My Review of the Wives, by Tarryn Fisher
Summary: Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. She agreed to this unusual arrangement because she’s so crazy about him.
But one day, she finds something. Something that tells a very different—and horrifying—story about the man she married.
What follows is one of the most twisted, shocking thrillers you’ll ever read.
You’ll have to grab a copy to find out why.
Genre: Suspense/Psychological Thriller
My Rating: FIVE SOLID STARS FOR TRUE WHA THE … DID I JUST READ????
Content warning for this book. Contains lots of discussion on miscarriage, adultery, domestic violence, infertility.
Holy hell guys, what the hell did I just read? Not even two hours after finishing this enthralling novel, my head is still spinning with a ton of “wtf did I just read!!!!” As some of you know, one of my favorite genres is suspense fiction, with a heavy dose of psychological thriller. It is Difficult for me to be impressed by this genre, as authors tend to take the cliché, abrupt, or just plain unsatisfying endings. This page turner was NOTHING like that. Before continuing, do note that my reviews do contain spoilers. I will only warn you once, otherwise buckle up, kids.
Released in late 2019, I came across this book by accident while scrolling through Audible suggestions. Piqued by the summary, I downloaded it and immediately got to work. First, not only is the protagonist’s name Thursday, she calls the other two wives Monday and Tuesday, (when really their names are Hannah and Regina.) Do take note that her name is literally never mentioned again until the last third of the novel, where it just seemed like the author overused her name to drive home the fact that she… might not be all there mentally.
Right so, Thursday and her hubby/partner/co equal co signatory de facto boy toy seem to have a somewhat normal looking marriage. He works and is out of town, she sees him once a week, jumps his bones as soon as she sees him, (cue eye roll from me, the reader.) Then she starts talking about the other two wives, and you get the note of jealousy that may hint she hates being the second wife. Considering she was supposed to be having his baby but has a miscarriage and becomes infertile, (???), his response is to get a third wife. Okay… sure, I guess?
We go through the story, seeing Miss Weekday grow consistently suspicious/jealous of the other wives. She starts sleuthing, making a dating profile and connecting with that real Tinder love with Miss Tuesday. She’s convinced that Regina is cheating on Seth and plans to drag it out. Meanwhile, she becomes besties with Hannah, not giving away her real identity. While living her best, fake… bake (???), life with Hannah, she sees bruises and becomes convinced that Seth is abusing wife number 3, who, might I add, is PREGNANT with Seth’s first baby. (Oof, you lost yet?)
As if this couldn’t possibly get any weirder, she comes home and finds Seth waiting, 100 percent pissed and 1000 percent about to break it off with Thursday because hey, who wouldn’t want to if your weekday literally did nothing but compare herself to the other weekdays, complain about her narcissistic mother and somewhat absent father? When Seth tries to confront Thursday, she completely flips out on him, revealing what she’s been doing and accusing him of assault on Hannah. Oh yeah, and totally dropping the fact that she met Hannah, oops. So naturally, at least for this novel, Seth becomes enraged that his weekdays are mingling and tells her she’s losing her mind. You know, typical gaslighting behavior that we roll our eyes at on the daily. She attacks him and in self-defense, he tries to stop her, but she hits her head. Only to her, he attacked her and was trying to kill her.
The next section of the novel was like drinking five Redbulls and running a full marathon. The pace of the book picks up, with Thursday being in the psych ward, everyone trying to convince her that she is literally losing her mind, and her adamant that Seth turned the universe against her. Once she’s managed to lie her way out of the hospital, she begins ultra-sleuth mode, AKA going to Regina’s office, where the weekdays fight it out and eventually Thursday comes to learn that Regina and Seth divorced three years ago because Seth was having an affair with Thursday. (OH EM GEEEEEE)
Regina then turns from evil foe, to slight nemesis, to nemesis with benefits as she tracks down Hannah, who has since gone “missing”. Unbeknownst to Thursday, Regina’s tricked her into confronting Seth and Hannah, where it is revealed that Thursday was never married to Seth, (!), Hannah was indeed Seth’s real wife, and after Regina bursts into the room like some cartoon superhero, she reveals that Regina and Seth divorced because of Thursday. So not only did Seth cheat on Regina with Thursday, he cheated on Hannah with Thursday and played into Thursday’s beliefs that she was married to him. Of course, the guy gets off scotch free, (well, as free as you can get by being shot and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of your life), blaming his behavior on an abusive childhood and polygamist parents who lived in, of all places, UTAH. Way to play into the stereotype of Utah, Fisher, bravo.
At the end, Thursday pleads guilty by insanity, ending up in a psych ward and diagnosed with multiple disorders stemming from the miscarriage of her child. Meanwhile, Seth lives with Hannah, his actual wife, while Regina comes to visit Thursday one year later. Not only does Reggie/Tuesday gaslight the hell out of a drugged Thursday by boasting about how she played Thursday because she’s the reason her life fell apart, but she claims she’s nothing like Thursday and could never be. So, what else could Thursday do but jump poor unsuspecting Regina and slam her head against the ground. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the story fades out. *fans self* As I said, BIG OOF.
All in all, this story was a constant dose of ‘what the actual hell is going on’, with a dose of sympathy for the protagonist, then the other wives, then confusion and finally… just stunned silence on my part. Tarryn Fisher really did an amazing job, and I don’t usually say that lightly because again, psychological thrillers are predictable most times. I would recommend reading this book so you too can be enthralled by constant gut-wrenching feelings of existential crisis.