the wife shalini boland
Book Review / Reviews with Spoilers / Shalini Boland

Shalini Boland | The Wife

the wife shalini boland

The Book: 

The Wife by Shalini Boland, 2020

The Characters: 

Zoe and her husband Toby
Toby’s brother Nick and his wife Madeline
Toby and Nick’s mother Celia
Zoe’s sister Dina and ex-friend Cassie

The Plot (from Goodreads):

Zoe fainted on her wedding day, and she never knew why. She’s always felt sure something bad happened. Ten years later, she’s going to find out what…

It was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. Zoe was sitting in her hotel room, in her perfect white dress, looking forward to the moment when she would make kind, handsome Toby her husband.

Then, there was a blank.

They said she must have fainted, overcome with emotion. But nothing felt quite right afterward. Did something happen in that missing time?

Now, Toby and Zoe have two beautiful children and a perfect life. They’re planning their ten-year anniversary party for their family and friends. The invitations have been sent, the food ordered. They’re going back to the grand hotel where they got married.

But as the anniversary gets closer, it becomes clear not everyone is looking forward to celebrating. She catches Toby lying about where he’s been. One of her best friends seems to be ignoring her. And someone is spreading stories that might stop the party from happening at all.

Zoe is increasingly sure that she doesn’t have the full story. But does she want to know the truth, if it will destroy everything?

Click here for book spoilers for The Wife
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Wife, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist: 

On the night of their ten-year anniversary party, Toby tells Zoe that she killed her sister Dina at their wedding. Dina had made a pass at Toby which he declined, and on the day of the wedding she came at him with a knife. Zoe hit her over the head with a vase, killing her. Zoe then slipped, hit her head on the desk, passed out, and remembered nothing when she woke up. Nick buried the body. 

Later the next day, Zoe’s memory comes back to her. Toby strangled Dina for admitting their affair to Zoe. Nick did help cover up the murder. 

Celia finds out that Zoe is starting to regain memories of her wedding day. She drugs Zoe and gives her a muscle paralyzer, and makes Zoe watch as Celia and Malcolm stage Zoe’s suicide. Zoe’s father breaks in at the last second and rescues her. 

The Ending:

Celia, Malcolm, Toby, and Nick all go to jail. Zoe and her children move in with Zoe’s father, and she and Madeline remain friends. Both Zoe and Madeline divorce their husbands and try to move on with their lives.

The Review: 

This book flew by. I was eager to get to the end to figure out the connection between what happened on Zoe’s wedding day, her missing sister, the spat with her sister-in-law, and the obnoxious ex-friend Cassie. The ending was satisfying and I found this to be an interesting quick read. 

I don’t know if I loved the main character, Zoe. She spent too much time worrying about what other people thought of her instead of just asking. I also don’t know if I believe that it would take ten years for anyone to ask questions about Dina and look more into her disappearance. No one else saw her at the wedding or in their small hometown leading up to it? I was able to easily overlook these few holes though and enjoy the story for what it was. 

This was the first novel I’ve read by Shalini Boland, but I will certainly be looking into getting my hands on some of her other books.

the wife shalini boland
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