Lara’s life looks perfect on the surface. Gorgeous doting husband Massimo, sweet little son Sandro and the perfect home. Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can’t tell anyone else or everything Massimo has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage.
Maggie is married to Massimo’s brother Nico and lives with him and her troubled stepdaughter. She knows all of Nico’s darkest secrets – or so she thinks. The one day she discovers a letter in the attic which reveals a shocking secret about Nico’s first wife Caitlin. Will Maggie set the record straight or keep a lie to protect those she loves? For a family held together by lies, the truth will come at a devastating price.
The Silent Wife by Kerry Fisher Review
Death, Deceit and Dangerous Lies
I have written before about the impact books can have on our lives. The ability to transport us from the grey doom and gloom that may grace the streets outside our own bedroom windows to a hot and steamy beach on a far flung island. Or even from the safety of our own cocooned home to the scary depths of a basement with a psychopathic killer. Books, words, combinations of verbs and adjectives allow us to wander far from our own lives into the lives of others.
But it is rare that a book will make you look at your own personality and inspire you to be a better person. A less judgmental person. A braver person.
The Silent Wife did that for me – and in the most unexpected way.
About the Book:
Written from the perspective of two entirely different ‘second wives’, Kerry Fisher takes you into the world of a disjointed Italian family living in Brighton. A family that from the outside looks perfect, functional and albeit ‘blended’, the normal family living next door. But the truth couldn’t be further from that.
Maggie is a second wife. The ‘girl done good’ from the other side of the tracks who grew up in a humble home with a single mother and found herself the central love focus of a well-to-do man from a wealthy family. She couldn’t be luckier… could she? The only problem is, her own insecurities make her feel incredibly judged. All the time. And the aggressive stance from Italian Mother-In-Law From Hell makes her life no easier. She is constantly trying to prove herself to a family she feels will never accept her.
To complicate things further, her husband Nico isn’t a divorcee. In some ways that would have made life easier. Oh no, Nico is a widower. And following in the footsteps of the perfect first wife will not be easy. In fact, his daughter Francesca is doing everything in her power to make Maggie feel as unwelcome as possible. But what can you really expect from a grieving teenager?
Her only solace, you would hope, would be the familiar connection she would surely find with her sister-in-law, Lara. A second wife herself, surely they would have something in common?
Not the case. In Maggie’s mind, Lara is a stuffy, uptight perfectionist, married to the competitive, more attractive brother. And Lord does he he bring that up time and time again.
But unbeknownst to Maggie, Lara is battling her own demons. With a son that is not living up to her husband’s expectations and his need for perfection all the time, it is not long before we are given a sneak peek inside the world of the ‘perfect’ family across the street.
All is not as it seems. As much as we as readers know, and as much as we wish the two ladies would form a companionship and comfort each other, their constant insecurities see them constantly judging each other instead and getting the story so very, very wrong.
But something will bring them together. The secrets they both hold will eventually bind them together forever, but it will take an explosive outburst for them to finally find a connection.
Spoilers (Look away now if you don’t want to read too much!)
The Silent Wife is about more than just marriage, relationships and ‘fitting in to a new family’. It is about looking at those in your ‘new’ family and not being so quick to judge. How often have we looked at our sister or brother in laws and judged them for their parenting skills, or the way they handle conflicts with their partners? It is so very easy to do. When walking into a blended family it is so easy to feel like you are not good enough, like you won’t fit in. Those feelings block you from being able to look at the others around you and accepting them for who they are, without being jaded by the insecurities you hold.
I know I can say I have done the same.
But it goes deeper than that – and the main lesson I took away from this book was that sometimes you are so jaded by your own insecurities that you can’t see the wood for the trees.
Lara is in a domestically violent relationship. Not so much physical, but most certainly emotional. So much so, that her entire personality is a facade. She hides behind this wall of perfection out of fear, but the one person that can help her, the only person that could possibly enable her to escape this world, is the one person that simply can’t see past the perfect gloss she has painted her own life with.
Written from the personal perspective of both women, as a reader you find yourself screaming at the characters that they are getting it all wrong. Feeling the need to reach inside and bang their heads together. But in real life, this is exactly what goes on behind closed doors.
I gasped, laughed and cried. I held my breath and shouted at the pages. By the end of the book, I felt the need to look at myself in the mirror. I wondered if I had ever looked at others’ ‘perfect’ lives and judged them. Wondered if I had ever missed the signs of something so obvious. But I also wanted to be braver. To look at those in my family or in my life and say what I thought a little more. Be a bit more honest and stop trying to be so perfect. After all, you never know what is behind the perfect gloss of the whitewashed front door.
A fabulous book, characters that you feel the need to hug they are so real, and a subtle but important message for so many.
The Silent Wife is published by Bookouture