The Perfect Wifeby Published 06 Aug 2019
|The Perfect Wife.pdf|
The perfect life. The perfect love. The perfect lie. From the bestselling author of The Girl Before comes a gripping new psychological thriller. . . .
Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He's a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley's most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss.
She is a miracle of science.
But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband's motives--and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to Abbie half a decade ago?
Beware the man who calls you . . .
The Perfect Wife Reviews
What doesn’t come across from the book’s blurb is that this is sci-fi. Abbie awakes from what she thinks has been an accident. Her husband and child are alive, so no worries, until her husband says that she’s actually a cobot, a “companion robot” -that she actually died and what she thinks of as HER memories have been uploaded into her.
Now Abbie maybe a robot, but she’s one with empathy. It was hard to remember that she wasn’t human. And the book contains the best definition of what it means to be the parent of an autistic child I’ve ever read. (The reason why is explained in the Acknowledgments.)
I always find it unusual when a story is told in the second person. But Abbie’s portions are. The historic sections are told in first person but we aren’t told who the narrator is. It’s a very disconcerting approach but it works really well.
The book is an interesting mix between sci-fi and domestic thriller. It raises some fascinating moral questions and will have you thinking about what makes someone human. Abbie is even asked at one point if she thinks she has a soul. As someone who hates that pets are treated as property, I really got into the legal aspects as well.
This book took me places I didn’t expect. It’s one I highly recommend, even for those that think they don’t like sci-fi. My only criticism is that Tim is more caricature than real person. I had trouble buying his simplistic view of women which read like a Freud 101 case.
My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book.
JP Delaney establishes his reputation for intelligent, complex, thought provoking, beautifully written psychological thrillers with his latest offering. It is a blend of AI with its spectacular groundbreaking, cutting edge scientific breakthroughs and family drama with its sinister and creepy overtones that drive the narrative. Simultaneously, it asks some of the deepest philosophical questions, of ethics and morality, what it is to be human, and the question of what it is that comprises our identity. Abbie is the eponymous 'perfect wife' with its echoes of the Stepford Wives, who awakens in hospital after 5 years, with no memories of who she is and how she came to be here. The man beside her tells her she is his perfect wife, and wonderful mother to their autistic son, Danny, and the victim of a dreadful accident five years ago. He tells her he wants them to be together forever. Can Abbie trust him and his version of events?
Tim Scott is a Silicon Valley tech CEO, a powerful man and billionaire, a socially awkward and tyrannical personality who makes impossible demands of his workforce. Abbie is the polar opposite of Tim, she is a free spirited and impulsive, stunningly beautiful, and artistically creative. Strangely hired by Tim as an artist in residence, her art serves as a social and questioning commentary on Tim's flawed and damaging management style but surprisingly, he is not put out or angered by this. In fact, the two end up getting married, and whilst I know the trope of opposites attracting has a strong foundation in truth, I must admit I struggled to see Tim as a an attractive proposition for any woman, with few traits that could contribute to him being suitable marriage material. Still it takes all sorts to make the world, and they have a son, although there are what might be the expected differences of opinions and perspectives within their marriage, on the autistic Danny, and his future and upbringing.
Delaney introduces the reader to the extraordinary concept of the cobot, the phenomena of AI developments in learning and development, and to the contradictory notion that AI might give us a more humane 'human', juxtaposing this with the human 'inhumanity' of Tim. This an intense and compulsive read that takes the reader into the scary possibilities in technological developments that do not necessarily feel that far fetched. Interweaved with this is the family drama and intrigue, a story of twists and turns, surprising the reader time and time again. This is a suspenseful novel which poses some fundamental questions, touching on misogyny, the nature of marriage, family, autism, what it is to be a parent and asks just how desirable is it to chase the goal of 'perfection'? A fascinating and highly engaging read. Many thanks to Quercus for an ARC.
I've been guilty of requesting a book without reading the blurb....I mean, not one little bit!
I see an author I know that I enjoy and, “click“ goes the request button! Typically I receive my standard, formulary thriller. Some better than others, but in the end, all falling into the same pattern.
Well...let me tell you about the shock on my face as I started in on this read, quickly realizing that finally the mold was officially broken!😳
What if you found the perfect wife...could you really just let her go?
Five stars for originality! This was one of the most ingenious, unique thrillers I’ve read all year! I’m not going to add anything about the premise here. Trust me, go in as blind as possible! (You can thank me later!)
If you’re looking for something different, able to keep an open mind and suspend your believability… Look no further! This is a must read this summer for you!
A shocking buddy read with Susanne! Neither one of us had a clue what was in store for us!
Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group Ballantine and J.P. Delaney for an ARC to read and review.
This book is crazy and NOTHING like most of what I read. I am on record as being solidly anti sci-fi but this is JP Delaney we are talking about so naturally, it is mesmerizing, compulsively readable, disturbing and fascinating.
I don't want to give too much away but this book is part cautionary tale about artificial intelligence, part domestic thriller and part heartfelt story of a family navigating the challenges of a child with autism...
...and somehow it works!!!
It's some crazy business but whoooooo, what a ride.
Thank you to the spectacular, never disappointing JP Delaney, thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Books, and thank you to NetGalley for this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
If Westworld and The Stepford Wives and Sleeping With the Enemy and Gone Girl had a baby, J.P. Delaney would be the baby daddy.
"You don't change the future without changing the rules."
The last thing I want to do is ruin the experience of reading this book by divulging too much with my review so I'll just say this:
I loved it!
I couldn't put it down!
Delaney's best book yet!
*** A gigantical thank you to Random House Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. ***