What does anyone ever really know? About themselves? About their friends? About their spouse?
Alafair Burke brings up this question in her novel The Wife. The novel follows Angela as she navigates her life in the wake of accusations of sexual misconduct against her husband. Angela has created a quiet life in Manhattan with her son and her husband Jason Powell. Since their marriage 6 years ago, Jason has turned from unknown, brilliant NYU professor to New York Time best seller and sought after celebrity economist.
At the height of his fame, Jason has been accused of sexual harassing an intern and then another colleague comes forward accusing him of rape. Angela has her trauma in her past that she has been trying to escape from. The accusations bring up her past and Angela wonders about the man she married. Does she actually know him? Can she believe the things that he is saying?
Alafair Burke does a great job playing with the theme of doubt throughout the novel. She slowly picks apart what you think you know about the characters and sucks you into Angela’s mind. How far would you go to protect you spouse, your family and your life?
I would categorize this book as a thriller however, it’s worth noting that while the twists are shocking, they do not feel forced. The novel has great timing, character development and plot progression. Burke is a talented writer and I’m excited to read her other novels.