The Golden Couple
Published: March 8, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 16-24, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 2.5 stars
Wealthy Washington suburbanites Marissa and Matthew Bishop seem to have it all—until Marissa is unfaithful. Beneath their veneer of perfection is a relationship riven by work and a lack of intimacy. She wants to repair things for the sake of their eight-year-old son and because she loves her husband. Enter Avery Chambers.
Avery is a therapist who lost her professional license. Still, it doesn’t stop her from counseling those in crisis, though they have to adhere to her unorthodox methods. And the Bishops are desperate.
When they glide through Avery’s door and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it’s no longer simply a marriage that’s in danger.
I have read a couple of this duo’s collaborations, and one I rated 5 stars: The Wife Between Us and the other 3 stars: An Anonymous Girl. Since the book description of The Golden Couple didn’t really intrigue me, I was going to pass on it…. Then I saw who the narrators were and I decided to listen to it as I have liked both of them previously.
For a novel that is supposed to be a thriller, it wasn’t. There was a little mystery on the Bishop’s side (the past and present) and also Avery’s side with her having lost her license and operating in this certain way now that she is no longer a therapist. The ‘big twist’ I figured out, which is always a disappointment for me. It was just very obvious for me.
We have both Avery and Marissa as narrators. I actually enjoyed Avery’s pov more as what was going on with her interested me more than ‘the golden couple’ of Marissa and Matthew.
Though this one was a disappointment for me, if another of their novels interests me, I might just decide to read it.
An Anonymous Girl
Authors: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
To Be Published: January 8, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 10-24, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.
When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.
I absolutely loved Hendricks’ and Pekkanen’s first collaboration together so much that I was anticipating their second. Unlike The Wife Between Us, An Anonymous Girl did not deliver. The premise is intriguing and makes you think, but otherwise the novel is not believable at all. I can’t say much in detail without giving spoilers. And the protagonist’s name is Jessica!
There are two points of view that alternate throughout the novel: Dr. Shields and Jessica’s. Dr. Shields’ POV came off disconnected while Jessica’s POV was intriguing and I found myself rooting for her. Dr. Shields is a therapist and maybe that is why the POV was the way it was, but for me it was to the detriment of the novel.
In the beginning where Jessica starts answering the questions for the study as Subject 52, I found myself thinking about what my answers would be and what I would do. Could this be because I am also Jessica? Well, my personality is not similar to the Jessica of this story. I would not do some of the things ‘Book Jessica’ did.
As the book progresses it becomes a bit of a cat and mouse game between doctor and Subject 52, and it’s not believable at all. I found myself rooting for Jessica and did not know how this story was going to end.
Though not for me, I will read future collaborations between Hendricks and Pekkanen. Definitely give their first The Wife Between Us a read!
Many thanks to St Martin’s Press for sending me an arc copy to read and review!