The Bossy Bookworm
Review of The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey
This sci-fi thriller is about betrayal and revenge, but it's not the other-woman story you might expect.
...no matter how much Martine developed her own personality and desires, she didn't have a right to them. She was a made thing. She was a tool, and tools don't have the right to decide how they're used.
This title and its cover art didn't clue me in to the premise of this book or prepare me for its complex layers. Once I delved in, I realized that the title suits the plot and the twists of Gailey's story wonderfully--and applies in multiple, interesting ways. (Although I think the cover--showcasing an engagement ring and its reflection--seem to neglect hinting at the sci-fi elements of this book.) This sci-fi thriller is about the forces that drive apart a husband and wife, but it's not the other-woman story you might expect.
Evelyn Caldwell is a brilliant scientist who has long enjoyed an inspiring professional relationship with her husband, also a scientist. She's winning awards and well-deserved international attention for her incredible genetic cloning advancements--but people have noticed that her husband has recently been mysteriously absent from her side as she collects her many honors.
The story is about betrayal and revenge, but I hadn't read the premise before I started reading, and I almost dropped the book when I realized what was going on, I was so shocked by the setup--it's not your usual cheating-husband situation. There are loops and layers to Gailey's story that have to do with identity, autonomy, freedom, shaping others to suit your expectations and desires--and recognizing how you're shaped by others in turn. I loved the characters' unanticipated loyalty to unlikely parties and their hard-won emotional growth.
I was hooked on this one and couldn't wait to find out what happened. I'd love to watch this in movie form.
Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?
This is my first Sarah Gailey book, but she's authored many others, including Upright Women Wanted, Magic for Liars, and Bread of Milk and Salt.
I mentioned The Echo Wife (along with Greenlights and Normal People in the Greedy Reading List Three Books I'm Reading Now, 4/14/21 Edition.