The Wife Between Us
Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Nellie excitedly prepares for her wedding to Richard who in her mind couldn’t be more perfect. Successful and handsome, they met when he gave up his first class seat on a plane to a soldier who happened to be sitting next to her. He showers her with attention and gifts, and she dreams of a future with him and a house full of children.
Vanessa, Richard’s ex-wife, though, seethes over Richard’s upcoming marriage. She starts following her replacement, watching her apartment, and even goes back to her natural hair color so she will look more like her.
It is best to read The Wife between Us without knowing anything about it–ignore the promotional copy if at all possible because it will definitely decrease your enjoyment of the book.
Otherwise, the novel is a gripping psychological thriller. Although I figured out one twist (likely because the book cover spoiled it), the book had other surprises in store.
Slightly more complex than a traditional book in the genre, The Wife between Us has complex characters that can’t completely be described as “good” or “bad.” They carry horrendous childhoods, forcing the reader to consider how much one’s past can excuse present behavior. Class, power, and age also contribute to the sense of agency each exhibits.
The first section is deliberately obtuse, and it would be nice to have more characterization given to secondary characters. I also thought that some of the personalities changed to suit the narrative instead of organically. One of the more interesting things about this book is that it is co-authored. The text is seamless, and it’s really impossible to tell that it’s not produced by a single voice.
Though flawed, The Wife between Us is very readable and compelling. It certainly will appeal to fans of psychological thrillers–and will probably keep them up all night wanting to know what happens next.