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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Review: A Beautiful, Terrible Thing by Jen Waite #bravethebacklist @jenwaite4444 @plumebooks

A Beautiful, Terrible Thing:
A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal

by Jen Waite

Publisher: Plume
Publish Date: July 11, 2017
Kindle Edition
258 Pages
Genres: Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir

What do you do when you discover that the person you've built your life around never existed? When “it could never happen to me” does happen to you?

These are the questions facing Jen Waite when she begins to realize that her loving husband—the father of her infant daughter, her best friend, the love of her life—fits the textbook definition of psychopath. In a raw, first-person account, Waite recounts each heartbreaking discovery, every life-destroying lie, and reveals what happens once the dust finally settles on her demolished marriage.

After a disturbing email sparks Waite's suspicion that her husband is having an affair, she tries to uncover the truth and rebuild trust in her marriage. Instead, she finds more lies, infidelity, and betrayal than she could have imagined. Waite obsessively analyzes her relationship, trying to find a single moment from the last five years that isn't part of the long-con of lies and manipulation. With a dual-timeline narrative structure, we see Waite's romance bud, bloom, and wither simultaneously, making the heartbreak and disbelief even more affecting. 

My Review:

A couple of years ago a friend told me I needed to read this book.  She had seen me through a pretty rough on and off relationship and that, coupled with the fact the author had lived in Astoria (my current city), I was extremely intrigued and bought it immediately - where it sat on my kindle for way too long. 

If you have ever been in a relationship where it seems one day he or she is madly in love with you to them doing a complete turnaround and makes you feel less than... then this will be a read that will definitely resonate with you.  This type of whiplash elicits behaviors of your own you didn't know you had within - obsession and compulsion and and and... The panic attacks.  The needing answers you don't realize until much later that you're never going to get.  It's enough to drive you absolutely insane.  There is never any full closure from relationships such as these.  Just time to get to a better place.

The majority of the book is the author's past and present going back to how the relationship began to when she started obsessing with the inconsistencies and lies from her husband.  Then we get into the therapy sessions and holy hell... so much resonated.  I was checking boxes.  Boxes I knew I had already checked but somehow this made things a bit more real in my head for certain situations.  In any matter - I was fascinated and just couldn't stop reading.  I also love reading and learning more about these kinds of things.  Let's not go into where I've done this research in the past trying to get answers of my own. Ahem.

I always find memoirs hard to review as they're such a raw, public expression of what someone has gone through - how do you even begin to really rate what their experiences are.  But when a story like this resonates and your heart just goes out, you can't help but rate it the full five stars.  It's always good to see there is light at the end of the tunnel.  The mind space you get in relationships such as these are hard to reconcile and the heart heals slowly... but time truly does help.  And a good therapist.

Thank you, Jen, for sharing your story. 💖


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