Support us by visiting our advertisers

The Dream Wife

Posted on October 2, 2018

Annie is the dream wife.
Mother to two-year-old Johnny and wife to David, she is everything her husband expects her to be – supportive, respectful and mild – but what he expects isn’t who she truly is.
Annie is a prisoner in her home.
Her finances, her routine, her social life are all controlled by him. It’s the love for her boy that she lives for, and at night she dreams of a world where she is free.
But Annie is going to fight back.
And you won’t believe how she is going to do it . . .


Genre: Fiction / Psychological Thriller
5ratingratingratingratingrating
 

A Truly Outstanding Debut!

It only happens once in a while, once in a blue moon. A book comes along and challenges everything you believe in a genre and any preconceptions you had of a debut novel. For me, The Dream Wife is that book.

I was skeptical, because let’s face it, how many times can we be flooded with the strap-line The gripping new psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming”. I want to thank the Orion (the publishers) and Tracy Fenton for inviting The Glass House to be a part of this blog tour, because honestly, after all the other psychological thrillers I have read this year, I would have probably passed this one over.

I have to be a little brutal towards the publishing industry here. Most of the time we see the twist coming, and most of the time, these books tend to follow the same formula. It’s a risk we take as die-hard book geeks. It doesn’t stop us reading them of course, but we can get a little irritated with every book claiming to have an “ending you won’t see coming.”

Support us by visiting our advertisers

However – I can honestly say, The Dream Wife really IS that book!

It really does have a twist you don’t see coming. It really does shock the breath out of your body in the final few chapters. You really will close the pages of the book and sit staring out at the world that has inexplicably been moving on around you while you lived in an alternate universe. You are likely to be left feeling stunned, bereft and possibly a little confused.

A little warning to those who like a neat little book, tied up with a bow and leaves you feeling all questions have been answered; this may not be the book for you. However, I would implore you to read it anyway, if only to read an example of how a thriller really should be written. The way Louisa de Lange constructs this world is flawless.

However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a few areas of the book that I really struggled with.

When reading the blurb, you would be forgiven for believing this is a simple thriller about a wife that seems unhappy with her lot and trapped in a loveless marriage – because honestly, the blurb gives very little away:


Annie is the dream wife.

Mother to two-year-old Johnny and wife to David, she is everything her husband expects her to be – supportive, respectful and mild – but what he expects isn’t who she truly is.

Annie is a prisoner in her home.

Her finances, her routine, her social life are all controlled by him. It’s the love for her boy that she lives for, and at night she dreams of a world where she is free.

But Annie is going to fight back.

And you won’t believe how she is going to do it . . .


The most shocking aspect about this book for me was the domestic violence. I can honestly say I was not expecting it. However, Louisa de Lange has managed, through a story written entirely in the first person, to draw you into a world so painfully controlled that for once, I believe the aspect of domestic violence has been tackled in a truly painfully authentic manner.

Although I feel like some of the descriptions could be a ‘trigger’ for those who have experienced similar situations, I also vehemently believe that parts of this book could be used as examples of what to look out for in others. A way to help others recognise the signs of Domestic Violence. The author has managed to take a life and marriage that we would look at from the outside and never realise there was an issue and truly show, in an authentic way, just how wrong we can be about lives lived outside of our view.

The descriptions of isolation at the hands of her hideous husband David really do highlight issues that have too long been hidden – allowing the reader for a short while to see what it is really like to live with a monster. Her recollections of her aggressive partner and passive-aggressive mother-in-law leave you sympathetic to her desire for freedom and you are clearly rooting for Annie and her beautiful son from page one. Louisa has written her characters in such a well-rounded way that I can honestly say it’s been a long time since I have hated a character quite as much as David.

But far from a book that follows the normal arc and conventional rules, this book takes a turn that most thriller readers won’t see coming.

The dream sequences are written to throw us off, the first person perspective coupled with the jumping of time sequences within the chapters will make this a marmite book for some, but I urge you to read on because the ending really does make it all worth it. For those who have the patience to question themselves and the characters, it is the most satisfying ending I have read in a very long time.

I can not even begin to explain to you how difficult I found this review to write, not because I was short of things to say, but quite the opposite, I am having to clamp my tongue between my teeth and delete huge great chunks of text, because I simply can’t give anything away.

Louisa de Lange has created a genre masterpiece. As I said, it wouldn’t surprise me if there are a few that find the unusual aspects of the book an initial turn off – but for me, the very fact that Louisa has pushed boundaries and done the unexpected is one of the things I love the most about her work. She is not afraid to break the rules and will create a large following in return.

If you are bored of the same old same old psychological thrillers and looking for something that will test you, make you question everything and leave you feeling utterly speechless, this could very well be the book for you.

Louisa de Lange will no doubt storm the charts with this debut, of that I am sure… but honestly, I can’t wait to see what she follows this with. She has certainly set the bar high, not only for herself but for other authors in her genre.

The Dream Wife is Published by: Orion
ISBN: 978-140918-020-3

What do you think - have your say...
Subtitle 50s Style
Popular Articles...