The Wife #BookReview

Alafair Burke | published January 2018 | pages: 496

I was introduced to Alafair Burke by reading You Don’t Own Me, which she co-wrote with Mary Higgins Clark (RIP) in 2018. It was pretty good, but Clark is pretty predictable and I wondered what Burke could do if left to her own devices. I was not disappointed.

We meet Angela and Jason just before hell breaks loose. She’s a posh, part-time caterer, mostly, stay at home mom of one son from a prior situation and wife to ambitious and successful Jason Powell. Through Angela’s eyes, Jason is her savior, understanding her childhood traumas, protecting her and her son from any triggers, and forgiving of the lack of physical intimacy it prevents in their marriage. This narrative lends to Angela being identified as the weaker, sensitive spouse. Reasonable adults can see the unbalance in this relationship and predict the divorce like an express coming into the station to fast but, alas, all is well until hell raises. Hell: an intern accuses perfect Jason of sexual misconduct..and then another accuses him of rape.

Pros: Twist and turns abound right up until the end. Though it was frustrating at first, ultimately I liked how Angela’s history plays out and we hear about her childhood trauma and the story of her son. Angela remains staunchly protective of and loyal to Jason after the accusations, even though, as Detectives point out, she cannot always account for his whereabouts. Though initially Angela seems weak, we learn through her story, she is far stronger than she appears. Jason on the other hand may be every bit of a weak, cheating cad you think he is, but, when one of his accusers is found dead, whodunnit?

Con: Not really a con but prepare to be triggered listening to Jason’s version of his encounters with his accusers. This is a fictional story but, the explanations are all too real, cheeky foolishness: “I was tucking in my shirt and my dick accidentally fell out” type of shit. The fact that Angela and Jason’s attorneys would support that foolishness was horrible and likely in real life.

Angela’s history is alluded to pretty heavily in the beginning but it takes nearly the span of the book to play out. This annoyed me at first but as I resigned myself to not knowing, by the end you see it all comes together and makes sense. It becomes a mystery within the mystery but understanding that direction sooner would have been nice.

Overall, a definite good all nighter with a great ending. I love complex characters I cant decide if I love or hate and Angela and Jason delivers. I we’ll definitely read more of this author! #GoodBook 29 of 42.

GoodReads Summary:

When Angela met Jason Powell while catering a dinner party in East Hampton, she assumed their romance would be a short-lived fling, like so many relationships between locals and summer visitors. To her surprise, Jason, a brilliant economics professor at NYU, had other plans, and they married the following summer. For Angela, the marriage turned out to be a chance to reboot her life. She and her son were finally able to move out of her mother’s home to Manhattan, where no one knew about her tragic past.

Six years later, thanks to a bestselling book and a growing media career, Jason has become a cultural lightning rod, placing Angela near the spotlight she worked so carefully to avoid. When a college intern makes an accusation against Jason, and another woman, Kerry Lynch, comes forward with an even more troubling allegation, their perfect life begins to unravel. Jason insists he is innocent, and Angela believes him. But when Kerry disappears, Angela is forced to take a closer look at the man she married. And when she is asked to defend Jason in court, she realizes that her loyalty to her husband could unearth old secrets.


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