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The Silent Wife

by

The Silent Wife Cover

ISBN13: 9780143123231
ISBN10: 0143123238
Condition: Standard
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Excerpt

Chapter 1

HER

Its early September. Jodi Brett is in her kitchen, making dinner. Thanks to the open plan of the condo, she has an unobstructed view through the living room to its east-facing windows and beyond to a vista of lake and sky, cast by the evening light in a uniform blue. A thinly drawn line of a darker hue, the horizon, appears very near at hand, almost touchable. She likes this delineating arc, the feeling it gives her of being encircled. The sense of containment is what she loves most about living here, in her aerie on the twenty-seventh ?oor.

At forty-?ve, Jodi still sees herself as a young woman. She does not have her eye on the future but lives very much in the moment, keeping her focus on the everyday. She assumes, without having thought about it, that things will go on inde?nitely in their imperfect yet entirely acceptable way. In other words, she is deeply unaware that her life is now peaking, that her youthful resilience—which her twenty-year marriage to Todd Gilbert has been slowly eroding—is approaching a ?nal stage of disintegration, that her 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.

If you told her this she would not believe you. Murder is barely a word in her vocabulary, a concept without meaning, the subject of stories in the news having to do with people she doesnt know and will never meet. Domestic violence she ?nds especially implausible, that everyday friction in a family setting could escalate to such a degree. There are reasons for this incomprehension, even aside from her own habit of self-control: She is no idealist, believes in taking the bad with the good, does not pick ?ghts, and is not easily baited.

The dog, a golden retriever with a silky blond coat, sits at her feet as she works at the cutting board. Every now and then she throws him a slice of raw carrot, which he catches in his mouth and joyfully grinds up with his molars. This vegetable toss is a long-standing predinner ritual, one that she and the dog have enjoyed from the time she brought him home as a roly-poly pup to take Todds mind o? his yearning for progeny, which sprang up, seemingly overnight, around the time he turned forty. She named the dog Freud in anticipation of the fun she could poke at his namesake, the misogynist whom she was forced to take seriously at university. Freud passing gas, Freud

eating garbage, Freud chasing his tail. The dog is endlessly good-natured and doesnt mind in the least being an object of fun.

Trimming vegetables and chopping herbs, she throws herself bodily into the work. She likes the intensity of cooking—the readiness of the gas ?ame, the timer marking o? the minutes, the immediacy of the result. Shes aware of the silence beyond the kitchen, everything rushing to the point in time when shell hear his key in the lock, an event that she anticipates with pleasure. She can still feel that making dinner for Todd is an occasion, can still marvel at the stroke of fate that brought him into her life, a matter of rank chance that did not seem to favor a further acquaintance, much less a future of appetizing meals, lovingly prepared.

It came to pass on a rainy morning in spring. Busy with her graduate studies in psychology, waiting tables at night, overworked, exhausted, she was moving house, driving north on State Street in a rental van loaded with her household goods. As she prepared to change lanes from right to left she might have looked over her shoulder or maybe not. She found the van awkward, didnt have a feel for it, and on top of this her windows were fogged and shed missed her turn at the last set of lights. Given these conditions she might have been distracted—a question that later came to be much discussed between them. When he clipped her drivers-side door and spun her into oncoming tra?c, there was a general honking of horns and squealing of brakes, and before she could pull herself together—before she fully realized that her van had come to a standstill and she was perfectly alright—he was screaming at her through her closed window.

“You crazy bitch. What in Gods name do you think youre doing? Are you some kind of maniac? Where did you learn to drive? People like you should stay o? the road. Are you going to get out of your car or are you just going to sit there like an imbecile?”

His tirade that day in the rain did not give a favorable impression, but a man whos been in a car crash is going to be irate even if its his own fault, which in this instance it was not, so when he called a few days later to ask her to dinner, she graciously accepted.

He took her to Greektown, where they ate lamb souvlaki washed down with cold retsina. The restaurant was crowded, the tables close together, the lights bright. They found themselves shouting over the din and laughing at their failure to be heard. What conversation they could manage was pared down to succinct phrases like, “The food is good . . . I like it here . . . my windows were fogged . . . if it hadnt happened I would never have met you.”

She didnt go out on many bona ?de dates. The men she knew from university took her for pizza and beer and counted out their money. Theyd meet her at the restaurant scru?y and unshaven, still in the clothes theyd worn to class. Whereas Todd had put on a clean shirt, and hed picked her up, and theyd driven to the restaurant together—and now he was looking after her, re?lling her glass and checking on her comfort level. Sitting across from him, she was pleased with what she saw—the way he casually took up space and his air of being in charge. She liked the homey habit he had of wiping his knife on his bread and that he put down his credit card without looking at the bill.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

kitten60, March 1, 2014 (view all comments by kitten60)
I am so happy that I bought this book... a cleverly insecure woman finds herself in an impossible situation brought on by her lack of attention to financial details...like getting married to the creep who has all the money. This once "pleasing" female gets herself together at the great surprise of everyone and...well actually..it would cruel to go further now...
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dreena, November 7, 2013 (view all comments by dreena)
If you liked Gone Girl, The Silent Wife should be your next read. Yes, it is another story of a dissolution of a marriage, but with new twists, turns and psychological warfare to ensnare the characters and you, the reader. A page turner...
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amaricor, August 20, 2013 (view all comments by amaricor)
I am intrigued with the exerpt and I sense , anticipate much deliciousness to come. Silent Wife is definitely on my 'want' list.
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780143123231
Author:
Harrison, A.S.A.
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Harrison, A. S. a.
Author:
Dicker, Joel
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Suspense
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
7.83 x 5.21 x 0.62 in 0.51 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

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The Silent Wife Used Trade Paper
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$10.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143123231 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Alternating chapters titled "Him" and "Her" detail the inner secrets of a marriage heading toward disaster. You may figure out who's done it, but it's not until the last few pages that you know why. This is the adult thriller of the season. Do not start before going to bed and cuddling with your significant other.

"Staff Pick" by ,

The Silent Wife is yet another tale of a morally bereft husband and his stoic wife who has a tenuous grasp on her sanity. Harrison puts forth the idea that — contrary to popular belief — in silence there is power. This book is a fast, fun, engaging read!

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Canadian author Harrison's first novel is a smart, nuanced portrait of a dying marriage. Psychotherapist Jodi Brett is content with her tidy, tranquil existence — cooking for her husband, Todd Gilbert; walking the dog; seeing a few clients out of their gorgeous Chicago condo — while headstrong Todd works as a professional renovator. As Jodi sees it, they complement each other, and she doesn't mind pretending to disregard Todd's indiscretions (which he clumsily attempts to cover up) in exchange. Accepting the peccadillos of her adulterous husband is one thing, but when Todd takes his infidelity to the next level and tells her that he's leaving her, the existence she's clung to so dearly is destroyed. And Jodi will do anything to take it back. And she does. Harrison (Zodicat Speaks and three other nonfiction titles) breathes life into Adlerian psychology, and weaves theory into a heart-pounding thriller that will keep you up at night. Agent: Samantha Haywood, Transatlantic Literary Agency (Canada). (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
New York Times Bestseller

“Unimpeachably terrific.” —The New York Times Book Review

One of CBS This Mornings 6 “Must-Have Titles for Your Summer Reading List”

 

The publishing phenomenon topping bestseller lists around the world, with sales of more than two million copies in Europe and rights sold in more than forty countries, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is a fast-paced, tightly plotted, cinematic literary thriller, and an ingenious book within a book, by a dazzling young writer.

 

August 30, 1975: the day fifteen-year-old Nola Kellergan is glimpsed fleeing through the woods, never to be heard from again; the day Somerset, New Hampshire, lost its innocence.

 

Thirty-three years later, Marcus Goldman, a successful young novelist, visits Somerset to see his mentor, Harry Quebert, one of the countrys most respected writers, and to find a cure for his writers block as his publishers deadline looms. But Marcuss plans are violently upended when Harry is suddenly and sensationally implicated in the cold-case murder of Nola Kellergan—whom, he admits, he had an affair with. As the national media convicts Harry, Marcus launches his own investigation, following a trail of clues through his mentors books, the backwoods and isolated beaches of New Hampshire, and the hidden history of Somersets citizens and the man they hold most dear. To save Harry, his own writing career, and eventually even himself, Marcus must answer three questions, all of which are mysteriously connected: Who killed Nola Kellergan? What happened one misty morning in Somerset in the summer of 1975? And how do you write a book to save someones life?

"Synopsis" by ,
A chilling psychological thriller about a marriage, a way of life, and how far one woman will go to keep what is rightfully hers
 
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.

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