by A. J. Banner
To be published
on December 27, 2016
Source: eARC for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: Thirty-four-year-old marine biologist Kyra Winthrop remembers nothing about the diving accident that left her with a complex form of memory loss. With only brief flashes of the last few years of her life, her world has narrowed to a few close friendships on the island where she lives with her devoted husband, Jacob.But all is not what it seems. Kyra begins to have visions—or are they memories?—of a rocky marriage, broken promises, and cryptic relationships with the island residents, whom she believes to be her friends. As Kyra races to uncover her past, the truth becomes a terrifying nightmare. A twisty, immersive thriller, The Twilight Wife will keep readers enthralled through the final, shocking twist.
My take: Lately my in-box is crowded with Netgalley emails touting the latest thriller with a "final, shocking twist" in the vein of Gone Girl or Girl on the Train. The Twilight Wife was compared to Before I Go to Sleep, a book I liked, so I decided to give it a try.
After a diving accident that led to her head injury, Kyra has two types of amnesia (retrograde, meaning she can't retrieve memories for a specific period of time, and anteretrograde, meaning she has trouble making new memories). So, not to be insensitive, but she can't remember much of anything at all. Kyra lives on a deserted Pacific Northwest island with Jacob, her doting, excruciatingly patient husband, who is willing to answer all her questions about her accident and their former life together ... repeatedly. Still, she's convinced that Jacob is hiding something from her. If he is, he's aided by their remote location and sketchy internet, which keeps her from finding out much of anything about anything.
The premise of this book was interesting, but the suspense level was pretty low and Kyra started to grate on my nerves after a while. Again, not to be insensitive, but at some point I began to wonder why she didn't write anything down. I mean, hey, I don't have amnesia but I have to make lists just to get by.
Finally, by the last third of the book, Kyra begins to unravel the truth about her accident and her situation, but the resolution didn't make any sense to me. (highlight for spoiler) Jacob was secretly in love with/obsessed with her, so he orchestrated an accident that got rid of her real husband but then left him with a fake "wife" who can't even remember what she did the day before? That plan didn't work out very well, did it? Kyra just wasn't worth the trouble imo. (end spoiler)
It took me a long time to read this book, which is never a good sign for a thriller. If you haven't read Before I Go To Sleep I'd definitely recommend that -- or the movie Memento -- over this book. If you are actively looking for amnesia stories, then hey, sure -- give this a try.