward in its knowledge of its characters, it’s unmistakably the work of a writer who had finally discovered her true talent.

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'Bout Books

Good
Reviewed by Kimberly Hays on Jul 30 2013

The author also passed away in 2013. It is sad that she did not get to see the success of this novel, but it certainly pays homage to this accomplished writer.

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Curious Book Fans

Above average
Reviewed by Curious Book Fans on Jul 15 2013

In the end, this was a good but not great read for me. It didn’t quite manage the brilliant clever ending that I had been expecting.

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Montreal Gazette

Good
Reviewed by Joel Yanofsky on Aug 02 2013

In The Silent Wife, Harrison’s approach to a tried-and-true formula is unconventional, if occasionally flawed. Still, fans of the mystery genre will welcome this smart debut at the same time that they mourn its author’s untimely passing.

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National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by ROBERT J. WIERSEMA on Jul 05 2013

Ultimately, The Silent Wife reads like an insightful, well-written, carefully annotated case file than it does a novel. Whether that is enough, whether it satisfies, is a matter for the individual reader to decide.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Above average
Reviewed by Yvonne Klein on Sep 08 2013

THE SILENT WIFE is A.S.A. (Susan) Harrison's debut as a novelist and it is a remarkably assured one. Where it fails is in its excessively analytic approach - Harrison knows everything about her characters, and the reader is left with nothing really to discover about them.

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Popcorn Reads

Good
Reviewed by MK on Jun 25 2013

This novel digs into the depths of what's real and not real in our most intimate relationships, and how those are shaped by the families we come from.

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Book Chatter

Excellent
Reviewed by Tina on Sep 08 2013

This book will have you questioning right and wrong right up to the very last page. I am still thinking about the book. Plus, it’s so well-written and tastefully done. I really loved it.

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Quill & Quire

Good
Reviewed by Angie Abdou on Jun 01 2013

Ultimately, The Silent Wife is about two individuals living out their parents’ mistakes while trying to ignore their very real problems in the present. Harrison’s novel is an astute and gripping account of the high cost of mute acceptance.

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My Shelf Confessions

Good
Reviewed by April on Sep 01 2013

I loved The Silent Wife. It’s suspenseful and yet thought provoking. I’m convinced more than ever that every person can go down a path they’ve never trod before – if the right set of circumstances played out.

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It's Either Sadness or Euphoria

Above average
Reviewed by Larry on Aug 02 2013

This is a story we've seen again and again in books, movies, and television, although A.S.A. Harrison has put some intriguing spins on the story.

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Bookpleasures.com

Good
Reviewed by Valerie Porter on Sep 08 2013

It’s a rare tale where it’s very tempting to flip to the book’s conclusion to end the suspense about what lies ahead. Harrison’s flair for this genre is masterful.

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Novel Escapes

Above average
Reviewed by Lydia on Aug 22 2013

The Silent Wife is definitely unforgettable whether you love the novel, hate it, or fall somewhere in the middle, and is probably worth the read if you love a great psychological read about marriage.

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Maurice on Books

Good
Reviewed by Maurice on Jun 28 2013

This book took my breath away. I read it in one day. It just kept gaining momentum until I found myself holding my breath.

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Maurice on Books

Good
Reviewed by Maryom on Jun 24 2013

The Silent Wife has better characterisation and a believable plot line firmly rooted in reality; Gone Girl is more of a thriller but with over-the-top extremes of emotions and actions. I definitely preferred The Silent Wife.

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Reader Dad

Good
Reviewed by Matt Craig on Jul 24 2013

There’s a perfectly-executed note of ambiguity introduced here, an extra kick for the reader, leaving us to make up our own minds as to what has happened, and why. It’s a masterfully-written sequence that relies on seeds planted almost from page one.

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Book BagLady Reviews

Good
Reviewed by BookBagLady on Aug 21 2013

Although you wanted to know what was coming next, at the same time you didn’t want anything rushed. You need to process the little nuances between the lines. A very good book and an absolute delight to read.

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Everyday I Write the Book

Above average
Reviewed by Gayle on Aug 01 2013

It’s a quieter and more emotionally intense book, more psychologically disturbing and not particularly funny. But it’s a good read and one that I enjoyed a lot. Lots of suspense and momentum.

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Dot Scribbles

Above average
Reviewed by Dot on Jul 10 2013

The Silent Wife is such an interesting read, I felt that it really explored the nature of relationships; the roles we fulfil and what we are capable of when hurt by those we love.

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JulzReads

Good
Reviewed by Julz on Jun 19 2013

The revelations Jodi comes to in her self-assessment are alarming. She retreats to a dark place within herself as the conclusion unfolds. The end is intense and thought-provoking and I appreciated the undefined outcome that the author presented.

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BCF Book Reviews

Excellent
Reviewed by Ben on Jun 24 2013

A deliciously entertaining roller-coaster of a novel, jam-packed with love, betrayal, death, this is a novel that deserves every bit of the attention that it will undoubtedly receive.

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Linus's Blanket

Good
Reviewed by Nicole Bonia on Jun 21 2013

Readers who enjoy tension filled forays into toxic minds and marriages will enjoy dissecting this relationship, either alone or with the friends they urge to read it. Recommended.

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Dolce Bellezza

Above average
Reviewed by Bellezza on Jul 02 2013

I like reading about strong women and seeing how they've coped with life's adversities. Even if it is in a way I wouldn't choose for myself.

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Life by Candlelight

Good
Reviewed by Amy on Jul 08 2013

A really interesting and quick read that follows the disintegration of a marriage and its horrific fallout.

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Serendipity Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Vivienne Dacosta on Jun 20 2013

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.

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The Infinite Curio

Good
Reviewed by Kay on Jul 04 2013

It’s the perfect pick for readers who are not afraid of unlikable characters and stories focused less on the action and more on the characters’ motivations.

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BookaliciousBabe

Good
Reviewed by ms. caboo on Aug 20 2013

Read it. Discuss it with someone. It is a page turner, and it will leave you dwelling on the story of Todd and Jodi for a long time.

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Novel Heights

Below average
Reviewed by Novel Heights on Sep 08 2013

Well whilst I can’t argue that the writing is excellent, I just hated everyone in the book. I hated the wife – so complacent and viewing her life through rose-tinted spectacles. I hated the husband – such a weak person and so easily manipulated.

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The Eloquent Page

Excellent
Reviewed by PABLOCHEESECAKE on Jun 28 2013

This is truly thought provoking fiction that effortlessly picks apart the nature of human relationships and how we all interact with one another.

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Making It Up

Above average
Reviewed by Jax Blunt on Aug 16 2013

Her writing is very nicely executed. I just felt that the characters were lacking, and the twist was implausible.

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Karen White

Good
Reviewed by Kewhite on Aug 21 2013

I’ve been calling this book the “anti-romance”, and for me, anyway, it was a delicious alternative to the happy endings (which I do love), sort of a stringent palate cleanser.

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1776 Books

Below average
Reviewed by Kelly on Aug 07 2013

Flynn knew when her trainwreck (in the best possible way) of a story was done; Harrison fills her tale with needless psychobabble, a pointless delve into the main character’s past, and an ending that just won’t quit.

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Reader Rating for The Silent Wife
62%

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Karen Russo 5 Sep 2013

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