Review: Exhibit Alexandra by Natasha Bell

A psychological thriller about the disappearance of the perfect wife and the husband's search for her.

Disclaimer: I received an eARC copy of this book from First to Read program in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This blog contains affiliate links. I make a small commission when you decide to buy books via the Amazon or Book Depository purchase links available in the book review's post.

This novel sounded super interesting to me and I wanted to see if it would be different from other novels dealing with marriage in the thriller category. Here are my thoughts:

Exhibit Alexandra book cover book cover

Exhibit Alexandra

by Natasha Bell

Published February 8, 2018 by Crown Publishing Group
ISBN: 1524761079

Data from Goodreads

Goodreads (Summary): Before she disappeared, Alexandra Southwood lived an average, happy life: devoted to her wonderful husband, Marc, and caring for her two beautiful daughters. But now, held in a room against her will, Alexandra is forced to think about all she’s lost, and imagine how Marc and her daughters are coping in the wake of her disappearance. She’s shown news clips of Marc, desperately appealing to the public for information on her whereabouts. She tortures herself with visions of her family’s devastated new reality. And as she envisions Marc’s distress, she can’t help but remember their courtship, their marriage–all that he saved her from and all that they’ve built together.

Marc’s pain is visceral. He thinks of nothing but her. Even when the police discover Alexandra’s bloody belongings by the river, turning their missing-persons case into a murder investigation, he cannot accept that she is lost to him. He shifts from total despair to frantic action, embarking on his own journey through the dark maze of secrets she kept and passions he never understood. Following a trail that leads him to find answers to questions he never meant to ask, he’s forced to confront how frighteningly little he’s grasped about the woman he loves.

My Review

It’s been a few days now since I’ve read this book and I still have no idea how I feel about it. Was this a terrible book or a genius work of literature? I will hopefully be able to answer that question by the time I’m done this review.

Pros: What worked for me

  • I love the way the author wrote this story: while it is told entirely from Alexandra’s perspective, it uses various mediums to convey her side of things as well as Marc’s. One chapter recalls the past, while the other is about how Marc must be dealing with the situation (as Alexandra imagines). The chapter also ends with Alexandra talking about herself in her captured state, with occasional letters written by her friend. It’s a very weird way to tell this story but it somehow… works…. ish.
  • Even though Alexandra is telling the reader what Marc must be going through, I still was able to understand Marc’s character. He was someone who I could really get behind as a main character and I liked that this novel had a male protagonist instead of the usual female one.
  • This book does have a focus on the art world but the author doesn’t make it overbearing. The art information in the story is detailed enough to make its point but it wasn’t overly detailed or boring. The story itself was able to come through, which was really nice.
  • The author brought up quite a few interesting themes, one being the quintessential role of a woman in marriage and in family life, and another being the sacrifices one will make to create art. The author raised quite a few arguments that made me rethink my perspective on both of these areas.

The Cons: What I didn’t like

  • I will admit that the story took a long time to make itself clear and the ending was one that definitely left me stunned and confused … but it was a situation where I really couldn’t pinpoint whether I loved it or hated it.

This book is definitely not like any other thriller I have ever read. It is a bit slower in pacing, but there are so many unique elements to this story from the writing style to the actual themes in the book itself. It is one of those books that you will either love or hate … and I think I am leaning towards the former!

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