The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey
Evelyn Caldwell’s husband has a secret. He’s stolen her award-winning research and created a clone of her. An improved version. Docile. Patient. Calm. The perfect housewife. But now Nathan is dead, and it’s up to the Caldwell wives to clean up the body. And move on.
I teach them not to freeze at what seems to be a high volume of blood. I teach them how much blood a specimen can lose during conditioning before they should start to worry.
That was an um, wildly atmospheric ride, although the ending skeeved me out with its lack of resolution and circular nature.
In the middle of a really interesting murder-coverup is the story of two women trying to figure out their relationship. Or rather, one woman trying to figure out her relationship with her clone, and coming to terms with the ethical nature of her work.
Evelyn reminded me of Nicole Wargin from The Relentless Moon, in terms of whip-smart intelligence, interesting backstory/family history, and trauma recovery. It was really interesting to read how a brilliant woman maneuvered through her space after that upbringing, how she viewed femininity, and how she responded to rejection by further isolating herself—and how she interacted with others.
I’ve always known that my need to control things to a minute detail is unhelpful, bordering on unhealthy. I try to keep it in check as much as I can. But then if I don’t stay vigilant, my husband uses our money to grow a new wife, and my lab assistant uses my grant to support his side hustle, and I wonder why I keep bothering.
This is a fascinating deep dive into Evelyn’s brilliantly cold brain, how a woman who has gone through so much and risen so high processes and compartmentalizes and manages, and what slips away as a result. And the juxtaposition between her and Martine the clone, who is everything Evelyn is not…or is she?
Anywho, for a relatively short book this had a lot packed into it.
Women in research.
Wicked aesthetics and a tense atmosphere of upper middle class whyte womanhood.
A weird semi-incestuous relationship.
What makes a person human.
And a fucking twist I did not fucking see coming, along with its sticky results.
There’s no winning. Either I’m a bitch who needs to control everything, or I’m an easy mark.
I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review
The Echo Wife releases February 16, 2021 from Tor