Hello everyone! Emma and Kristy here. Are you ready for our January book club discussion?! The book we selected was The Wives by Tarryn Fisher. We are SO happy that so many of you have decided to join our little book club. 1900+ members on Facebook! That makes us smile. :)
If you haven’t read The Wives by Tarryn Fisher and don’t want to be spoiled.. stop here! We’ll be diving into every detail in this post so please don’t keep reading if you aren’t finished. xx
Read our recap & opinions, and also take a look at our discussion questions! Please answer any of the questions, leave your opinions and thoughts below in the comment section! This is an open forum. :)
Let’s do a little recap of the book, shall we? The main character of the book – Thursday, tries to be the perfect wife in an unconventional relationship to her husband Seth. She’s found herself in a modern-day polygamist relationship with her husband and 2 other wives. Seth travels within the Pacific Northwest to stay with each of his 3 wives throughout different days of the week. Thursday is okay with the setup, knowing that she is officially wife #2 within the trio of wives. Like anyone would feel in this sort of situation, Thursday often wonders about the other two wives, especially Seth’s third and newest wife. All she knows about the two other girls is what days of the week he spends with them. Thursday shares that she in fact did get pregnant with Seth’s baby at one point but suffered a miscarriage which left her extremely upset and depressed. That’s when Seth decided to take on a third and more fertile wife and Thursday agreed.
Thursday discovers the third wife’s name by chance – Hannah, and once she does.. her entire world begins to unravel. She begins researching everything she can about the other two wives. She even finds their social media accounts. She then travels to Portland to see where the newest wife, Hannah lives. Finding out all she can about the girls quickly becomes an obsession. In her quest Hannah discovers that Seth isn’t who he says he is and that he’s hiding secrets. She believes that Seth is abusing pregnant Hannah (based on marks on Hannah’s arm) and strikes up a friendship with her to find out more information. Hannah on the other hand doesn’t know who Thursday really is. At this point in the story, Thursday seems to be drinking quite regularly.. even during the day. She makes a fake dating profile and begins messaging wife #1, Regina to find out more information about her as well.
At a certain point in the story everyone finds out that Thursday is talking to the other wives and digging for info. She confronts Seth about Hannah’s abuse and he attacks her in their apartment. He then accuses her of being mentally unwell and checks her into a psych ward. Thursday becomes an extremely unreliable narrator to the audience at this point and it’s hard to figure out who’s telling the truth.. Seth or Thursday? Her parents help her but her mom seems very disappointed with her constantly which is hard on Thursday. When she’s released from the hospital, Seth essentially locks her in the house so she doesn’t keep investigating. She evades his clutches and escapes. Thursday drives to Portland to check up on Hannah, but Hannah acts as if she’s never met her before. Thursday then confronts Regina about everything who supports her many theories that Seth could be dangerous and hides secrets from his past. Thursday wants to warn Hannah.
Regina calls Thursday and tells her where Hannah is so they can talk. Thursday ends up going to Hannah’s apartment, where she tries to warn her about Seth when he walks in the room. Seth accuses Thursday of being crazy, telling her that they were never married to begin with, and she accuses him of lying and being abusive. It’s at this point that Regina walks in the room and tells Thursday that she’s just Seth’s mistress.. nothing more. Thursday begins remembering that what Regina is saying is true and we as the audience realize that Thursday is in fact mentally unwell. Regina then tells Seth and Hannah that she was only there to warn them about a message that Thursday left on her phone telling her that she was planning on hurting the two, even though this was a lie. Thursday, upset then tries to hurt Regina but ends up shooting Seth instead.
Thursday ends up back in the psych ward.. She was arrested but able to plead insanity. The doctor explains that she and Seth were never married, and every hint of her thinking that way was made up in her mind. The doctor also explains to Thursday that when she left the hospital the first time, her father was the one who stayed with her and helped her home.. not Seth. Thursday realizes that she ended up hurting her dad to escape and now remembers everything.
At the very end of the book, Regina comes to visit Thursday in the hospital to have it out with her one last time. Regina ends up calling Thursday crazy and Thursday KILLS HER.
Both Emma and I had similar opinions about this book. There were a few things that we liked and several things we didn’t like about the storyline. This book was our first introduction to New York Times best seller, Tarryn Fisher. This book actually landed on the NYT Best Seller list for a couple of weeks and was hyped for months before it was first released. Before we cast any judgements about the author we’d like to read a couple of her other books first.
Things we liked:
- The Quickness. We really enjoyed how fast-paced this book was.. Emma finished it in 1 night. We both found it hard to put down.
- Modern-Day Polygamy. This was a creative idea in general – not one we’re used to reading about in thrillers of this type.
- Investigating. Once Thursday started snooping online, we were hooked! Who doesn’t like to google people!?
Things we didn’t love:
- The ambiguity of the name Thursday. At the beginning of the book it was a little confusing that the narrator, Thursday is really named Thursday since this is also the night she spends with Seth each week. Why did the other girls have typical names and she didn’t? It was distracting.
- Thursday’s Delusions. We both really enjoyed the first 50% 0f the book. The second half takes a complete turn. It’s hard to believe anything Thursday says and we felt this was such a cop-out to the story line. The ending was rushed with so many loose-ends.. everything falling under the umbrella of Thursday’s mental illness.
- Too many dark themes. Both of us felt like the story pushed too many triggering topics into one book for shock value. Miscarriage, domestic abuse, polygamy, mental illness, women vs women, parent issues, and more. How many themes did you count? All of these adding to the fact that you don’t know whether or not you can ever believe Thursday. Things became tough to swallow.
Plus that very abrupt and startling ending! We both felt like it was a bit ‘out there’ for our tastes.. it was both shocking and confusing. It didn’t feel realistic – we don’t believe Regina would ever visit Thursday in the mental hospital at that point under normal circumstances. Was the author trying to make a new ‘Girl on the Train’ or ‘The Woman in the Window’?
If you would like to read a book that is fast paced and exciting you might like to try, ‘The Silent Patient’ by Alex Michaelides. Such a great book.
- What did you think about the polygamist marriage angle? Was it believable for you at the beginning or was it too far-fetched?
- What were your opinions of Seth throughout the book? How did that change from the beginning through the end?
- Did Thursday annoy you as a character?
- There are a lot of themes in this book – miscarriage, abuse, mental illness and more. Do you think it was a well-thought out mix of themes or were they randomly mixed in for shock value?
- Regarding the psychiatric ward.. what were your thoughts on these sections of the book?
- Usually the main character is one you believe in. What bothered you the most about Thursday’s lack of credibility throughout the book?
- What did you make of the ending?
Please leave your thoughts, opinions and questions about the book below! The more comments the better. :)
February’s books have been selected – click here to learn more about this! Join our Book Club facebook group – we talk about other books, suggestions, questions, mid-month discussions and you can make new friends! Click here.