The Wife by Alafair Burke

I picked up this book for 2 reasons: the hype about it being a great thriller, and the fact that it had something to do with marriage. A while ago, I mentioned that I was planning on reading more books about marriage and this book was my way of upholding that. So now, here I am with my review, to answer that burning question: does this book live up to the hype?

34971475Summary (Goodreads): His scandal. Her secret.

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.

Review: This book was just okay for me. It didn’t deliver the thrill it promised so unfortunately, I will have to be among the minority that wasn’t too impressed with this book.

The story itself had a lot of layers to it. There’s sexual harassment and rape accusations, infidelity, a disappearance, and a loaded secret thrown into the mix. With all of these highly-charged topics, you would expect there to be a lot of action and intensity.

But there wasn’t. And that’s where I had a problem.

The story moves fairly slowly and while I found myself interested in figuring out how everything would come together, I wasn’t so interested that I was obsessing over the story. I think this may have to do with the characters – I didn’t like any of them. The story is mostly told from the perspective of Angela, the wife. She didn’t really have the kind of personality I was hoping for in my protagonist. I wanted to care about her, and the author gave me many reasons why I should … but didn’t actually make me care about her. None of the other characters introduced in the book captured my attention, and I felt myself flipping through the pages with only the mildest of interest in how the story would unfold.

The one thing I didn’t mind was the ending. This is actually contrary to many people’s opinion, but I thought the ending actually delivered some little twist that was interesting. It wasn’t super well done but it wasn’t terrible, either. And it did surprise me at one point.

I think the main reason why I’m not praising this novel because it was so hyped up that I expected it to be brilliant. Instead, the story fell short because of the lack of a good narrator and the slow pace. Even though there were lots of things going on, it never felt like it, and I just wanted to get it over with and know how it all ended. And the ending is a cliffhanger, which was a bit annoying because I just wanted it to be a clean finish to an okay story. Anyways, these are my reasons for giving it a 2/5 stars.

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