Zoe fainted on her wedding day, and she never knew why. She’s always felt sure something bad happened. Ten years later, she’s going to find out what…
It was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. Zoe was sitting in her hotel room, in her perfect white dress, looking forward to the moment when she would make kind, handsome Toby her husband.
Then, there was a blank.
They said she must have fainted, overcome with emotion. But nothing felt quite right afterward. Did something happen in that missing time?
Now, Toby and Zoe have two beautiful children and a perfect life. They’re planning their ten-year anniversary party for their family and friends. The invitations have been sent, the food ordered. They’re going back to the grand hotel where they got married.
But as the anniversary gets closer, it becomes clear not everyone is looking forward to celebrating. She catches Toby lying about where he’s been. One of her best friends seems to be ignoring her. And someone is spreading stories that might stop the party from happening at all.
Zoe is increasingly sure that she doesn’t have the full story. But does she want to know the truth, if it will destroy everything?
While I am primarily a romance lover, I enjoy branching out at times and one of my favorite go-to’s is a good psychological thriller. Now, I realize that is about as big of a 180 from romance as you can possibly get, but I am a walking contradiction in practically every sense.
The Wife was an intriguing premise, but I have to say that even the title threw me once I got into the meat of the story. I was waiting for the practically perfect Toby to have a secret family tucked away somewhere. Or for Zoe to not be who she says she is (man do I love an unreliable narrator). But the truth behind the story is very different and, honestly, I think the title isn’t the best fit for this piece.
The Wife is told in first person present which isn’t my favorite tense for writing, but it was gripping and compelling and kept me turning page after virtual page knowing without a doubt that I was going to have that massive head canon moment that comes with a good, juicy psychological thriller and this book certainly did not disappoint. The author also takes you back in time to The Day That Changed Everything… Zoe and Toby’s wedding day. There are occasional flashback chapters to the day of their wedding and the ones following that up until the present. Personally I would have loved a little more consistency here like alternating past and present chapters or two present chapters then one past. It felt a bit random to me.
There are a million red herrings in this that will throw you off track. I kept having hypothesis after hypothesis deconstructed. At one point I was almost positive that Zoe’s missing sister Dina was actually Zoe and there had been some crazy identity switch the day of Zoe’s wedding when she passed out from a weird bump on the head she can’t really remember.
One of my favorite feelings when I read is the sense of betrayal when a character you counted on turns out to be the villain of the piece and (while I won’t name who it is) that is a fabulous facet to The Wife that I truly enjoyed. Despite massive amounts of “WTF???” the author also managed to deliver a very satisfactory happy (well, as happy as can be in the situation) ending.