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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-18 22:52
The Twilight Wife
The Twilight Wife - Lisa A. Banner

I'm not saying this book could be a soap opera, but...

 

The Twilight Wife follows Kyra Winthrop as she recovers from a diving accident that cost her at least four years of her life. Helping her is her husband, Jacob, as they live a charming life on Mystic Island, off the coast of either Seattle or British Columbia, not sure which. As time goes by, though, and as Kyra's memories come back to her, she starts to realize that things, especially Jacob and the nature of her accident, are not what they seem.

 

This book is advertised as a psychological thriller and it does get there. The last third of the book was awesome and I finished it fairly quickly. The twists were original and while I saw the final twist coming, it was still a good one. Not some weird copout twist. Banner did a really good job of leaving all the clues and connecting them all together in the end. 

 

The characters were okay. I did like Kyra though she easily got on my nerves in a lot of places, since she reads as really naive and a total pushover. Which, there are people like that in the world, so it was realistic, just frustrating. Jacob I disliked from the start. He was creepy and controlling and it was so obvious. I wish Banner had been much more subtle with him because it is obvious that he's up to something sinister. Part of the reason the final twist wasn't that surprising. The other characters were okay, just nothing really memorable. 

 

My favorite thing in this book is the setting. I love the sound of Mystic Island. The Pacific Northwest is my favorite kind of landscape and I would love to have a vacation place up there. We're going to the area in May and this book only made me more excited for that. Her descriptions of nature and the island are really incredible and I give her full credit for that. 

 

The reason I'm giving this book 3 stars is because, enjoyable as it was, it was so dramatic. It reads like a soap opera, especially with the amnesia thing. Most of the book is just Kyra feeling like a burden because she can't remember things she and Jacob did in the past. The plot is there, the execution is just full of melodrama where it makes it hard to get into it as a psychological thriller. For example, the overwhelmingly obvious fact that Jacob is not a great guy. Just a little more subtlety would have done wonders for this book. 

 

Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars. It's okay. Nothing spectacular, a fun read, and one I might pick up again if I need a quick read but I'm not in a hurry to get to again any time soon.

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text 2017-03-08 04:59
Reading progress update: I've read 12 out of 304 pages.
The Twilight Wife - Lisa A. Banner

This was on the New Fiction shelf at the library and the premise sounded interesting to me. Plus I had checked it in several times before so I figured I might as well read it. Maybe I'm just in a mood tonight, but the first chapter has left me with an uneasy feeling, as if this book is headed for a dark direction. I'm looking forward to finding out.

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review 2017-01-03 05:52
The Twilight Wife
The Twilight Wife - Lisa A. Banner

By:  A.J. Banner

ISBN: 9781501152115

Publisher: Touchstone 

Publication Date: 12/27/2016 

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars 

 

A.J. Banner returns following The Good Neighbor, with the powerfully evocative THE TWILIGHT WIFE —an intricate conundrum, a modern-age twisty domestic psychological mystery suspense puzzle of lies, secrets, deception and an intriguing past.

A heart-pounding adventure of one woman's desperate search for answers. Uncovering the truth about those we love. A story, the past, an obsession, a forgotten identity, and pieces of memories- just out of reach.

Kyra Winthrop is recovering from a harrowing diving accident. Her memory is still cluttered, and foggy. Her doting husband, Jacob, recounts her past to her, filling in the gaps left by an unusual form of memory loss.

When Kyra begins to remember details that don’t align with what she knows to be true, she must fight through her hazy memory, her isolation, and her own suspicions to discover what—and whom—she can trust.

What happened on the fateful dive on which a woman loses her memory and her life? She is desperate to learn the truth. Where nothing is as it seems. A constant state of perplexity and confusion. Lies, deception, and dark secrets are revealed slowly as the threads are unraveled.

Kyra is a thirty-four-year-old marine biologist currently recovering from a head injury. She taught at the Seattle University previously they say, and yet she has no memory of those times. Now she has only this secluded Mystic Island in the Pacific Northwest, where the wind blows in cold from the sea.

She has a husband, Jacob who sticks close by her side, follows her everywhere, her guardian angel. She also has a peculiar recurring dream. She fractured her skull in a diving accident near Deception Pass. The waters are supposedly gorgeous, but deadly.

The island haunts her, but she has no conscious memory of the area. Just like water, and things of the sea; they can be dangerous, but beautiful.

She has no memory of her decision to move here. Nor does she recognize the jagged scar on her right thumb, (from a dive) per her husband, Jacob. She barely even remembers her husband. Why does she forget only the four years she missed?

They say her name is Kyra Winthrop (she dropped her maiden name Munin). She has been married to Jacob for nearly three years. Who is this man? How did she end up here?

She is only a shadow of her former self. When she stops taking the meds to clear her mind, she begins a computer search. Jacob was a computer genius educated at MIT and founded his own software company. What else will she find? She had to keep things secret until she solves the mysteries of her past. She is grasping at any clue or person she can find, for answers.

Who is Aiden Finlay? She feels there is someone else. Her husband’s friend? She is disoriented. Does she have repressed memories? Could something bad have happened? Traumatic? Another diver?

What if her brain is choosing to block out not trauma, but something else altogether? Can she believe Jacob? She questions her marriage. What secrets is her husband hiding? Was there another man? What about Jacob’s past?

From fuzziness, the fog, to dreaming of a yellow house; where nothing is as it appears. From constant confusion, Kara sees herself kissing Aiden one minute and Jacob the next. Was there a third diver?

The more she learns, she becomes afraid for her life, and she had to figure a way out of this madness – a dark nagging cloud of doubt. What was Jacob holding back? A trail of cryptic clues, and a computer genius husband, who is holding all the cards.

Piece by piece, everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion. Who can she trust? Why is Jacob lying to her? Who is this other man who thinks she looks like someone else? She wants her own grasp of memories, not what her husband has told her. She feels something is missing.

“I feel as though my memories stop short, before the storm, at the edge of a precipice leading down into darkness.”

In trying to make sense of her world, Kyra learns about anterograde amnesia (difficulty storing new memories) and retrograde amnesia (difficulty retrieving old ones).

She begins explores the island, in search for answers to evoke memories—seashells, the contents of her purse, photographs, and the local shops, the B&B inn, and coastal tide pools. (loved this part, which keeps your senses on high alert). In addition, she seeks out everyone she can to help her find answers.

A frighteningly cool portrait of a serious sadist, THE TWILIGHT WIFE is a gripping, claustrophobia-inducing thriller. Looks are deceiving. The most dangerous kind. Utterly compelling exploration through the darker side of the human psyche.

Banner creates a strong sense of ambiguity, darkness, confusion with a constant state of obscurity, a perplexing mystery, and an intriguing haunting puzzle.

Jacob and Kyra are both fascinating mysteries, and Banner knows how to maintain the tension from the first page to the last twisty turn. A nice addition with the secondary characters: Van and Nancy, as well as Doug (enjoyed his connection).

As a reader, you do not know who to trust, and who is dangerous. Compellingly hypnotic with a spellbinding seaside remote setting, adding to the ongoing strong sense of foreboding and mystery, combined with beautiful lyrical prose, well researched, and fascinating sea life, making this an absorbing read.

For fans of Kate Moretti, Kimberly S. Belle, Mary Kubica, Susan Crawford, and BA Paris. Looking forward to the next!

I also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Cassandra Campbell, my Top 2016 Audio Narrator for a mesmerizing performance! She has an ideal voice for the role, with her soothing voice to transport you.

Ideal for book clubs or discussions. Would make a great movie!

A special thank you to Touchstone & NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

A Conversation with A. J. Banner "What significance does the title hold to the narrative?"

"The word twilight suggests falling away into darkness, the strange, dreamlike in-between time, when day isn’t quite finished and night hasn’t quite begun. Kyra hovers in that limbo, not entirely herself without her memory and plunging into a terrifying night as her life unravels.

However, she also finds beauty and hope in twilight. She remembers magical nights, when she walked the beach and discovered unusual marine species beneath the moonlight. And night always becomes day again. Darkness leads to dawn. She discovers her own inner strength and reclaims her life."

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/07/01/The-Twilight-Wife
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