The Starter Wifeby Published 11 Jun 2019
|The Starter Wife.pdf|
|Publisher||Grand Central Publishing|
From the bestselling author of Girl Last Seen comes "a spine-tingler" (Booklist) of a psychological suspense, perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Jessica Knoll.
Local police have announced that they're closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found. The chief of police has stated that no concrete evidence of foul play has been discovered in the probe.
I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband's first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There's a big difference.
My phone rings, jarring me away from my thoughts, and when I pick it up, it's an unknown number. The only answer to my slightly breathless hello is empty static.
When the voice does finally come, it's female, low, muffled somehow. "Where is it, Claire? What did you do with it? Tell me where it is."
A woman. A real flesh-and-blood woman on the other end of the phone. She's not just in my head.
A wave of panic spreads under my skin like ice water. It's Colleen.
"Laurin knows how to ratchet up the suspense." --Publishers Weekly
The Starter Wife Reviews
I am happy to say that I liked this book a lot more than I was expecting to. This book is full on crazy. If you are burnt out on the drunk unreliable narrator then steer clear but if you fancy a narrator that puts the cuckoo in cocoa puffs then you've come to the right place.
Claire is married to English professor Byron and while she is still head over heels in love with him it appears that his interest in her is beginning to wane. She can't have this. She will do anything to keep her man. Unfortunately the woman she is most jealous of is his first wife, his starter wife, his dead wife, Colleen. She tragically committed suicide and yet Claire is reminded of her every single day. Mostly because they live in her house surrounded by her paintings. It seems as if they will never be able to escape Colleens memory no matter how much Claire tries to make their life so perfectly perfect. Why doesn't Byron see just how hard Claire tries to keep him happy?
Claire is jealous, Claire is drunk, Claire is paranoid, and Claire is about to lose her ever loving mind and I couldn't tear my eyes away. A done-in-one-day book that I couldn't put down. 4 stars!
Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Claire Wescott is married to Byron, a professor at a liberal arts college in Ohio. She’s his second wife and is starting to question if his change in behavior towards her means something...is it a sign that he’s seeing someone else. Claire thinks a baby will be the answer though she’s got fertility issues. As she pursues that direction, she’s also trying to figure out if there’s a “who” responsible for his distraction.
From the start, I knew I was dealing with an unreliable narrator because Claire has some serious issues! And, the prologue introduces someone, anonymous, who’s always in the background and I was never quite sure where to place her...past or present, good or evil, real or imagined. Then there’s Colleen, Byron’s first wife, who has a large presence in the story. She disappeared years ago, presumed dead by suicide. The narrative is Claire’s and it’s an uncomfortable place to be in as she grapples with self doubt, body image issues and her writing failures. I didn’t like her very much though I had empathy for her situation. I went back and forth about Byron because I only had Claire’s point of view.
Because of my struggles with Claire, I had mixed feelings about this story. I had a hard time resuming reading after breaks because I didn’t want to be back in her head. But, there came a point where things shifted and it became a seriously intriguing puzzle I had to solve. I got there but was still surprised by one final twist. I’m glad I hung in there because being off balance is part of the story’s allure. If you don’t get hung up on how you feel about the narrator, you’ll appreciate the journey and the payoff. I’m still thinking about that ending. 3.5 stars
(Thanks to NetGalley for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)
Well that was fun!
Other than what's already in the blurb, there's very little I can say about the plot--there's a huge, game-changing twist in this one, so I don't want to spoil anything. I stayed up far too late to finish reading because I was determined to see how this unfolded. Laurin knew how to keep me turning pages!
There was one not-so-teeny thing I had to overlook in order to keep enjoying this story--Google.
Byron, the former husband of the "starter wife," becomes involved with a series of women after his wife's disappearance in 2010. Apparently, we're to believe that *not a single one* of these women Googled him before they dated him. Move things back ten years from when they happened here, and yeah, that might be plausible. But in the 2010s? Hahaha, sorry, probably not.
As soon as I pretended the plot was unfolding in a different time period, this was a lot of fun! Nina Laurin was new to me, so I'll be sure to look for more of her work in the future. I'll dock a half a star for the Google funny business and give this 4.5 stars.
Thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a DRC of this novel.
Interesting idea and fairly well done
First though got to say that the lead lady Claire gets nausea, about everything and anything, and barely a page goes past without her for one reason or another telling us!
That aside ( oh and her love of drink, somewhat a pre requisite of many books now, a lead lady who drinks 24/7 ) this is a domestic thriller thats more domestic than thriller but when it is thrilling it really is!!
Its a story, confusing at times, about ultimate class A stalking and the lengths one woman ( over decades ) will go to get what she wants and by whatever means get her her ‘prize’, the stalkers nonchalance at her actions are chilling and will induce a shudder in every reader!
The characters are strong, not particularly likeable but strong and my dislike grew as the story unfolded
The last 25% of the book suddenly leaps at you and the story ratchets up at speed until the inevitable shock and crux of the book
Scary, in parts, unpredictable in other parts and ultimately a goodish read
7/10 3 Stars
The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin was absolute roller coaster of a domestic suspense book. In the beginning it was a tad confusing but as I got into it more I couldn't put it down. That ending was just crazy - and I loved it. When a book goes off on so many tangents and keeps you guessing I know it is a good book!
Claire is Byron's second wife. They seems relatively happy but the shadow of Colleen - Bryon's first wife who committed suicide- hangs over their relationship. Byron is still in love with her and Claire is threatened by her - and is not convinced that she is dead. She becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her - literally stopping at nothing to find out the truth. You won't believe where this one goes. Highly recommended.
Thanks to Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for my advanced copy of this book to read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased.