A duel of the sly/s!
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In the jagged terrain of my mind, this is where I ended up wandering. I saw rows of houses; some simple, some artsy, some classy and intimidating, some just simply spectacular as a vision. But the whole zip code takes a soft spot in my heart ? the genre of psychological thrillers. If I considered this book for a theme in interior dcor of those houses, it would sit well on the minimalistic mood board. Let me tell you something, what caught my attention first was the hardcover cover and then the title. Loooved the cover, simple yet alluring. The cover of the Kindle edition is different though; still a good one. You knock on the door (open the cover) and can see a face peeking from behind it. The gesture says you?re welcome and there?s nothing to be scared of her but her small talk gradually indicates you that the pace is going to be slow. She?s getting to know you as you are getting to know her.She hasn?t taken you on a house tour yet, she will eventually as you hear her out. So you?re sitting in Part One, and just when your toes feel soothed by the right temperature, she leads you in into Part Two, and then you don?t even know when she?s led you into Part Three.So you understand it?s Vanessa?s story. What is it about?
Summary:- An ex-wife who can?t accept the new fianc in her ex-husband?s life.
She will show you the flowers, the grass, the dewdrops shimmering on the early morning petals, and then she will show you the weeds. The twist is, it?s not the garden outside her house, it?s the landscape of her marriage.It took a long time for me, a very long time to feel a spark with Vanessa?s tone. It wasn?t boring but she didn?t somehow reel me in. I felt like I was skimming the surface in Part One, kind of walking back and forth in the shallow end of the pool. I feel that part could have been shorter to have sort of elevated the thrill part. That?s where it dipped low for me, there wasn?t enough depth with the showing. I couldn?t feel goosebumps or be completely absorbed. I don?t know why but there felt a distance of sorts, which is why when the twists came, my maximum reactions were raised eyebrows and an ?Oh, okay.? What did absorb me was Vanessa?s marriage. I?m a sucker for reading dysfunctional relationships. There?s something interesting going on there with the psyche. However, because she inspired my investment in her marriage, the wandering questions left me disappointed.Would I still tell you to give it a go? Yes. The eighteen-year-old me would have loved this book. I was just starting to hang out with this group of fiction. It?s been more than a decade now. Since I know my way with this genre to an extent, this book is not one that will stay with me.
Trigger warning:- It does have emotional abuse and to an extent, physical too. So you might want to keep that in mind before you give this book a read.
The wandering question:- What kind of relationship did Maureen and Richard really share? Towards the end, I did sense something odd, something seemed very off when she wore Vanessa?s rings. What issues did Vanessa?s mother have?
Spoiler review:-To me, it seemed to have a lot of potential. Characters to me are like wells. The protagonists need to be filled with enough substance so I can pull in measure by measure and find even more volume as I peek over the wall. I became quite interested in the dynamic between Vanessa and Richard after they moved to the suburbs. They were isolated and had only each other, there was so much that I wanted to know about Richard?s character but couldn?t.I saw passive aggressiveness there, in him. There were so many shades to him but the lack of explanation about his life only diluted the shade. The scene where he gives a glimpse of his childhood, it?s pulled to a stop abruptly. Yes, I understand it?s Vanessa?s story but I feel like I have budged against a wall as I only know what all happened to her but I don?t really know why Richard was doing what he was doing. I see that he?s playing on his vices but the well seems scanty when what inspired him to choose those actions is not disclosed. Actually, here, I didn?t feel that Richard?s inner world was hidden, I felt that there was nothing there. Even when Maureen talks about a bit of their life in the epilogue, it felt rushed and weak. There seemed nothing to it. For this reason, this book was a letdown for me. Had Richard?s life been explored more, it would have dialed up the attraction factor for me. The first spark of emotion I felt was when Vanessa petted Duke for the first time. The sadness evoking in me told me how lonely she actually was before the dog entered the picture. That bond was just so endearing. I felt her pain when he was taken away. The comparison of her carefree fun life prior to her marriage to Richard with the present was brought out amazingly well. It was all in the small details, like how Samantha kept their home as it had been with a few changes. What Vanessa left and what new she came back to. The evidence that Vanessa used against Richard felt weak. There was nothing concrete in there to fight her case. The conundrum seemed big; the solution, underwhelming. Jason?s character seemed trivial. Vanessa?s fear related to leaving her home in the past behind because of Jason seemed exaggerated compared to the portrayal of Jason. Aunt Charlotte?s character was nice but didn?t add much to the plot. Neither did Emma.I would have also loved to see Kate?s past dug into, in regards to her time with Richard as he was the catalyst driving the story. The strongest point in this book for me was where it was just Richard and Vanessa and their psychological warfare on each other. With all that said, my book review for this book ends here. ?
P.S. You know what, it?s after two weeks or so did I realize what the title possibly means. ?The Wife Between Us?, meaning, between Vanessa and Nellie? So far I was floundering in my subconscious with the notion that the cover had two different women and the title meant Vanessa and Emma maybe. But there came a moment of sudden epiphany, ?No no no dear girl, it?s the same women but with a full face front view and a side view perhaps?That makes more sense, doesn?t it? Now with that possibility, the cover is alluring all the more.?
P.P.S. It is the same woman, isn?t it? (On the hardcover.)