The Wives by Tarryn Fisher starts off as a portrait of a sister wife.
Quick! Someone page the TLC channel to make it into a salacious reality TV show! I can picture it now: The Wives, Sistering up in 90 Days with 20 Kids.
Our main character’s husband, Seth, is married to two other women. The twist: she’s never met the other wives. In fact, it’s a forbidden topic.
She even has her established day of the week with Seth; Thursdays. She puts maximum effort into making everything pleasing for him. Think of the 1950s advice books to young wives, encouraging them to greet their husbands after a long day of work wearing a fresh dress and makeup, with the house sparkling clean and a roasted chicken on the table for dinner.
“That’s what I do to avoid losing Seth’s favor一I give in. I will not be the nagging shrew. I will not be the difficult wife. I will be the favorite, the one who makes his life easier.”
Tarryn Fisher, The Wives
She knows the situation is messed up, resents it, even. But still, she pines for Seth.
Midway through the book, things change. A lot. It becomes a completely different story. I’m a little ambivalent about how I feel about it.
Conversely, one of my favorite books is Tarryn Fisher’s Love Me with Lies trilogy. The first book, The Opportunitist, sets up such a beautiful and head-scratching relationship. I liked that one much better than The Wives, though this book also had me turning the pages compulsively.
Watch the booktube video book review for more of my thoughts!
Published December 2019