Review: “The Wives” by Tarryn Fisher

— Twists your mind as hard as Fisher twists the plot.  

About the Book

“The Wives” by Tarryn Fisher

Thursday’s husband Seth has two other wives.  She’s never met them and knows very little about them.  She agrees to the arrangement because she loves him madly, but it leaves her uneasy.  

There’s nothing like being in constant competition for your spouse’s favor.  It can make you forget what’s best for you.  

She gets one day a week with him.   She cooks, because his first wife Tuesday focuses on her career.   She feigns empathy for the other two, because his third wife Monday is young and pregnant.   She loves him like a nympho on her honeymoon, because the way to a man’s heart is not through his stomach.  

If she can’t be his only wife, she’ll be the best one.  The easy going and understanding one. The favorite.

But one day she finds something that changes everything.  She always thought of her husband as a good man. Yet, her reality is about to take a hard left turn.

And, so is the reader.

My Review

Every feminist bone in my body screamed at a fever pitch as I started to read “The Wives”.  A woman giving up herself for a man. A successful woman at that. Thursday was a nurse. She lived in a nice condo in Seattle.   She didn’t need a husband who needed two other wives to be happy. What the ever-loving funk? I wanted to smack her upside the head (hard) with the book. I wanted to throw the book against a wall.  The problem was I couldn’t put the dang thing down.

I was immersed in the story and liking Thursday.  She had her own life on the days he wasn’t around. The fact that she didn’t jump at his texts left me pleased with her.   The way she kept herself busy revealed her strength, and I could respect that. Never mind that “The Wives” is a psychological thriller, meaning a twist was inevitable.  I was hooked on the story. It may as well have been women’s fiction.

Then I reached the halfway point in the book.

I guess Fisher thought it was time to shake things up. Give the plot a twist. Except it wasn’t a twist. More like a sudden jerk. A 180 degree turn that took the book in a completely different direction.  As annoyed as the feminist side of me was with the initial story, now I was a bit pissy … and suffering reader’s whiplash.  

Once again, I wanted to put “The Wives” down, but there was one problem. I was mesmerized, intrigued, and hooked. I was all those adjectives and more.

The rest of “The Wives” was the equivalent of a roller coaster ride full of corkscrews.  I thought I had Thursday and her husband figured out and then — weeee — another twist.  I was topsy-turvy again.  

My feelings about “The Wives” are as twisted as the plot.  It’s not the best book I’ve read by far. The shift in the story line was a big detractor for me, even if Fisher managed to pull it out of the ditch.  Then again, it’s a psychological thriller’s job to jerk you around and keep your head spinning. Fisher succeeded at that, making “The Wives” a hell of a ride and an engrossing read.

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