2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 6 books toward her goal of 240 books.
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Book Review: The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

Wow. I could not stomach this one… It seems most of the reviews are raves or regrets, and I’m firmly in the latter camp.

I didn’t know the author before this title – I was curious and intrigued, both by the fantastic cover and the blurb, which promised a thriller and a mystery, set in a less-common world (polygamous marriage) than most. Sounded good to me, so I requested it tout suite. I’m really going to have to start looking authors up before doing that – this is not the first time I’ve been surprised by an author’s shift into a new genre, nor is it the first time I’ve been disappointed at the way that worked out…

Turns out, Fisher is best known for romance. And fairly hard-core, explicit, romance, from what I gleaned on Amazon…

That is not my jam, and the writing in this one reinforced why for me from the opening pages. It’s a bit more graphic than I expected, and OH MY GOOD GOD but the main character is pathetic. It starts by referring to her as “Thursday” since she sees her husband on, wait for it, Thursday. Then you learn it’s ACTUALLY HER NAME. She literally only exists as the day her husband is with her. Oh goody – this one’s RIGHT up my alley… (not) From there it only gets worse – if you can imagine such a thing. Because she also FIGURATIVELY only exists for him. Every single thing she says/does is about pleasing him, making him want her, how meaningless and banal her life is without him, how all she does is kill time until she sees him again… Again – right up my alley.

The blurb hints at dangers and lies and secrets. I’ve seen references to Gone Girl (will someone PLEASE tell people that this is not a compliment and to stop trying to write/rewrite/alt-write GG). And I’ve read reviews talking about the mind-blowing twist. So I assume there’s an unreliable narrator being sad and pathetic on purpose to set up the hook – but honestly I couldn’t even gin up enough interest to skim ahead to see what said hook/twist might entail. I was too irritated from the get-go by the characterization (such as it is, since she is only ever described in terms of her relationship to him) and too turned off by the romance feel to get into this one. I am clearly NOT the target audience here and wasn’t able to finish as a result…

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

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