The Wife Between Us
by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekka has many twists and turns in the story. At the beginning it seems that the main character is a jealous ex-wife which storyline continues until half way through the novel where I found myself turning back to previous pages, trying to figure out where I had missed the actual story. But that isn't the only twist, there are many throughout the novel. Vanessa has many demons she is dealing with, claustrophobia, a bad relationship during college, the death of a young girl in her care, a mother with mental problems and all of these her husband, Richard, uses to his advantage to manipulate her.
Richard is a typical sociopath with no empathy and as most sociopaths do, has learned to be charismatic and charming. He successfully moves her away from her support group both physically and emotionally, buying a house in the wealthy suburb of New York, encouraging her to give up her two jobs and acting with jealousy when she spends time with friends. When violence toward her begins he gives her expensive gifts. From an outsider point of view, it is difficult to understand how someone could be charmed into such a relationship, but without a support group the victim doubts her own thoughts, is confused whether things had actually happened, especially when the person hurting her acts like her protector. And it happens slowly, enticing the woman into thinking she is getting a lifestyle she wants - a home, family, love. Apart from being a novel you won't want to put down it should be a lesson to all women, that if a man is charming and seems to good to be true, he probably is. . .
The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout is an informative read about sociopaths who often seem innocent and needy and will make a relationship all about you, until one day it becomes all about them!
Reading group questions here