Book Review: The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: what makes a good book good is how the author is able to dig into the minds of his or her characters and pull out the thoughts, the issues, what makes those characters tick. A.S.A. Harrison does just that.
The Silent Wife, Harrison’s debut novel, is grouped in with the psychological thrillers, novels written by people such as Stephen King and Gillian Flynn. However, I feel the novel should be categorized more closely to literary fiction.
Harrison delves into the minds of a young married couple, Jodi Brett and Todd Gilbert, and shows how one seemingly happy marriage can turn dirty over the course of years. Jodi knows Todd is a cheater. Todd believes Jodi to be too perfect and cold. Jodi takes her revenge in small ways until the moment she decides Todd should die.
The prose in this novel is phenomenal. I love reading intricate, descriptive prose that flows beautifully and shows, rather than tells, what the characters think and how they act and what they want out of life and each other. The novel is mostly prose, and I never tired of reading the lines.
But, the prose was also the problem. There was too much of it. Very little of the novel focused on the dialogue. I’m also a firm believer in showing a character’s character by putting them in a situation and letting it play out, but I feel Harrison did not do that as much as I would have liked. We only discovered more about the characters through flashbacks and current actions, rather than how they react in front of other characters.
To be perfectly honest, there wasn’t much else I found that seemed off in this novel. It felt interesting reading something that focused on such a normal thing, a marriage, and how it started falling apart.
I truly enjoyed reading Harrison’s one and only novel. With her death by cancer in 2013, I believe we lost a wonderful literary voice.
To read Harrison’s novel and other non-fiction works, visit Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble in stores or online.