I wasn’t quite prepared for the journey when I picked up The Echo Wife. It goes some pretty dark places, musing about the way people shape each other, the fingerprints we leave on each other — both metaphorically and for some people physically — and the way we re-enact our own traumas and fall into terrible patterns. Even the acknowledgements at the end are a hell of a thing: raw, truly thankful, but in some cases in a twisted way that hurts. Gailey has put a lot of pain into this book, and that could make it a really difficult read.
For me, though, it got its hooks into me and wouldn’t let go. I read it in two sittings — a whole 150 pages or maybe even more while my wife was on the phone with my parents-in-law. Okay, it must’ve been a long call, but wow.
I don’t want to say too much about the story, but it is not the kind of story where you necessarily end up liking the characters — all that matters is that you really get to understand the characters, the things that shaped them and the way they in turn shape their world. It’s a hell of a ride.