Book Review: The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

January 25, 2020

It's time for my first full review of the year, and it's dedicated to The Wives by Tarryn Fisher! 

From 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.
What follows is one of the most twisted, shocking thrillers you’ll ever read.
You’ll have to grab a copy to find out why."

My thoughts

Hmmm. I finished this book a few hours ago and overall my feelings towards it are mixed. On the one hand, I found it compulsively readable (so don't be surprised if you see me recommending this as a bingeworthy read in future blog posts). On the other, I felt the actual plot was rather confused as to what it was trying to do, and the ending fell flat as a result.

The writing and narration of the main character, Thursday, reads very much like a typical thriller - it's pretty basic and enabling of a fast-paced plot, which is good, because it definitely made the book easy to whizz through. I didn't want to put it down and was stealing every minute I could on the tube and on my lunch breaks at work - all good things right?

However, I did find myself wondering at some points what exactly was keeping me hooked. The book opens as a twisted story about the complexities of polygamy, which definitely intrigued me. But then it tries to do a Gone Girl esque twist out of the blue in the middle of the book which turns the story into something else completely. From here on out I think it was pretty much all downhill, with the beginnings of a good plot lost in what felt like a totally separate story.

The portrayal of women in this book is also very...odd. I understand it's supposed to be told from the POV of an unreliable narrator (and that's actually one of my favourite literary devices) but Thursday's constant spouting about the weakness of women and their subservience to men became a little worrying, especially as there's nothing in the book which acts to show that this shouldn't be the case. I suppose thrillers are supposed to get under your skin and make you feel uncomfortable, but it should be in a way that unnerves you rather than makes you roll your eyes...

I think this book would've been a lot better if the author could've made up her mind on what she wanted it to be. If this had been a book purely about the twists and turns of a polygamous marriage, and the secrets held within it, it would've been awesome. Equally, if it had been a psychological thriller about the destabilising effects of relationships, it would've been just as good. But trying to bring both together didn't really work - it ended up confusing and half-hearted.

Have you read The Wives? Will you be adding it to your list? As always, let me know your thoughts by adding me on Goodreads and/or Instagram!

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this for review. All views above are my own. This title will be released on April 16th in the UK.

1 comment:

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