The Wife Between Us-- by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
"She is oblivious to what I have done to her. She is unaware of the damage I have wrought; the ruin I have set in motion.
I actually listened to this book, which was 11 hours and 13 minutes via Audible. However, the physical book has 352 pages. It was published in 2017 by St. Martin's Press.
Who should read this?
This book is the definition of thriller! Anyone who loves to read as a story unfolds from seemingly normal details into a psychologically thrilling page-turner should pick this book up NOW! This is a book that has twist after twist. If you want to feel the high-intensity and imminent danger that only emerge from the words written by Hendricks and Pekkanen on the pages of this novel, crack open this book today!
Honestly, this was an instant hit for me-- if you love enjoy thrillers on ANY level, I would bet that this would be a hit for you, too.
Any detail with which I felt any level of satisfaction earlier on in the story was addressed later on in a way that so exquisitely pieced the story together. It is one of the most satisfying books that I have ever read.
Other novels by Hendricks and Pekkanen:
(written by both Hendricks and Pekkanen; coming out January 8th, 2019.)
The story is told by alternating narrators, Nelly and Vanessa. These narrators have more in common than their love for Richard and eventual marriage to him. Nelly's perspective reveals how the youthful woman falls in love with Richard, eventually becoming his second wife. Vanessa's perspective, on the other hand, reflects upon her deteriorated marriage with Richard and what went wrong. She alternates between feeling depressed about the hard times that she faced during her failed marriage and coming to terms with the idea that he has now replaced her and is about to marry his younger, newer girlfriend. It becomes Vanessa's mission to intercede and prevent this marriage from taking place. She will stop at nothing to prevent her replacement from stepping into her shoes and making the same mistakes that led her to where she is today. To what length will Vanessa go to be heard? How close will she have to get and how insane may she have to act to be understood? The craziness will fade as clarity seeps in and the reader is finally able to piece together the saga that was Vanessa and Richard's marriage. Even while this main conflict is occurring, there are several underlying plot elements that complicate the characters' lives. Trying to prevent their pasts from haunting them, the characters do all that they can to move forward and cut those memories and problems out of their lives. But just as Richard and Vanessa cannot erase each other from their lives until their issues are resolved once and for all, they cannot escape the underlying issues either. It is a race to the end of the book-- will Vanessa's voice be heard over Richard's and the rest of her creeping past? Who will be hurt in the end and who will come out on top?
This novel was first brought to my attention by my father. He is an avid audio book user and had already listened to The Wife Between Us once on his own. As he progressed through the book, he would update me on how it was evolving. At one point, he informed me that it had taken so many twists and turns and that I had to listen to it, too.
So, on a car trip part way across the country we turned it on. At first, I found that the story seemed rather slow. It took a little bit of time to really take off and consume me. I was also confused by the alternating narrators, Nelly and Vanessa. I mistook Nelly as the new wife and thought that Vanessa was the first wife. I thought that Vanessa was stalking Nelly, which if you read this book or listen to it, you will learn how laughable that is. But, there is a moment in the story where the narration becomes crystal clear and the characters are linked, putting their perspectives into place. After that point the entire story seems to fall into place. I quickly came to realize that Vanessa was not the crazy character in the story and that she really had good intentions in interceding in the marriage that her ex-husband and fiancé were planning. The switch in this story flips so suddenly, drastically, and dramatically as it does in Gone Girl.
I became captivated by the story. I needed to know more about Vanessa's past, both with Richard and before she knew him. Why had she made the choices in her life that she had? Why were they still haunting her as much as they were? Why did things with Richard deteriorate as much as they had? Had did she get out of the relationship in one piece... And how, HOW, was she going to keep her replacement from being trapped in the same boat as her?
The story was tied together with such a satisfying ending. I was tickled to see how each of the characters uncovered details about one another until the very last second. Despite the slow start, it simply built up the stock of details that were rehashed and discussed later on to reveal deeper connections and shocking resolutions. I would listen to this story again and would love to read it eventually. It is a thriller that has so much to offer and so many details to piece together. Once through may simply not be enough!