In her new psychological thriller The Wives (Graydon House), author Tarryn Fisher names the main character Thursday, who in turn nicknames her husband’s other wives Monday and Tuesday. Reason being: her husband, Seth, spends each Thursday with her in Seattle, and the beginning of each week with his other two wives in Portland. Logical, right? Isn’t that what polygamists do?
For a few years Thursday goes along with Seth’s little game, playing some of her own. After all, she bought into this arrangement when she married him, and she loves him intensely and doesn’t want to lose him like she lost their baby. So when it’s her day, she dutifully portrays the doting wife—satisfying his appetite in and out of the bedroom.
Clearly, while her heart may be in this marriage, her mind is not.
Not only does Thursday reluctantly buy into Seth’s part-time lover scenario, so do we. Early on, we root for her even if we are skeptical of the situation. Fisher cleverly tethers us to Thursday’s thoughts and deeds.
When Thursday finds a receipt in Seth’s pants pocket Monday becomes Hannah; and then, a midnight text on Seth’s phone transforms Tuesday into Regina. And strangely, we are relieved they are real honest to goodness people, not figments of Thursday’s imagination. Thus, we squarely support Thursday’s desire to find out as much as she can about them because, “Isn’t it the mark of a woman to want to know more things about other women?”
Determined to protect what’s hers, curiosity gets the better of Thursday. We watch as she devolves into a super online sleuth and eventual in-person stalker. Thus, we become complicit, co-conspirators into a complex devious plot that can’t possibly end well.
Yet, even with her inferiority complex on full display, we have a stake in Thursday’s well-being. We want her to get her man on her terms, not be the one in the middle, Seth’s once-a-weeknight stand.
But there’s little we can do to help her. She holds all the cards and a gun. If she doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not, how can we? Whether readers agree or disagree with Thursday’s schemes, we are caught up in her obsessions and psychosis. As she begins to doubt if she’ll ever get herself out of this mess, so do we.
Fisher draws us in with a topic few of us are familiar with—polygamy. However, she keeps us turning the page by having us share the mind of a sympathetic character. It’s a compelling story of self-loathing, revenge, and denial that will keep readers up at night with the lights on and their devices off.
The Wives is available to pre-order, and will be publishing Dec. 30.
About Tarryn Fisher
Tarryn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She lives in Seattle with her children and husband. Her heart is dark but she loves you with it anyway. Tarryn is the founder of Guise of the Villain, a fashion blog, and has written twelve published novels.