Review: The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

A compelling thriller that starts off about polyamory but goes downhill soon after.

Disclaimer: I received an eARC copy of this book from Netgalley 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.

The Wives book cover

The Wives

by Tarryn Fisher

Published November 30, 2019 by Graydon House
ISBN: 1488054355

Data from Goodreads

Summary (Goodreads):

Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. She agreed to this unusual arrangement because she’s so crazy about him.

But one day, she finds something. Something that tells a very different—and horrifying—story about the man she married.

My Review: What a disappointment

This book was supposed to be everything! With the premise hinting at polyamory, how could I not want to read this book?! But what started off as a really cool story eventually gave in to the same cliched tropes as many other thrillers.

The Pros: What worked for me

  • From beginning to end, this story was propelling and I was compelled to read it. The chapters are quick and well-paced. There is always something happening to keep the reader’s interest. I mean, even after the turning point, I still couldn’t stop reading – so the author was doing something right!
  • I haven’t really come across very many stories that deal with the concept of polyamory. While I have no opinion on it (live and let live is my motto in life), I was curious to see how the author would spin it, especially since this is a unique situation where it isn’t mutual and the other wives are hidden away. The initial half of the story was all about Thursday discovering information about one of the other wives, and her curiosity forces her to act upon it. I was so excited to see where this would lead.

The Cons: What ruined this for me

  • At the halfway point, this story changed completely. I hated it. I rarely hate things but I’m irrationally angry over how things went with this story. With such an opportunity to create a unique story, the author succumbs to the usage of stereotypical tropes. It was such a let-down for me because this really could have been an amazing thriller, one that stands out from the rest.
  • I cannot stress this enough: MENTAL ILLNESS IS NOT AN EXCUSE! I am sick and tired of every thriller using mental health and “delusions” to explain away things that don’t “make sense” in the book. Come up with something better because at this point, it just screams laziness to me. 
  • The ending surprised me … but I didn’t like it. (Click to reveal spoiler) Suddenly the protagonist feels the need to have a sanctimonious moment where she puts another character in their place. But it really wasn’t effective for me and after what I had to endure with the second half of this book, I had very little patience for it.

This book had me feeling so many things. While it was compulsive and the initial concept of polyamory drew me in, its eventual reliance on familiar tropes had me irrationally upset and more than a little disappointed. For those reasons, I’m giving it 2/5 stars.

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