“The Wife” by Alafair Burke could be a story from any news service. We read about this situation every day; celebrities, business tycoons, and politicians are accused of extramarital affairs and are disgraced by scandal. Careers are over, families are humiliated, and lives are changed forever. But this story is different; this is the story of Angela, the wife.
“How well do you really know your husband?”
Jason, Angela, and Spencer Powell are living happy successful lives when the unthinkable happens. Jason, a successful executive and college professor is accused of sexual harassment and misconduct. Angela, his wife struggles to make sense of the chaos and maintain the stability of her family.
“What do you wear to court for your husband’s rape case?”
Readers see normal lives deteriorate into chaos. Alternating points of view bring out all the unsavory details of the story and its participants. We gain insight into Angela’s personal struggles, and get a different perspective of the whole situation as the case unfolds. The line between guilt and innocence becomes blurred, and we understand Angela’s anxiety.
“Pretty soon the trolls will start looking for secrets about you and me.”
Things are not what they appear to be in many ways. Piece by piece the puzzle emerges, her background, his background, the scandal, the betrayal, the tragedy, but the pieces do not seem to fit. Little by little, the complicated picture becomes more clear – maybe.
“It was one person’s word against another in a system where the government had to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Readers follow a path that twists and turns in unexpected ways.
“I know we are missing something. I just don’t know what it is yet.”
Burke is expert at weaving a tale that is compelling, relatable, and complicated. The personalities and relationships make this a gripping novel. Burke keeps readers guessing page after page and brings everything to a shocking end.
I received a copy of “The Wife” from Alafair Burke and Harper Collins in exchange for my impartial review. I highly recommend this book. You will not want to put it down.