Marianne’s husband, Simon, was a charming and handsome surgeon, whom all the women drooled after. She lived in a beautiful townhome with her stepdaughter and twin boys. Simon believed that everyone had a price, so as long as he wanted it, he would pay for it. He believed that his family deserved the best. Simon was so perfect. Unfortunately, Marianne was never good enough as a wife or mother in his eyes. He demanded perfection in Marianne. She was nothing without him. It was her incompetence that made him look elsewhere. According Simon, Marianne didn’t need friends or hobbies that made her happy. The children and the beautiful home should be enough to make her happy. He made sure she was taking her medication to deal with her anxiety. Higher doses would placate her and stopped her jealousy from causing more problems. She was the crazy one that needed electro-shock therapy to fix her stupid mind. That was his idea. She was always imagining that he was cheating on her.
After years of therapy, Marianne thought that she was fixed. Receiving a bouquet of flowers weekly showed his loved for her. He wasn’t cheating…. it was all in her head. Until one day, he blurted out a name, Caroline……
From the start of the book, I had a feeling that Simon was not the perfect husband. I could tell in the conversations that he was a narcissistic jerk that even his daughter disliked his comments towards other mothers at the school. For those that have been in relationships where the other person constantly belittled, gaslighted and criticized their partner, the story had many trigger points.
Many times I got so angry at Simon. He was so hypocritical! Everyone had to respect his privacy, while he could just walk into Marianne’s craft room anytime. That’s because her craft was not important to him, even though it actually helped his wife to be less anxious. Her only job in life was to serve him and the children. How selfish!