The Silent Wife explores the termination of the common law marriage of Jodi Brett and Todd Gilbert. Todd and Jodi alternate in telling their side of the story. Todd is a successful architect, who is habitually unfaithful. Jodi, who is a therapist, prefers to remain silent about Todd's affairs in order to maintain her wealthy lifestyle. Todd's decision to leave Jodi for his pregnant mistress propels Jodi's life into a tailspin. Todd moves in with his new love, yet he wants to maintain his comfortable connection with Jodi. Jodi is devastated over the loss of her marriage. She struggles to maintain her grip on her life. Todd begins eviction proceedings against Jodi, which escalates the tension within the relationship. A tragedy occurs that blasts this complicated love triangle apart.
In many reviews, The Silent Wife has been compared to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. The two novels have a few similar themes, but the two works are quite different in tone and intent. Gone Girl has the immediacy of the first person point of view of the characters and tighter plotting and pacing. The Silent Wife is a contemplative, more subtly paced novel which explores the breakup of a marriage in an observatory manner. Harrison's debut novel is compelling in its portrayal of the psychology of this long term relationship. A couple of issues raised in the novel remain a mystery, but overall The Silent Wife was a satisfying read.