Book Review: The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

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Publish Date: December 30, 2019

I love you all differently but equally.” — The Wives

Parrish 2

Imagine that your husband has two other wives.

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then, Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?

And who is his mysterious third wife?

Parrish 3

I have a hard time sharing my husband with my kids, so I can’t imagine sharing him with 2 other women and only having him home 1 night each week. Polygamy is oddly intriguing to me simply because I can’t comprehend that kind of lifestyle.

Through this book we get into head of our protagonist Thursday, one of three wives of Seth. She portrays polygamy as exactly how I thought it would be: lonely days and nights, thin slices of perceived happiness, sacrifices, facades, heartbreak, and lots of emotional torture.

Just when I got the hang of this whole polygamy thing, the author pulled the rug out from under me and shoved in many twists. I won’t share any spoilers, but I did expect the main plot to have someone end up dead early in the story. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised with some jaw dropping twists and unexpected turns.

None of the characters are likeable in this book, but didn’t stop me from reading. Everyone is crazy. It is chock-full of unreliable narrators that question your sanity. It reads like a train wreck that you can’t stop watching. I binge read it because I was duped into a certain way of thinking and then it turned out to be wrong. Is Thursday crazy? Or am I, the reader, crazy because I didn’t catch the clues? It made me think.

My favorite quotes:

“That’s how women are, right? Always wondering about each other – curiosity and spite curdling together in little emotional puddles.”

“The truth is that the heart’s desire is a mere current against the tide of nurture and nature.” 

“Secrets: I’m good at having them and keeping them.”

“In her mind, it’s because I don’t wife hard enough.”

This book is about mental illness, secrets, family, deception, delusion, and lies. The writing is stellar. It’s a roller coaster ride of a book that causes you to wonder exactly what you read because it twists in such unexpected ways.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 4 Stars

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley exchange for an honest review.

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