Review: The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

Published: December 30, 2019 by Graydon House

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Rating:

Synopsis: Imagine that your husband has two other wives. You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then, Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?

And who is his mysterious third wife? 

Review: I really loved this book at first. I thought it was stupid that the “Thursday” wife’s name was actually Thursday but after a short laugh at the idiocy of it I moved on and had a good time. The plot was engaging. I enjoyed unraveling the mystery.

Thursday was an alright character. A bit naive and jealous but she told us a very concise and interesting story. I liked hearing about her marriage as she scrapped together details of the other wives. Seth was rather useless though. Since we’re seeing him through either the rose-colored glasses on Thursday in the beginning or the “OMG he’s evil!” glasses of later in the book. As a result I never got a good read on who his character actually was supposed to be. He could have been a cardboard cutout with “Husband” written on it and it would have made no difference.

WARNING: Spoiler alert for the ending!!

What brought me down on this book was the ending. Again. Once again we ended up with an unreliable narrator. Thursday is crazy and making it all up. Well, she is crazy but they were also setting her up. It was very convoluted. To be frank, I am sick and tired of endings that go “Ha, see, they are mentally ill and not telling you the truth dear reader, or are they…” It’s cheap, it’s boring and I am really weary of reading it. It cheapens mental illness and it’s become nothing more than a thriller trope.

Just once, can I get a thriller where the character actually uncovers the truth about what’s going on? Couldn’t we have actually had two other wives? The ultimate twist still would have worked! Pointless. Annoying.

One thought on “Review: The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

  1. Imagine how the people who have mental illness in themselves or their families and friends feel about their portrayals!

    Even if the author has good credentials, I don’t like unreliable narrators – I NEED to identify with a main character, usually flawed, but one I can follow through the story.

    Some of these decisions should be made at the structural level before the writing beings – this feels, from your description, as it it wasn’t – or you’d be able to point to how the author had been giving you clues all along which you noticed but didn’t. If that makes sense.

    It just occurred to me I need to go back and read some Agatha Christie with that same perspective. I read Dame Agatha for the style and the stories, and I have this feeling that I was always surprised by who turned out to be the murderer.

    I always blamed myself for not paying more attention while reading.

    Wow. You’ve just turned my world upside down!

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