The Echo Wife
by Sarah Gailey
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Pub Date 16 Feb 2021 | Archive Date 27 Jan 2022
Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Books
Sarah Gailey's The Echo Wife is “a trippy domestic thriller which takes the extramarital affair trope in some intriguingly weird new directions.”--Entertainment Weekly
I’m embarrassed, still, by how long it took me to notice. Everything was right there in the open, right there in front of me, but it still took me so long to see the person I had married.
It took me so long to hate him.
Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research. She’s patient and gentle and obedient. She’s everything Evelyn swore she’d never be.
And she’s having an affair with Evelyn’s husband.
Now, the cheating bastard is dead, and both Caldwell wives have a mess to clean up.
Good thing Evelyn Caldwell is used to getting her hands dirty.
Evelyn, an award-winning scientist in the field of cloning, helps her ex-husband’s new wife to cover up a night of rather irresponsible, bloody activities that could threaten her future career. Forced to clean up after her cowardly husbands mistakes, assisted by a clone of herself, Evelyn questions her right to 'play God' in her field and where, if ever, that responsibility should end. Sarah Gailey writes yet another page turner, exploring loneliness and a crisis of identity that begs the question, if there was no one in your life who'd notice if you were replaced by a clone, is that a worthy life at all? The Echo Wife is a speculative thriller reminiscent of Ex Machina that’ll have dark thoughts sliding under your skin and remaining there indefinitely."
-Leah Atlee, Bright Side Bookshop
"Sarah Gailey continues to astound and unsettle with THE ECHO WIFE, a razor-sharp exploration of the toxic expectations placed upon and internalized by women. Mix Orphan Black with a hornet's nest of ambition, women in science, trauma, and reddit's r/AmITheAsshole and you've got a clone story that leaves you missing the bus stop, reading at dinner, and squirming in your seat uncomfortably. It's perfection, it kind of hurt my delicate sensibilities, and I loved every moment of the experience. This is the perfect sci-fi/feminist/suspense crossover to give every reader that comes through the doors in 2021!"
-Mariana N Calderon, Second Star to the Right Books
"Fans of The Wife Between Us and Black Mirror will love this brutally human story of betrayal and revenge! Evelyn is a scientist perfecting clone technology when she discovers her husband is having an affair with a cloned version of herself that he created: Martine, who has been programmed by Nathan to be a more perfect version of Evelyn. One night, Martine calls Evelyn pleading for help, and when someone ends up dead, they’ll do the unthinkable to ensure that no one uncovers the truth. Secrets, plot twists, and lies are unearthed, one shovelful at a time, and Gailey’s words jab you like shards of bone - sharp and just as disturbing. I still feel this book burrowing into my mind like dirt shoved deep under my fingernails."
-Jessica Dushame, White Birch Books
"WOW! I am totally enamored and loving THE ECHO WIFE! Sarah brings up so many philosophical questions while still writing a really intriguing science fiction novel. Really crazy stuff! I’ve been gasping my way through it!"
-Lauren Nopenz Fairley, Curious Iguana Books
- National print and online publicity campaign
- National author tour
- National print and online consumer advertising campaign including Goodreads, NPR, New Yorker, Paste, Bustle, and The Mary Sue
- Prepublication trade and consumer buzz campaign, including trade and consumer advertising
- Major ARC mailings to booksellers, media, and industry big mouths
- ABA Indie Box mailing
- Indie Next campaign
Early reader review campaign via Shelf Awareness Pro & Reader, Goodreads and Netgalley
- Digital preview
- A Life is a Dangerous Thing to Share Digital marketing campaign, including, author guest posts, and social media promotions, and sweepstakes
- Tor.com promotions including excerpts and review
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 462 members
When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. (I have played a zillion games of scrabble, done a zillion crosswords and I AM BORED!!!)
I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.
From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.
The Echo Wife is a non-stop thrill ride of lies, betrayal, and identity, perfect for fans of Big Little Lies and Killing Eve.
Evelyn Caldwell’s husband Nathan has been having an affair — with Evelyn Caldwell. Or, to be exact, with Martine, a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn’s own award-winning research. But that wasn’t even the worst part. When they said all happy families are alike, I don’t think this is what they meant…
This is a really difficult book to explain and as a result, to review. I kept asking my husband questions about the, well, sexual and moral implications, via Skype while I read this as we are socially isolated 180km apart during this #COVID19 pandemic. He works in an ER and I have nonagenarian parents so we are keeping us all healthy. (yes, I am reading and reviewing the book TEN MONTHS in advance) I asked I'm so many questions he now wants to read the book as a genetically cloned replica COULD live with him right now. It is VERY Stepford Wivesian (yes, I made that word up!) but 100x better than Sister Wivesian and I am saying that as a Morman.
It is very well written and the plot line kept me seriously gripped as to what was happening on every single page. It is a roller coaster of a ride read -it goes there and is not afraid to do so. What a freaking INCREDIBLE READ ... my book clubs (I belong to eight of them) should be prepared to read this ASAP when it comes out as I may foist it on all of them - that's 203 readers in addition to me!
As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 👯👯👯👯👯 (yes, I was able to find clones/twins!!!)
I asked my husband the HARD QUESTION >>>> and he says "he would rather #bealonethanwithaclone
What’s worse than finding out your husband is having an affair? Discovering he’s having an affair with your double, not your twin – your clone. The clone your research created. It can’t get much worse than that can it? It turns out it can
Westworld (more understandable version) meets Stepford Wives and Orphan Black kind of story is freshly baked from the oven. I see five sizzling, well-deserved, shiny stars dancing above my head! This is more entertaining, mind bending, grey cells frying, soul shaking, heart throbbing adventure than I expected.
This is absolutely, deliciously my kind of extremely crazy story: imagine your husband replace you with another version of you. What would you do? Scream, cry, call a contract killer, suffer from depression, commit to kill the other version of you or accept the defeat and work on cloned replicas of Tom Hardy at your lab (last option is the best choice but unfortunately the heroine of this book didn’t make wise choices like me!)
Okay, let me rephrase it: our brilliant scientist Evelyn’s husband Nathan is not happy that she is a workaholic, heartless, cutthroat bitch who prefers to live in her lab and work 24/7 for your scientific experiments. ( it’s true! I think JJ Abrams inspired by her when he named his production company “Bad Robot” because most of the parts: she acted like really mean robot, hardly process human feelings.) And of course she doesn’t want to have a baby. It’s unnecessary responsibility, right? She’s working way too much important things. She’s the brilliant Evelyn Caldwell, a rising star of scientific innovations with brightest future ahead of her.
But her dearest husband cheats on her with a woman looking exactly like her. Actually he’s dating with cloned replica of hers (Whattttt???) And now he wants to divorce! And this is not only mouth dropping part of her unbelievably unique story: the cloned replica is pregnant right now! (WTF! Did I read right? How could be scientifically possible? But Evelyn’s dear clone Martine is expecting. And she meets her with the shop to show her growing baby bump and Evelyn tells her the ugly truth about the reason she’s been created.
From now on, if the story is not crazy enough for you: Just wait for Martine’s urgent call on the phone. She panicked, barely breathing and she seems like losing it. As Evelyn goes to the house Martine shares with her ex-husband: she finds out, her ex lying on the floor in blood bath. Martine says: “it was self –defense” and Evelyn replies: “Let’s bury him!”
Still not crazy enough for you? Wait for it. Evelyn and Martine realize a search party can begin sooner they will be prime suspects of Nathan’s mysterious disappearance. Or at least Evelyn is gonna lose everything: her researches, reputation and freedom because nobody knows Evelyn is existence. She is illegal. So they decide to work on a new clone replica. They’ll recreate Nathan to solve the problem! Yesss, I know you’re hooked and
I stop right now! I already gave so many juicy details. But I assure, the story’s conclusion is more twisty and shocking. Yes, there are more revelations and surprises to come.
Overall: It was one of the best, amazing, shocking, dazzling, phenomenal sci-fi reads of this year. I highly recommend it to genre lovers. I couldn’t put it down! It’s smart, its dark humor captivates you and you don’t want to let it go.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan/ Tor Books for sharing this remarkable ARC with me in exchange my honest review. I truly loved it so much.
I loved this book! I made a lot of connections between The Echo Wife and Frankenstein. I found Evelyn's feelings about Martine really interesting.
Thank you Netgallery and publisher for the free digital ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.
First of all the cover is striking and says read me I love it! The book was really good I can't think of anything negative to say. I highly recommend reading this book.
I can’t even. How does Sarah Gailey constantly put out such amazing books? They are a machine. A beautiful, strange, brilliant machine.
Evelyn is a brilliant scientist in the area of human cloning, her husband is less successful, except in creating a more malleable and compliant version of his wife. When Nathan ends up dead everything unravels and Evelyn is left to clean up yet another mess. An interesting look at genetics and nature vs nurture, the morality behind cloning and the ethics of science wrapped in a nonstop thriller. A great read!
This was unexpectedly fun and crazy! I wasn't sure I was going to like it from the description, but wow! There's just enough science-y cloning stuff to be interesting. There's Evelyn, who is really hard to like and harder to feel sorry for, but I found myself hoping her plan would succeed, if not exactly liking her. Especially when I realized how her ex-husband had programmed Martine to "behave." There's Martine, who begins to break through her programming and defies all odds - and science! - by ending up pregnant. This really kept me guessing the whole way through with no idea what would happen next.
Fully fifteen percent into it, this seems like a domestic novel focused on women's lives and relationships. Then the quick dive into sci-fi and suspense. that totally reshape one's engagement with the story. Great genre blending for sure. This will please sci-fi readers, but is also a satisfying novel for those who generally stay clear. of it.
In the midst of betrayals and discoveries, there are ethical questions on the table.. While set in the near future, today's themes are prevalent. How do I change my husband so he becomes the man i want him to be? How dare he try to change me! Why must women always tiptoe around men? Is it so impossible that women might actually be smarter than men? How do women find their voice and claim who they are and what they want.? When does science go too far?
Thoroughly enjoyed this. Think there could have or should have had one more murderous twist at the conclusion as it seemed set up for that. Excellent character development and plot.make this one absorbing read.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan/Tor for providing this copy for my review!
What a delightful little book this is! The publisher's copy describes it as a mix of Westworld, Blake Crouch's works, and Big Little Lies, and I can't really argue with that. It's maybe less mind-bending than Blake Crouch's stuff, but still offers plenty of unexpected surprises along the way. Add in some stuff about what it's like to be a female scientist, and some thoughts about what it means to be a human, and this is defnitely worth some of your time.
This was a delightful read. I enjoyed the plot and there were several surprises littered across the book. I assumed that the most interesting thing would be Martine, but Evelyn’s family history, Nathan’s betrayal and a whole lot of other drama. I know the author tried to address the ethical aspect of this book, but it got me thinking of what I would have done in her shoes. I still do not know!
Thank you netgalley for the opportunity to read this lovely book!
This thrilling book was far from what I expected, in fact, it surpassed my expectations entirely. While I’m a fan of thrillers in general, I find most of them formulaic and often predictable. Sarah Gailey has totally turned that on its head in “The Echo Wife.”
On the surface, you have standard fodder for a contemporary thriller: a successful woman finds out her husband has another partner, and the story begins. The added sci-fi layer, in which Gailey drops in the science of cloning and how it works (in the world of the book, that is) makes for a fascinating read. While the story follows the flow that we would expect of a thriller, the twists and turns are unanticipated. The shift of focus in this story away from infidelity and toward the cultivation of a relationship with The Other Woman is remarkable.
Since finishing reading this title a few weeks ago, I’ve thought of it frequently – there really is so much to think about. It’s a great pick for a passive reader or a lover of thrillers, but there is plenty of content there for a deep book discussion or a full literary analysis. I keep wanting to recommend the title to people, then I remember that this one isn’t out until early 2021. “The Echo Wife” is worthy of attention from the book world, and is a commanding addition to the sci-fi thriller genre.
Sarah Gailey never disappoints. The Echo Wife is unlike anything she's ever written and will please current and new readers alike. A recommended purchase for adult fiction collections.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC. The Echo Wife should definitely be added to 'to be read' list. Evelyn Caldwell is a brilliant scientist who has revolutionized the field of cloning. Unfortunately, her husband has left her and is having an affair with a clone of Evelyn that he secretly created, and then ends up dead. Leaving Evelyn and her clone to clean up the mess he left behind. Filled with questions of morality and a great undercurrent of suspense, The Echo Wife was hard to put down. I would highly recommend this title to anyone.
Wow. Wow. WOW!
This was a 4.5 star read for me and I'm debating if I should round it up or down (so don't be alarmed if the rating changes), because it feels like one that needs sitting on. Fear not, I'm not going to sit on my e-reader. I am, however, still thinking about the book and implications. (Okay so I only finished it four days ago, but I have a shockingly bad book memory and sometimes books begin to fade after mere hours.)
This story has a phenomenal premise, but an unusual enough one that I wondered if it was spoiler-y or if that really was just the start of the story. (What's described in the marketing blurb for this book is the END / climax of most mystery books?) Well, turns out it really is just the start of the story, which makes this one extra fascinating, because so often we get the lead up to murder but not the aftermath!
And when it comes to interesting things about this story, that's only the beginning. There's cloning ethics, some pretty hard hitting emotional questions (how would you feel if your partner left you for a so-called "better", tweaked clone version of you?), and a flipping FASCINATING but also wonderfully monstrous MC.
Evelyn is definite unlikeable female protag goals, which sounds weird because why is that a goals? What I mean is, it's rare to find female MCs that are written so intentionally to be unlikable, because female MCs get sooooooo much scrutiny in that regard. So... she's certainly unlikable and does NOT lean into her emotional side (she has twinges of conscience, but they're really that -- twinges). She's also really, really smart and interesting. I loved reading her story. (They're not really the same, but in these particular regards I'd liken Evelyn a bit to Cas Russell, whom I love wholeheartedly.)
The Echo Wife is full of interesting twists. The whole story was suspenseful and riveting and the ending was just... so right. So well done. And there were numerous ethical and theoretical questions throughout that made my head spin. That's why I'm still thinking about the story. And, actually, writing this review convinced me that this is, indeed, a five star read. I initially thought 4, maybe 4.5, but it's one of those that grows on you. Because it is so thought-provoking. Because it pushes your mind to keep working after reading the last page. Because part of the story exists in the after, in the way it makes you reflect. I don't think I felt its full impact until really giving myself this time and space to consider it all. And now I want to reread the book.
Five stars it is! This is (non-space opera) sci-fi at its best. Highly, highly recommended!
Thank you Tor.com Publishing for providing a free e-galley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
A throughly creepy thrill ride. What would happen if your husband decided to make a clone just like you but with all your faults eliminated.? Then what would happen if that clone killed your husband? What is your responsibility to that clone? She’s just like you but a little different. That’s what I mean about creepy but in a good way. Lies, murder, betrayal, a book you can’t put down.
Evelyn Caldwell is a workaholic. While her clone research is making breakthroughs, her marriage is falling apart. Then she discovers her husband Nathan is having an affair with Martine who isn't just any woman, she's Evelyn's clone. In a world where clones are made to be disposable, Evelyn finds herself in unknown waters that go deeper than she realizes. As Evelyn's world continues to fall apart, she finds herself questioning not only her failed marriage, but her own work and how far she is willing to go to save it.
Wow. The book's blurb mentions Westworld, but in a way it felt like a Westworld, Stepford Wives, Frankenstein mashup. This is a hard book to discuss without giving spoilers away, but I liked the way the morality and ethics of clones are explored without being too heavy handed about it. Something that I personally appreciated was Evelyn being childfree, that is to say one who isn't planning on having kids. I enjoyed the way it plays into her failing marriage in a way that reflects the modern era well and the family versus career choices women are making. All the twists and turns of the plot kept me glued to the pages.
This book releases February 16, 2021 and is one worth adding to reading lists.
Disclaimer: I received a free digital ARC in return for an honest review.
Sarah Gailey writes the most amazing books and The Echo Wife does not disappoint.!
Evelyn is an award-winning scientist at the pinnacle of her career whose work involves clones. She's also divorced. Her once-loving husband wanted a family, a softer, more agreeable wife. He had an affair and left Evelyn but not just for any woman. He created a clone of Evelyn - a softer, more agreeable Evelyn - ready to be the perfect mother and homemaker, just as he desired and created.
The tension goes through the roof when the clone calls Evelyn begging for her help. And they both embark on a course of action that binds them together and irreparably change their lives
A biting look at the choices women face trying to balance societal demands and expectations with their own desires and needs. With a side trip examining the ethics of clones and how they might be used.
Sharp, twisty, and brilliant. A total page-turner!
Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for the DRC.
The story was complex, which was a good thing. It was like a wreck that I couldn't look away from, and it was hard to put the book down. Everything made sense, I didn't feel like there were loose ends, and the writing itself was great. Highly recommend. Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for the opportunity to read this.
When Evelyn discovers that her husband has stolen her research and used it to create a clone of herself (With all of her "less desirable" traits removed. Gross.), she starts a chain of events that quickly begin to spiral out of control. Sarah Gailey's The Echo Wife is the story of betrayal, revenge and the question of who can (and can't) really be considered "human".
Lest you are tempted to write this book off as only futuristic sci-fi, The Echo Wife, is really more of a "will-they-get-away-with-it" thriller that also happens to have some clones.
What I appreciate most about Gailey's work, is that even when the circumstances are fantastic, all of their characters are still so grounded in emotional truth. Nobody makes any weird choices to move the plot along. Everything. Makes. Sense. It's really delightful.
I would recommend The Echo Wife to fans of Gailey's previous work and folks who like a little genre-bending. Also, anyone going though a tough break-up will likely also enjoy this book for the schadenfreude alone.
Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Books for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
I requested The Echo Wife after skimming two sentences. I saw “Killing Eve” and “clone” and I was good to go. I didn’t read any more of the description so every twist was refreshing and fun. I liked the uniqueness of the plot and the sci-fi/thriller combo.
Evelyn is not a likable character but she is shown honestly and with her flaws. I liked Martine a good deal. There were some fantastic lines: “I filled my pockets with that smile” and “No one would look at the seams that held me together and guess that they were scars.”
There were a few holes that bothered me—I don’t want to say something that will give away some of the twists—but how are characters being financially supported and getting medical treatment? A random complaint but it annoyed me.
I was going to give it a 4* but that just isn’t enough so 4.5* it is. I highly recommend reading The Echo Wife.
ALMOST divorced Evelyn (from Nathan) wins a scientific award. At the banquet, she knows that she cannot discuss certain aspects of her work or her marriage..
The reader realizes that Evelyn is working (with her brilliant co-worker, Seyed) on a form of "human" research.- using human growth hormone in her studies. After all, Evelyn thinks that, thanks to Nathan, the legacy of her award is a "shameful disaster".
The following day, Evelyn gets a call from Martine - she wants to go to tea. Evelyn has no choice. She has to go...
At first I thought I had read a similar book - but NO! This is great read! I finished the book in one day. The characters were very well-developed and the suspense/thrills kept coming!
Many Thanks to MacMillan-Tor/Forge Publishers and NetGalley for a great story!
As soon as I saw "a new book from Sarah Gailey," I knew I would love it, and I was absolutely not disappointed. The Echo Wife is a chilling, sharp, deeply unsettling read from an author who excels at sharp and unsettling. Evelyn Caldwell is a crisply logical, damaged, brilliant character filled with the rage of a smart woman in a sexist world - a rage that, as the reader, I felt viscerally drawn in by - and the gradual, glorious character trajectories of both her and the cloned Martine have the inevitability of an avalanche. The book raises plenty of fascinating philosophical questions, without attempting to give easy answers, but it's all woven into the fabric of a truly haunting novel. My one critique would be that it feels like a story that could have been told in a slightly shorter novella form - yes, even though the book as written is still quite short, a few passages drag just a tad, as Evelyn's internal monologue reiterates feelings and questions we've been over before. But that's a minor complaint, and one that pales particularly in light of the stunning ending. I'm running out of synonyms for "haunting," but The Echo Wife has left me haunted. I can't wait for everyone else to read it, so I have someone to shudder with.
CW: Murder, domestic abuse, pregnancy, child abuse.
Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for the advance review copy! I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Wowza, I don’t think I’ve quite read a book like this, but I did enjoy it a lot! It’s a bit of a different read, one which I have a hard tone explaining, but did thrill, chill, and shock me! Very fast paced, thrills and chills, with maybe a bit of science fiction mixed within! Definitely original, unique, and amazingly written! Make sure you preorder as soon as possible; as I have a feeling this might be the book everyone is talking about! Quite fast paced, intense, and just completely unputdownable! Highly, highly recommend!
Will make sure to buzz around platforms and use lower Amazon reviewer number on release date!
This novel had me hooked from just the summary alone — a man having an affair with the clone of his wife? What an incredible, original concept.
The novel itself was a quick, fast-paced read for me that I found hard to put down. I did see some of the twists coming, but others stunned me; the characters were also extremely compelling. Especially Martine, the protagonist’s clone. All in all this was an exciting read that I can confidently recommend to those that are seeking an original psychological thriller.
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC of this book.
The premise of the book is Evelyn, a ground breaking scientists, has just divorced her husband for having an affair. The catch, the woman he's having an affair with is her illegal clone.
I could not recommend this book more. This was a smart, thriller, with light sci-fi in it. The main character was punch, vulnerable, and not taking any of this bad relationship. There was one twist after the other in the plot, and I could not stop reading.
Highly recommend for folks who want just a touch of sci-fi in their literary fiction.
The Echo Wife is a fantastic read! Sarah Galley writes with pitch perfect prose and has an amazing talent for creating suspense on every page. Highly recommended.
Having never read a book about cloning I was skeptical about it but I really loved this book. I couldn't stop reading it. There are so many layers to the story and the characters I was sorry to see it end.
4 - 4.5 stars
There is something so satisfying about thrillers, I always end up reading them so quickly. The Echo Wife was no exception, I ended up reading it in one sitting. I literally couldn’t put it down, it was that good.
I don’t often read the synopsis, I like to go in as clueless as possible. But the first line of the synopsis of The Echo Wife caught my attention. “Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research.” Clones? I haven’t read many books with clones as the subject so immediately I was invested. But when I read the rest of the synopsis, I was hooked and immediately requested this book! I was a bit concerned with the number of spoilers in the synopsis, but there is so much more to this story.
Now there is no way I can safely talk about the plot or the characters without spoiling anything. Just read the synopsis and jump in! Just know the premise is brilliant and I am so happy I got to read this early!!
A thriller with a hint of science fiction? You guys must simply read this!
This was a very interesting book! I loved the Sci-fi feel to it because it does center on the concept of cloning, but also the important concept of human nature at its core. I loved the p[lot twists it takes, especially it's ending because it wasn't the ending I expected. It's not a momentous, big event end kind of ending, but the way the story goes is something very unexpected and I really enjoyed that.
I received a free e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
4.5 stars rounded up to 5!
I loved this book! The premise is insane, and the execution is incredible! The two leads develop so much over the course of the story, and though I started out the book hating Evelyn, by the end I loved her. One of my favorite things about this book is how it doesn't feel the need to hold your hand. Sarah Gailey trusts you to understand things without having to give unneccesary explanations. My only problem was that it started out a bit slow and was kind of hard for me to get into. Overall though, I adored it!
This book asks lots of interesting questions about identity, personality, morality, and genetics, and resists giving easy, pat answers to any of them. Evelyn and Martine are in trouble. The man each of them can claim as “husband” is lying dead in the kitchen. They are not natural allies, in spite of being nearly genetically identical. They have to work together to cover up a mistake that threatens to reveal to the world facts that can’t, shouldn’t exist. Gailey invites us to consider a world where clone technology is almost perfect, and the creations of that technology are regarded as little more than cattle. What happens when a clone rejects her programming? And what happens when a woman can’t resist the influence of her upbringing? Recommended for fans of Black Mirror and Orphan Black.
An incredible new book from Sarah Gailey, reminiscent of Orphan Black and Frankenstein. Evelyn, an award-winning scientist developing advanced cloning techniques is horrified to discover her estranged husband has not only stolen her proprietary research, but used it to create a "more perfect" version of her: a clone named Martine. Her horror only increases when this de-clawed, clone version of herself calls in desperate need of Evelyn's help. Everything she loathes most about Martine is everything her ex-husband most wanted to change about her. But as the two are forced to team up to maintain a series of potentially life- and career-destroying secrets, Evelyn is forced to confront both the flaws and humanity of someone who, in any other circumstance, she would have considered nothing more than a disposable specimen.
Thought provoking and incredibly unsettling in its twists and turns. The Echo Wife is another knockout book exploring the depths of humanity and the complexity of interpersonal relationships from Sarah Gailey. Have I mentioned I love her writing? Because I love her writing. And her storytelling. And her ability to craft an incredible, unsettling but believable narrative.
This book was not what I thought it would be. There's very little in the way of "action" or suspense. It is mostly just watching these characters be smart and Evelyn struggling with her past. It's clearly all a very huge metaphor and I was sort of sad that Seyed ended up the way he did. I'm not sure where that fits in. Other than just breaking Evelyn more.
This is a devilish twist on the domestic thriller. With both pageturning plot and chilling insights into the nature of being human, this story will stay with you long after you finish.
I wish this was coming out earlier so I could share it with more people! This felt like the best, non-confusing aspects of Westworld with a little Blake Crouch and Liane Moriarty. Such a fun and creative premise, really think it would be a great holiday release rather than Feb deadzone.
I rarely give 5 stars, and when I do, it's because a book surprises me. This story does that in a chilling, the Talented-Mr.-Ripley- way.
Evelyn Caldwell is a brilliant scientist with a shadowed past. She inherited both her IQ and her talent for secrets from her parents, and their story is revealed through frequent references throughout. How important her parents are to the current narrative becomes more evident deeper into the story. Because no matter how much Evelyn convinces herself she's nothing like her mother and father, the more she pours herself into the mold they created.
When she finds out her ex-husband stole her research to create a clone of her - a literal Stepford wife - Evelyn is furious...and mildly curious. She can't help but be a bit intrigued at how her ex's plans turned out, and she's both repulsed and intrigued at her first meeting with the new wife. She's also outraged, and that emotion erupts in a manner that sets a chain of events in motion. Evelyn is constantly falling into her own traps, and then attempting a rescue from them, both for herself and the clone. She's convinced she's smart enough to out-run every lie she tells.
Evelyn isn't a good person, or a traditional female heroine in any way. She's ruthless, ambitious, self-centered and determined, all qualities I enjoyed experiencing through her. Very few female heroines have technical, demanding careers, and for this reason, I found The Echo Wife a nice change from usual tropes.
Chilling and thought-provoking! This was a wonderful sci-fi/thriller mash-up that read, to me, like a combination of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Helen Phillips' The Need - definitely cross-over appeal even for those who are not usually sci-fi readers.
The Echo Wife was both suspenseful and eerie and it also addressed interesting philosophical issues of cloning. I also appreciated the author's handling the power issues between men and women in marriage. It would make a great movie!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! No spoilers. Beyond amazing I enjoyed this book so very much. The characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming Could not put down nor did I want to. Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Maybe even a book club pick.
While not my personal favorite of Gailey's work, The Echo Wife is absolutely their best-written work yet. Every aspect of Dr. Evelyn Caldwell's life feels placed under a microscope as she navigates her fraught relationship with her dead ex-husband, Nathan; the clone of her, Martine, whom he created from Evelyn's stolen research; and the relationships with her parents that formed the person she is today—for better or worse. With its brilliant commentary on agency and faithfulness, The Echo Wife is a domestic thriller with a science fiction twist, perfect for fans of Orphan Black, Killing Eve, and Big Little Lies.
What a surprise read! I’m not at all into sci-fi, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I found myself wanting to read more and more to find out what would happen next!
What would you do if your husband left you for a better version of yourself? Evelyn never imagined her research would one day lead to her marriage ending, but her husband didn’t just leave her for another woman. He created a genetically cloned replica; a patient, more obedient “Evelyn”.
When Martine contacts Evelyn for help, the last thing Evelyn expects to find is Nathan on the floor in a pool of blood. But rather than cause a greater divide between the two them, his death in turn brings Evelyn and Martine even closer, and together they learn that Nathan’s lies and secrets go even deeper than they ever thought possible.
This was a really unique story, and I’m glad I chose to read it. I’m a science geek, so I enjoyed reading about all of Evelyn’s lab work and research. Overall, I really liked the book, but I felt like the end was a bit anticlimactic. I think it was a good spin on how to rectify the situation to benefit both Evelyn and Martine, but I was hoping for a bit more of a dramatic finish.
An Echo is an almost perfect reproduction of the original, but one can tell it’s the Echo. In The Echo Wife, who is the echo? The original wife who wouldn’t give her husband a child at the expense of her career? Or the clone, who has been programmed to only think what she is told to think? Who is The Echo Wife?
I had the hardest time putting this book down! All I wanted was to find out what happened next to Martine and Evelyn!
Evelyn is logical and unemotional while Martine is docile and nurturing. They couldn’t be two more different people. Just the fact that Martine exists pushes against the boundaries of Evelyn’s research, and she’s constantly fighting against her personal beliefs about Martine’s very existence.
Nathan doesn’t have much dialogue in the book, even though his existence actually plays prominently in the story. The book is more about the results of his actions and decisions, than the actions themselves.
This book is excellently written. I connected to Evelyn, even without relating to her. I think this is deliberate, because Evelyn is the unemotional one. Even through her research, I could tell she had a hard time connecting with and trusting others. Even her choice of research shows she is a loner and recluse.
This book doesn’t seem to be about Evelyn’s divorce at all, even though it plays into it. It’s not even really about Nathan’s infidelity. It’s about two diametrically opposed human beings learning to accept one another, even when the world says it’s impossible.
One thing I thought was funny is the ARC I received was labled “Uncorrected,” but I didn’t find many writing issues at all. Evelyn is the narrator, so the story moves along in almost a scientific way. It’s almost cold and unemotional. I was able to see some growth as the story progressed, because of Evelyn’s proximity to Martine.
When Evelyn and Martine are interacting, it’s easy to see the frustration in Evelyn’s voice over what she sees as Martine’s failings. When Evelyn is trying to understand Martine, she is only doing so through the lens of her own research.
Sarah Gailey’s depiction of The Echo Wife is so well-written that one could almost believe cloning is a real, achievable science.
The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey is not her first book, but she is now on my list of auto-buy authors. I don’t have many on that list, so the fact that she made it tells you how good I think this book is! I haven’t had a chance to find her on Twitter yet, but trust me when I say it’ll be one of the first things I do. I need to follow this awesome human! I’ve only read this one book of hers, but I will be adding the others to my Amazon Wishlist.
I’m not sure what genre this book would fit into, because it seems to have elements from several different ones. I would probably consider it a thriller, because most of the story seems to fit that category. It is definitely an adult book, as it has bad language sprinkled through the book. The language isn’t so prevalent that I would ever say don’t read it, but there is some.
Honestly, I will say I thoroughly adored this book. This will go on my list of “Books to read again when I’m going through a reading slump.” Even knowing what’s going on doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the story.
The Echo Wife has enough psychological aspects to it, that I think it could take a lifetime to discover all of them.
I hope you give this book a chance, because I don’t think you could be disappointed.
The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey was the first time I had read anything by this author. This was an interesting read. I usually do not gravitate toward science-fiction, fantasy type reads. However, this book was interesting and written beautifully. I was drawn into the world and needed to know what happened. The author did a fantastic job in developing the plot and the characters. There were so many creepy twists and turns I was on the edge of my seat!
***** I received an ARC from NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for my honest review. *****
I will follow Sarah Gailey anywhere she wants to go. Excellent read! Definitely a gem that I would recommend to others. Will be watching for more books by this author.
This tightly-wound, thoughtful thriller with a sci-fi twist is EASILY an early 2021 standout. Scientist Evelyn Caldwell's ex-husband is having an affair - from a clone of Evelyn herself, programmed to be everything her ex ever wanted her to be. In Gailey's expert hands, this scientific premise reads like a gripping psychological thriller, with each secret and betrayal unearthing another dazzling layer that will leave readers relentlessly turning pages. This novel is rooted in issues of the moment and packs a sharp, emotional punch.
I loved The Echo Wife. It was utterly original and thoroughly engrossing and I loved the conclusion. My only complaint is that I didn't want it to end.
Oo y’all I was SO happy when I was able to read and it did not disappoint!’! Seriously one of the best novels this year. Very dramatic and suspenseful.
Coming February 2021, but you should go ahead and mark it on your TBR list now. It's a WILD. RIDE.
The premise of this story is very Westworld meets Black Mirror, and there are enough creepy moments throughout that this book started to feel a little bit like horror to me. Spoiler here: at one point, as Evelyn is talking about "conditioning" the specimens, my stomach was actually turning. She literally means breaking bones, cutting them so they have matching scars to their human counterparts - they have to make sure Nathan has a large scar on his knee, and they sand away the skin to get it. Eeeeeeek. It gave me the creeps!
I looooved the writing! There are so many references throughout about things that Evelyn would know later - it gave the whole narrative a terribly scary undertone, in the best way.
And hiding the rest for spoiler talk about the ending: THE SECOND FRANTIC PHONE CALL TO EVELYN - HOLY COW. I thought for sure that she had killed Nathan again. Then, when it's revealed that there are bodies, I was certain that we would discover that Evelyn wasn't the original, but was another specimen and the original was dead, too. I was actually shocked that there were so many failed specimens - it never occurred to me that Nathan had failures, I guess?
Evelyn making Martine leave Violet wasn't the only time I hated Evelyn, but was at the top of the list for times I hated her *the most*. And then, you're excited to see Violet get to spend time with Martine, but the trade off is that Martine is the literal guinea pig for life for Evelyn? I left the book feeling like what the FUCK just happened - very Black Mirror.
This one moves quickly, it's captivating, the surprises keep coming, and if you love sci-fi, it's a 2021 must read! Solid 4.5 stars!
Sarah Gailey gets in my head, and stays there. How much loyalty would you feel towards a clone of yourself? What if your ex-husband was the one who did the cloning? This stunning book delves into what it means to have a work-life balance, the glass ceiling, and motherhood in a un-put-down-able tale of deceit, technology, and murder.
( thank you so so much to netgalley and macmillian tor-forge, and the author for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. )
i could not put this novel down, and i am speechless after finishing it; i have no words to describe the rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts that came with this novel. the whole concept of cloning and the sci-fi embedded into the thriller made this book super interesting, and i cannot wait for it to be published! i will definitely be buying copies for myself and friends :)
the author did an amazing job developing the characters and making them seem three dimensional. at first i was a little weirded out that martine would ask her for help or even talk to evelyn, but i guess everything really does depend on the situation. the interjection of evelyn's past into the novel made it much easier to see where she was coming from and develop a personality around her. the ending completely blew my mind, i would have never expected it, and the plot twists in this are especially fun to read.
i can confidently say that sarah gailey is a genius :) ; 100% recommend.
BEST BOOK I'VE READ THIS YEAR!! Can I give it 6 stars? Evelyn is a celebrated scientist who makes and programs clones. Her childhood was quite difficult, and now her marriage is not going well. The Echo Wife is the story of what happens when people can be easily replaced. I LOVED how this science fiction tale was so real, so believable! I LOVED how surprising events happen every couple of chapters - I sure didn't see all that comin'! WOW! This is a fun and exciting book - easy to read because there are reasonable number of characters, and they are all quite relatable. I LOVED the way the story flowed and I LOVED the very satisfying ending.
HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Thank you, Netgalley for letting me read this fantastic book!
The Echo Wife is a thrilling story about Evelyn Caldwell, a geneticist, and Martine, a genetically cloned replica of Evelyn. After having an affair with Evelyn’s husband, Martine, calls Evelyn saying that her husband is dead and she needs help.
This story was pretty crazy. The fact that Evelyn’s husband decided to “upgrade” her for a genetic clone edited to his liking is bonkers. The main focus of this story wasn’t really the murder. I’m not saying that aspect isn’t important, just that it’s not the real meat of the story. The focus is the relationship between Evelyn and Martine, and the development of these two characters throughout the story. Questions of ethics come into play, and the uniqueness of this story had me devour it in one sitting.
I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Evelyn Caldwell is a brilliant scientist whose work revolves around clones. If only she could see things in her personal life as clearly as she does at work, perhaps she would have noticed that her husband Nathan was having an affair. Not just any old heartbreaking, gut-wrenching affair with someone younger, prettier, nicer, or less driven, but with Martine, a clone. Nathan has stolen much of Evelyn's work and created a clone of......Evelyn!But a nicer, more maternal version, and for Nathan, life is good. I suppose he had one redeeming quality, he didn't move Evelyn into the attic or kill her, but I am really stretching it by saying anything good about him.
Despite the threat, this poses to her career, Evelyn is also humiliated and suffering on a personal level. A desperate phone call from Martine annoys Evelyn, but curiosity makes her head to the lovebird's house. What she finds will test her in ways she never imagined, and send her down a slippery moral and ethical slope. If two wrongs don't make a right, can any amount of bad decisions make for a happy ending? Evelyn is going to find out.
Well, this one was a trip to cray cray land. The book description was very short, but if I could change one or two things, I think it actually gave too many plot points away. If I discovered them while reading The Echo Wife, it definitely would have upped the what just happened moments. But, there are still a lot of shocking surprises, and at less than 250 pages, I abandoned my garden work plans and devoured this book. Kudos to a story that made me forget about the madness that is 2020 for a little while. 4.5 stars.
The Echo Wife is a beautifully-written story about an ambitious scientist who is betrayed by her husband and, in some ways, by her own life's work.
Evelyn just won a prestigious scientific award for her work in cloning, and her professional life is as good as it can get. Her personal life, less so. Her husband, Nathan, stole and used her own research against her to create a clone that he named Martine. He plans to marry Martine, a more docile, agreeable, lab-generated, clone copy of Evelyn. No one knows Martine exists (apart from Evelyn) and her existence must remain a secret while Evelyn deals with the ramifications.
The story touches on themes of identity, philosophical ideas and ethics (when does a lab specimen become a person?), and struggles to determine when do the ends justify the means? I was thoroughly engrossed in this compelling story with distinct, fully-fleshed out characters, and highly recommend this book.
The Stepford Wives meet Orphan Black in this compelling science fiction thriller.
Because of her ground-breaking clone research, Evelyn is at the top of her career, while her marriage is falling apart. Her husband, Nathan, is having an affair with Martine, who is the domestic woman he always wanted. Also, she is cloned replica of Evelyn. When Nathan is killed, Martine must work together to clean up his mess.
Although it takes place in the future, the setting feels realistic. With lots of twists and turns, the plot is both fast paced and thought provoking. This book is perfect for readers who enjoy reading Science Fiction that explores ethical and moral consequences of technology.
Full disclosure: I was provided an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I devoured this novel in about 4 sessions. I had enjoyed the author’s previous work Magic For Liars, and was excited when I heard the inspiration for this one was to get Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse “right.” I didn’t know what that meant exactly, but I enjoyed Dollhouse and was excited to see what that meant.
Wow, what a ride. Gailey does an incredible job of putting you into the head of the main character while still keeping key information from the reader until it’s absolutely necessary. The protagonist thinks of herself as an incredibly practical person, but it also becomes clear that it’s because she has had to learn to shield herself from so much, even to the point of lying to herself.
The book does a great job of rewarding you for paying attention. Right about the time I started asking “wait, what about...” as I thought through the implications of this particular situation, the book rose up to answer just those questions. I’m avoiding a lot of details because I don’t want to spoil much, but suffice it to say this book takes a familiar sci-fi trope and follows it to places I didn’t expect, but make perfect sense in retrospect.
Tor publishes The Echo Wife early next year (like a lot of things in the book world, I think this domestic novel/sci-fi/thriller was delayed by COVID). Anyway, the ARC was a quick read of 225 pages ... I got it done in a couple sittings . A tale of science, cloning and deep betrayal. I reached a point, about halfway through, where I couldn't see how the story could go any further ... so I had to read further. The author was very concerned with the expressing of emotions (and more emotions and more emotions). Anyway, when the pace picks up, after the lull around the middle, the story is fleshed out in SO many interesting ways. Any college Lit class would have so much fun analyzing the outcome!!! One I hope to buy and have autographed.
The Echo Wife took a couple of chapters to fully grab me, but after that it was pitch-perfect and didn't let go for a second. This book has it all: clones, identity, marriage, science, gender, trauma, humor, twists, and a razor-sharp voice, and I hope it will be as big of a breakout for Sarah Gailey as it deserves to be. I know I'll certainly be telling people about it and recommending for best of year lists!
Author #Sarah Gailey has written a wonderful thriller.Compared to Big Little Lies, Killing Eve and Westwood. It might make you think twice about technology after a chill runs down your body.This will be on my personal blog maddie_approves_book_reviews closer to release date.
#Netgalley, #Sarah Gailey, and #Macmillan
This was a very unusual and unique story. Evelyn is a scientist of considerable renown. Her research is into cloning. Her husband Nathan was having an affair so they divorced. Then Evelyn discovers that his new wife, Martine, is a clone of her! It is like they are identical twins! Martine phones Evelyn in a panic, she has killed Nathan! From this point on, the story is thrilling, gripping, full of suspense. Although it is science fiction, I found that it was believable and the science was understandable.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A super original novel! If you mix psychological thriller, family drama and sci-fi, with a strong Orphan Black twist - all together this is what you get! Engaging, dark, satisfying.
I read and reviewed this title for Booklist. The review will be published through my editors at Booklist sometime in the next few months.
Sarah Gailey's The Echo Wife reminds me so much of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein crossed with a domestic thriller in the sense of examining the question: how much responsibility do we carry for our creations?
Evelyn Caldwell's research leads to genetically cloned replicas of people, and her entire life is shattered when she discovers that her husband stole her research and created her clone - a "better" version of herself so that he could have what he wanted out of their marriage. Evelyn is a workaholic who prefers to work to starting a family, so when she discovers that Nathan, her husband, is wanting a divorce because he has created an Evelyn clone named Martine who is everything Evelyn couldn't be for him - including being the mother of his child. The twist in general domestic thrillers usually ends here, but this is where the story actually begins.
Clones, by design, should not be able to get pregnant, but Martine clearly is carrying Nathan's child. This is only the survace of the story, and it dives deeper and deeper into uncanny territory the more Evelyn gets to know Martine. Everything takes a complete turn when Evelyn receives a call from Martine saying she has killed Nathan. The only way the two decide to cover this up as Martine's existence, and pregnancy, are illegal, is to create a clone of Nathan. As they bury and re-bury Nathan's body in the backyard, Evelyn and Martine realize they have only scratched the surface of what Nathan has done.
I loved this so much. I've loved every single book Gailey has written, and I'm sure I'll love everything they'll ever write. They have such a knack for taking a trope, running with it, and twisting it so that you have to continue reading to see how everything unfolds and resolves. This is one of my favorite science fiction and thriller books I've read in a bit, and I'll be recommending this one to everyone on its release in February. And I'm sorry you have to wait that long to get your hands on this, but believe me, it's well worth your time and consideration, because I hope, like me, you'll continue thinking about the nature of personal responsibility in the aftermath of creating something.
Readers, this is an amazing book.
Imagine being the scientist who perfects cloning. Now, imagine that scientific discovery being stolen by your husband to not only clone you, but to leave you for your own clone. Yeah, completely messed up. As if that isn’t enough drama for you, imagine that clone coming to you for help burying your ex’s body.
Uh huh. I told you, this book is amazing!
From the beginning page, Gailey has given us a story that starts off running and never slows down. From the moment we are introduced to our main character, Dr. Evelyn Caldwell, we know that she is driven, brilliant, and has a complicated childhood which drives her every decision. It was fascinating to see her next to her clone, Martine, and see the nature vs. nurture argument play out in real time. Dr. Caldwell was an interesting character in that she is written as your typical “ice queen” and could care less. She loves science and is determined to be the best in her field. She chose career over family and doesn’t feel guilty about it. When problems come up, she approaches them with an almost clinical calm and thrives on the stress of solving them.
Gailey’s writing is gripping and compelling, driving the story forward through a never-ending series of twists and turns. Very bizarre and creepy turns, but many, many twists and turns. It’s a fascinating exploration of marriage, identity, family, and the effects of abuse.
I absolutely loved this book and if you love a good psychological thriller, you will too.
The Echo Wife is about renowned geneticist Evelyn Caldwell who has successfully cloned a human. Her ex-husband left her for his new fiancee Martine who happens to look a lot like Evelyn. A little too much like Evelyn. When Evelyn gets a call from Martine to meet for lunch, she learns that Martine is pregnant. However, clones aren't supposed to be able to get pregnant.
This is an amazing science fiction book and one of the best books about clones that I've ever read. The science is understandable and reasonable. The characters are very well created and the plot is well written and brisk.
📚 Wowowow, THE ECHO WIFE is horrifying and glorious and thorny and beautiful and gross and multilayered.
📚 I love that Gailey writes prickly, even mean women as protagonists, and never apologizes for them.
📚 The book manages to be both action-packed and meditative.
📚 There is so much more going on in this book than your typical domestic thriller. Everything from who counts as people to the right to control your body to should you be held accountable for something your clone did. I think this is Gailey's best book yet.
📚 Some readers are going to reject the ending, but it really worked for me - come talk to me about it once you've read it!
Content warnings: blood, body horror, child abuse, death, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, gore, infidelity, medical content, physical abuse, and suicide.
The celebration at the beginning of Sarah Gailey’s novel, The Echo Wife, doesn’t feel like much of a celebration. Protagonist Evelyn Caldwell is there to accept an award for her groundbreaking work but the discomfort from her dress and—more importantly—her recent divorce is ruining her night. It wasn’t until later that I learned things about Caldwell that made me uncomfortable about the accolades she’s received. The uneasiness never goes away. Gailey keeps piling it on in this absolutely brilliant retelling of the Faust story.
Evelyn’s work is secretive, but not entirely secret. She works for a private corporation, producing clones to work as doubles for paranoid politicians, doctors, and others. Her great work is “conditioning” clones so that they look (down to the scars) and act exactly like their originals. She never expected her work to be used against her, but that’s precisely what her ex-husband did. Evelyn’s husband stole her work and created a new version to be a perfect wife. It’s clear that Evelyn is still wrestling with the anger and humiliation of that discovery. One might think that it’s a sign of Evelyn’s better nature that she agrees to help her clone when Martine calls her for help with the kind of favor that we all use as the mark of a great friendship: help hiding a body. Unfortunately for Evelyn, that favor also means using her expertise to replace that body with a living replica.
I could follow every step of Evelyn’s logic, but I would never call it impeccable because it just compounds the wrongness of the whole distressing story. Evelyn sees herself as strong. She remembers how her father conditioned her to never cry, never apologize, never ask forgiveness for her pursuit of knowledge. And she doesn’t. She can only see each challenge that comes her way as a chance to push further into the unknown. Evelyn never really shakes that Faustian drive, although she does start to acknowledge that there are things she should have thought of while she was busy trying to perfect her science. For example, she should have thought about whether the clones she creates have rights or independence or even the ability to grow. Martine and her favors bring Evelyn closer to realizing the ethical dilemmas than the poor creature ever could in Frankenstein.
Even though I was deeply uncomfortable throughout The Echo Wife, I enjoyed every page. Gailey is fantastic in her characterization of Evelyn and Martine. Best of all, Gailey is brilliant in the way that she slowly peels away the layers of the story to reveal delicious ethical dilemmas to think about long after the last page. This is science fiction at its best.
This book is not how I imagined it would be. It is chilling, science fiction, delightfully detailed, somewhat creepy and an amazing read! I devoured it! The initial premise of clones as tools in #theechowife was a little more sci-fi than I was expecting but worked and was ultimately a necessary point. Loved the ending. Thanks to #netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
I absolutely adored this novel.
I want to start off by saying that I have a bachelor's in chemistry and have extensive professional laboratory experience. When I saw that this book was about a woman in scientific research, I was hesitant. However, this book did not disappoint me what so ever.
Sarah Gailey did an excellent job writing a realistic laboratory setting while also creating drama that kept me hooked the entire time. I audibly gasped multiple times throughout this novel because the story was so juicy.
The writing style was very accessible and I think most readers will enjoy this title, however, I do feel like the scientific terms should be given in a more easy to understand way. I could see how a reader could feel intimidated or possibly DNF this title because they cannot connect to the story. Thrillers in the laboratory setting are few and far between and I appreciated the amount of research that Sarah Gailey put into this to make the story come together.
I would highly recommend this book to my subscribers on YouTube and plan on doing so during my January reading wrap up.
Content warning: murder, dissection, corpses, abuse (child, spousal, and emotional)
Orphan Black meets Stepford Wives in this twisty, heart-wrenching exploration of marriage, identity, cycles of abuse, and healing. Evelyn Caldwell is an award-winning scientist who specializes in cloning. Martine is everything Evelyn is not, a facsimile of the perfect wife. Until the cheating husband, Nathan, winds up dead. And the journey Gailey takes us on requires a hard examination of self and a weighted blanket to get to its hopeful conclusion.
Author Sarah Gailey will be featured in a blog interview on February 18th, 2021.
Gailey writes deeply character-driven novels and this science fiction entry is no exception. This could not be anyone’s story other than Evelyn Caldwell, but the way it calls to certain feelings and patterns cemented the allegory in a specific experience, with some future-tech thrown in to add even more layers.
One thing that worked effectively for me were the intertwining flashbacks between Evelyn’s upbringing of an uptight parent paired with a docile spouse and hers and Nathan’s courtship. So many of the themes explored felt inevitable, but that’s what made this story really work for me. It’s definitely more introspective than focusing on big set pieces. Evelyn tries to prove herself to the reader and ultimately to herself, even though she doesn’t have to.
The reveal towards the end is shocking, but is easy to spot from a distance and if you know anything about the cycle of abusive relationships. There’s a coldness from Evelyn’s point of view that makes the reader want to whisk her and Martine away. Their dichotomy really shines as they mirror each other, with one personality not necessarily being better than the other. They both deserve respect and affection, and Gailey offers them both such dimensionality, even though the story is told from perspective.
Heart-wrenching with gorgeous prose, this character-driven account of a researcher and her clone trying to fix a terrible situation is something to behold.
Every now and then I agree to review a book like The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey that is so far outside my reading comfort zone because I know the author is just fantastic. I loved Sarah Gailey's Magic For Liars and figured that while I may not love this book as much I would still enjoy it. Happily, I can say that that was definitely the case here! While The Echo Wife has a science fiction aspect to it, it's pretty much just a straight-up thriller and I loved it from beginning to end.
There was a lot that I enjoyed about this book, from its kind of ridiculous premise to its amazing cast of characters, but I think what really stood out about it to me was how unpredictable the story was. I feel like every time I was sure I knew exactly what was going on and what was going to happen next Sarah Gailey managed to take the story down a path that I just did not see coming at all. I was up all night reading this book because I needed to know what was going to happen next and to find out if my theories on what was going on was true or not (They never were).
I'm so glad I decided to read this book and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to everyone I know. I think there's something in it for everyone to love no matter what genre they normally read. Sarah Gailey has once again proven what a great author she is and I know I at least will be reading everything else she releases from this point forward.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Echo Wife is a RIDE and I questioned every second of it. In a good and unsettling and compulsive way. Evelyn Caldwell is an award-winning scientist, but her world is turned upside down by her ex-husband's wife Martine, Evelyn's clone. We weave in and out of Evelyn's past and present, shifting between the shadows of childhood and the twists of adulthood. Every moment I questioned what I believed, what is good, what is bad, what is moral, what is compassion, what is survival, what is human. And it was a sharp and jolting journey with bits of science fiction and bits of horror, too. I obviously still haven't been able to let this one go, so, yes, it was very good, highly recommend.
Evelyn Caldwell is an award-winning scientist who has researched and developed the human cloning process. She and her husband Nathan seem to have a perfect life. However, Nathan has secrets of his own that turn their marriage upside down. When Evelyn denies Nathan’s desire to have children of their own, Nathan takes matters into his own hands by stealing Evelyn’s research in order to clone her. When Evelyn eventually meets her clone, Martine, she realizes that Nathan has somehow given her the ability to get pregnant. How can that be? When Martine kills Nathan, how will Evelyn respond?
“She was also a consequence of my failure to keep a handle on things”
This is my first time reading Sarah Gailey’s work and I am extremely impressed! The plot is well-constructed and executed, easily flowing from beginning to end. Gailey does a fantastic job of delving into Evelyn’s psyche and showing why she makes decisions and acts as she does in response to her rogue husband, Nathan. Oftentimes, this is where other psychological thrillers fall short, as they never seem to delve completely into why characters are the way they are. Evelyn’s backstory is an essential component to this story and it is superbly crafted! Gailey successfully answers many questions on ethics throughout the book, ultimately culminating on this statement, “If you are loved, then you cannot be replaced.” I thought that I knew where the plot was headed several times, but I was wrong! This is a major accomplishment, as it is difficult to surprise me!
I am so glad that I took a chance at reading an author slightly out of my wheelhouse. The Echo Wife is a book that covers many genres, as it is part science-fiction, dystopian, and psychological thriller. It will also appeal to fans of Liz Nugent’s writing. I highly recommend The Echo Wife!
Thank you to NetGalley and MacMillan-Tor/Forge for the ARC of The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey in exchange for an honest review.
Evelyn is a renown genetists that does ground-breaking work in cloning. Her husband replaces her with..her own clone. Murder and coverups and cloning ensues in this character-driven, super creepy domestic thriller.
I love how the books explores power and consent, gendered stereotypes, and the long-lasting effects of a childhood with domestic violence.
I love every Sarah Gailey book I’ve ever read and this is no exception.
The Echo Wife
by Sarah Gailey
By Macmillan-Tor/Forge Publishing
Coming February 16, 2021
This is a book I requested from NetGalley and the publisher and the review is voluntary.
I was very excited to see Sarah Gailey had a new book out, I loved all her hippo riding books! Fantastic! This one was fantastic also but in a totally different direction.
This book deals with clones, cloning, and ethics involved with it in a distant way. Evelyn is our gal of the story. She is a brilliant scientist who is an award winner in cloning. Her husband left her, after having a long affair. Come to find out the affair was with the clone he made of her! He programmed the clone to be submissive. Evelyn is a bit hot headed.
The book bounces around so we can see how bad Evelyn life was growing up. It also shows life married to Nathan.
Now, her clone wants to meet her. Reluctantly she agrees. She really is evil to the clone. But she is also use to thinking of clones as waste, something like trash and not a person. Evelyn has euthanized clones before. It's not in her mindset to think of this clone as a person.
But things get traumatic. Very scary and dire. The clone and Evelyn have to work together to survive.
Gailey already started the book on a deary note and now it felt so oppressive! The science is not detailed but enough is given to make you believe in the process. The characters are so real (and cloned 😉), dialogue natural, and actions what you would expect from real people. High tension, suspense, and it rarely lets up!
The solution is unexpected and perfect! Finally I could breathe! This was a terrific sci-fi book that dealt with many issues in subtle ways.
The witchy main character really grew as the story progressed. Lots of layers to this great book! Recommend even to those who don't like sci-fi.
This story hits the ground with deep questions and implications. It does so in a way that is also thrilling and paced to hold interest. It would have been a strange thing to think about a husband having an affair with a clone of you all on its own, but... add to that it was your research that created the capability and then the stage is set for a tale filled to the brim with thought provoking twists and turns. Some of the turns too, awesome. The alliances, betrayals, and way things wound against the themes was lovely.
This book!!! I NEVER wanted it to end. it was so good. It had all the elements of books I love; sci-fi, strong female protagonists, twists that I didn't see coming, and an ending that left me completely satisfied.
This was my first book by Sarah Gailey and I immediately went and added every one of her books to my TBR pile.
Thank you #netgalley and #TorBooks for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
This book was amazing. Filled with brutal truths about humanity that is inherent in all of Sarah’s work. This story challenges our perception of scientific ethics and makes us draw the line on what we consider to be human vs a specimen. The author’s prose is sharp and each line shows an understanding of human behavior and the ideas of nature vs nurture.
Wow, what an incredible book! I spent a good half an hour after finishing this to formulate a review. This is one of the most intelligent, twisted and satisfying books I’ve read in a very long time.
The inner science nerd in me was endlessly entertained. My love of slow burn revenge was fanned and fed. The twists and turns are impossible to see coming. The ending was not rushed or an afterthought. Every part of this book was well balanced, perfectly paced and gratifying. It’s as calculated and resolved as Evelyn Caldwell herself.
There isn’t much more I can say than, you absolutely MUST read this book. There isn’t a work by Sarah Gailey that I have not gushed over, they are an inimitable genius author and I will never stop shouting that from the rooftops!
I loved this one! It was different than most books I would gravitate to but I am so glad I came across this one because it was so fun to read. I can't wait till it comes out to be able to recommend it to people.
The Echo Wife is a sci-fi domestic thriller that will chill you to the bone in a similar way to Westworld or The Stepford Wives. Imagine a world where your spouse is unhappy with you for prioritizing your career so they clone you and begin having an affair with your clone. But don’t worry..the clone will soon call you for help covering up his murder. This story was unique and fun. It’s fast-paced with solid characters and an excellent concept executed well. If you typically enjoy domestic thrillers and science fiction, why not mix the two? Highly recommended!
Wow...this book was great, but quite intense and heavier than I think I expected it to be, though I probably should have anticipated that. It's a sci-fi thriller with some elements that edge closer to horror and an ending that I found to be quite chilling. While I don't want to spoil things in the main part of the review, I would encourage you to check the list of content warnings at the end if you think you might need them!
The Echo Wife is in many ways a book about cycles of pain and abuse in families, but also about gendered expectations, toxic masculinity, broken people, and questions of personhood. Evelyn has won awards for breakthroughs in the science of cloning. But her personal life has fallen to pieces because her husband has been having an affair. An affair with a clone of his wife, but one programmed to be docile and domestic and nice- all the things Evelyn herself will never be.
It's a wild premise and I don't want to say too much more about the plot, but this is a slow burn, psychological thriller, all told from Evelyn's perspective as things get more and more creepy and convoluted. It's deeply character driven and doesn't have wild twists so much as it has the progressive revelation of who these characters really are and why. Wow would this make an incredible film. It's one that I think is really going to stick with me. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Content Warnings include: domestic violence, murder, physical harm to clones as part of the creation process, questionably ethical pregnancy, infidelity, depictions of blood, corpses and violence, misogyny, control of clone behavior through programming.
This was really good.
As a whole, I’m not really big on clone books but this one is unusual and it works.
I mean…we do get the ethical questions about what makes someone human, but you get some extremely dark ethical questions as well – things that really turn this into a suspenseful thriller.
Fair warning: most of our characters are very broken people – but that’s part of the fun.
I seriously enjoyed this one. It was full of devious surprises!
*ARC provided via Net Galley
I adored their previous works and this did not let me down. It is almost a domestic sci fi thriller which will enthrall readers.
Evelyn Caldwell's cloning research has earned her success and fame within her field, enough to comfort her when she discovers her husband, Nathan, and the woman he leaves Evelyn for. Martine isn't just the other woman- she's Evelyn's clone, and she's pregnant. A violent confrontation becomes murder, forcing Evelyn and Martine into a close relationship built on shared secrets. Already one of my favorite books of 2021, The Echo Wife is suspenseful and tense, filled with betrayals great and small. Recommended for fans of Ira Levin's stories and anyone else who likes stories that linger after you've finished, drawing you to return again and again.
It is no secret that I have adored Sarah Gailey’s writing ever since I picked up a copy of Magic for Liars at Bookcon in New York in 2019. Since then, all of their novels and novellas have been very highly rated reads for me and The Echo Wife is no exception.
Out in February 2021, this is the story of Evelyn Caldwell, a scientist working on cloning technology and her clone Martine, whom her husband is having an affair with. Inconveniently, said husband has had an unfortunate run in with a knife… But never fear, Evelyn invented cloning, after all! Together, the women come up with a plan to ensure no one has to know about this unfortunate incident. In the process, they discover more about themselves, their lives and their shared husband than they bargained for.
Taking a simple concept, Gailey manages to masterfully turn it into an emotionally charged story full of considerations about one’s role in life and the meaning of life more generally. The Echo Wife took me apart and broke my heart several times over and I devoured it like the masochist I am. I couldn’t put the story down.
Evelyn and Martine, clones, are utterly different people, but both fully fleshed out with their wants and desires, flaws and all. Together, they grew and challenged each other to reconsider their firmly held beliefs about life. While marriage theoretically stands at the centre of The Echo Wife, it is empathically not a love story. It is far closer to the autopsy of a marriage long dead, trying to establish the time and cause of death. The relationship between Evelyn and Martine becomes the crucial turning point of The Echo Wife, the axis on which the book revolves. From meeting as estranged rivals to partners in crime to something like a strange sisterhood, the two women’s lives become irreversibly intertwined. Moral questions abound, as do philosophical considerations.
Nevertheless, The Echo Wife isn’t a slow-burning literary novel. At a relatively short 250 pages, Gailey’s newest packs a punch. Tension is kept high throughout and revelations hit hard. It is not the most speculative of Science Fiction works, and the speculative elements are more window dressing than anything else – the central themes of The Echo Wife are what it means to be human, and why one chooses to live the way one does. It is a brilliant book and I highly recommend it – one of the easiest five-star ratings I’ve given all year. But beware, The Echo Wife is a book that emotionally destroys you.
This book is the definition of morally grey, and morally grey is my favorite color. THE ECHO WIFE is Sarah Gailey’s second adult novel, an ethical roundabout that wouldn’t go amiss in the next season of Black Mirror. Evelyn, the main character, is a scientist in a field that is ethically questionable at best--the development of clones for scientific uses. One might say she is inherently unlikeable for the clinical way she views these subjects as disposable. And then we find out her husband has left her, and not only has he had an affair, he has had an affair with a clone of Evelyn he has programmed to his specific wants and needs. Shit. Evelyn ain’t so unlikeable anymore, now faced with the dilemma many women face all too often with an added speculative twist.
This book is mash-up of sci-fi, horror, and literary fiction, of should we/shouldn’t wes and countless what ifs. Exquisitely written, this science fiction thriller will appeal to fans of dark speculative fiction, and keep you asking what would you do?
Reader, I still don’t know.
Thank you to Tor for sending me an eARC for review.
A great story and a very insightful look at how we view ourselves and our shortcomings. Would recommend.
WHAT A RIDE. I know that whenever I pick up a Sarah Gailey book I'm in for it (in a good way). They write stories that are weird, unexpected, and utterly fascinating. The Echo Wife is no exception. In an utterly original twist on both "the other woman" and "she killed him" tropes, Gailey deftly weaves a domestic scifi thriller. Evelyn isn't a particularly likeable character, but she's compelling as heck. Honestly, nobody in this book was likeable, but they were all fascinating. Rife with deep bioethical quandaries to ponder over, I'm sure I'll be thinking about this book for weeks. The plot is a thrill ride that never feels rushed or sluggish and the whole book is peppered with delightful black humor. If you like inventive scifi, domestic thrillers, or both - READ THIS BOOK! I have to use shouty all-caps because it really is that good. I've never read anything like it and anticipate recommending it widely.
Compelling characters with a story that raises a lot of interesting questions. Love the juxtaposition of the scientist and the clone--and the twist on modern families by the end.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
“Keep your enemies closer” is an apt adage for this novel that is a perfect blend of orphan black and girl on the train. It swept me up in its blend of sci fi Romance and intrigue and will be one of the most talked about titles of 2021. The author has visited Denver’s lead bookshop, bookbar and I hope they will again so I can thank them for this novel
A woman finds her husband cheating on her - with a clone of herself in this blend of Stepford Wives and Orphan Black.
Evelyn is a scientist finding getting her recognition for her cutting edge work, who seems to have it all, except her husband just left her for another woman, Martine. While those in her social circle might be surprised at Nathan's deceit, they don't know how far it goes - he stole Evelyn's work on cloning to create a copy of her that is submissive, obedient and eager to please - and that is Martine.
When Evelyn gets a panicked call from Martine, she feels compelled to go to her - and finds that she has killed Nathan because she dared question him and he tried to kill her. And Evelyn can't let Nathan's secret out or she will lose her funding. How far is she willing to go?
This is a crazy good story - interesting themes and keeps the reader guessing what Evelyn will do next. Is Martine as Stepford Wife-y as she seems? Will Evelyn kill her and be done with it? It seems like a lot of people didn't like the ending, but I did, it seemed fitting.
I was so excited to see that Gailey was coming out with a new book so thank you NetGalley for the ARC. This one was different from their other titles, so I was happy that I was getting something that was a harder sci-fi and about clones! I loved the development of the relationship between Evelyn and Martine over the course of the book more than anything else about it, which is good because that was the basis of the story. I cannot imagine what it would be like to see a version of yourself and really digging into your flaws and insecurities while being the one that has to help that other you. The Echo Wife is really well written and complex. It will be an instant hit!
I've seen a number of reviewers compare THE ECHO WIFE to The Stepford Wives, Orphan Black, appropriate for fans of Killing Eve, the Time Traveller's Wife... and they're not *wrong* per se, but I'm not sure they're quite right.
Every time I recommend a Sarah Gailey book, I say that Gailey is at their best when they take an alternative history, or a set of rules that's slightly different than our actual world, and run with it. THE ECHO WIFE is different than everything else Gailey has written - it's not necessarily darker, but there's less sweetness to balance out the truths of Evelyn's relationships; there's less softness to balance out the choices Martine has to make. And I loved it-- Gailey hooked me from the first page, and crafted a world that had just enough science to ground its mystery/horror elements without making me wish I had paid more attention in biology class.
One aspect of Gailey's work that holds true once again in THE ECHO WIFE is the attention to the choices women have and take (or don't have or don't take) -- not necessarily the loud and dazzling choices, but the silences and the shadows in every relationship, in every home. Without spoiling anything, the quiet moments between women were the showstoppers for me, the moments I wanted to see on screen, translated into the twitches and blink-and-you-miss-them movements of the small muscles around the eyes and mouth.
This is going to be a book I re-read, a book I insist all of my friends read and analyze with me. Can't wait until it's released upon the world and I can insist everyone read it!
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