A Beautiful, Terrible Thing by Jen Waite

A Beautiful, Terrible Thing

Jen Waite

A compulsively readable tale of betrayal from a woman who suspects she married a psychopath.

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**An International Bestseller**

“Be forewarned: You won't sleep until you finish the last page. " -Caroline Leavitt, author of Cruel Beautiful World

One night. One email. Two realities.

It all started with an email...

Before: Jen Waite has met the partner of her dreams. A handsome, loving man who becomes part of her family, evolving into her husband, her best friend, and the father of her infant daughter.

After: A disturbing e-mail sparks suspicion, leading to an investigation of who this man really is and what was really happening in their marriage.

In alternating Before and After chapters, Waite obsessively analyzes her relationship, trying to find a single moment form the past five years that isn't part of the long con of lies and manipulation. Instead, she finds more lies, infidelity, and betrayal than she could have imagined. With the pacing and twists of a psychological thriller, A Beautiful, Terrible Thing looks at how a fairy tale can become a nightmare and what happens when "it could never happen to me" actually does.

Advance Galley Reviews

This book is disturbing! If you've ever been in a relationship that involved cheating or deceit you will probably appreciate you are not along in the experience. But this book being such an honest depiction of a truly awful situation might hit too close to home. I found it upsetting and hard to finish just because it was a very raw first hand account. A good read, but definitely unsettling!

A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal is Jen Waite’s emotionally raw story of love, betrayal and the process of healing. It’s the classic story of what the other woman endures when she is faced with the other woman. Waite includes a discussion of early indications that problems were brewing in her marriage—signs that she had overlooked. The story alternates between the beginning of Jen and Marco’s relationship and the period after she found out what he was really like. This style of storytelling was effective. It drew me in as I began to understand how she got involved with Marco and struggled to break free of his influence. Waite’s memoir sends a strong message. It serves as a prime example of the fact that when someone is faced with a difficult situation, it is possible to muster the strength to rise to the occasion and carry on. So, yes, I would definitely recommend Jen Waite's memoir to those who want to read a candid and heartfelt story.

I did not finish this book.

A Beautiful, Terrible Thing by Jen Waite is an emotionally captivating memoir about a woman who found out the man she loved and married is a sociopath. Soon after the birth of her daughter, Jen finds an email from her husband that changes and destroys her life. Alternating between before the email and after, you follow along Jen's journey as she falls in love with Marco, her soulmate, for five years and then one email brings everything crashing down around her. You are dragged through all of the crushing defeat, grief and anger but then lifted up as Jen begins to rebuild her life as she researches what happened to her and finds strength in her love for her daughter. Beautifully written and un-put-downable, this book is as devastating to read as it is inspiring.

A Penguin First to Read ARC e-book in exchange for an honest review. This book had me from the intro. I did have to double check, and triple check, that it was a memoir, that I had not read the description wrong. Written in a “Before” and “After” format I was sucked into the good and the bad. As I kept reading though it felt more like a psychological thriller and I was waiting for the bloodshed to happen as the Before met the After chapters. Jen Waite and Marco Medina have been together for five years when she opens the laptop and reads the email that sets her world spinning. It is amazing the way lies can be weaved and you can be made to believe things. The pain and suffering that we cause amongst ourselves. Those truths we keep hidden to “protect” those involved. So much harm was done and you can’t help but get caught in the emotional turmoil.

This is a Memoir about Jen Waite discovering secrets about her husband that lead her to believe he might be a sociopath. After confronting her husband, her life begins to fall apart. I absolutely devoured this book. It is only mildly suspenseful, but I didn't even care because I was so invested in Waite's story that I just needed to see what was going to happen next. Every time I was convinced I knew what was going to happen next, well, let's just say I was wrong. The last chapter had me disappointed because it was anti climactic. The title of the chapter led me to believe on thing, but the content didn't reflect the chapter name. That being said, it was an absolute joy to read. I couldn't believe I finished it in less than 2 days. I received this book from Firsttoread.com in exchange for an honest review.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.firsttoread.com. Jen Waite's memoir reads more like a thriller than a true story. Her story is captivating from the first page, and alternates nicely between the before and after of her finding a devastating email that presents the possibility that her husband is the man she thinks he is. What she finds is so much more than an affair and lets her to the discovery that he just might be a pyschopath. This is a gripping story, and a quick read. I would recommend it to anyone who likes these types of novels.

"A Beautiful, Terrible Thing" by Jen Waite is "A Memoire of Marriage and Betrayal" and it is about as close to being cheated on by a deranged psycho as you can get without being there. Jen's story is a true story about her discovery that her husband, Marco, was cheating on her just three short weeks after the birth of their daughter. It follows the discovery, investigation, recovery and survival of her experiences. There wasn't a moment I couldn't identify with. If you want a good book, well written, diving into the psychological issues dealing with cheaters this is definitely the book for you. She is right on the money with every word. If you suspect being cheated or have recently become aware and would like to read about someone who has been there and can verify that you are not crazy, that things really are as they seem, then get this book! However, if this is in the distant past and the last thing you want to relive, you should rethink getting involved with this one. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.firsttoread.com.

A Beautiful, Terrible Thing is a memoir about a marriage, from the couple's introduction to its untimely conclusion. One easily identifies with the author as her perspective is told with such honesty and openness. One can't help but question if we ever truly know our partner/ mate. Definitely a good read!

A Beautiful Terrible Thing was a book that won't quickly be forgotten. It can be read as a cautionary tale of how careful you must be to fully trust someone. I saw glimpses of my life and the lives of close friends in Jen's story. It's easily relatable even if you haven't been in a deceptive relationship. I've recommended to the book to friends who are about to get married and friends whose marriages are ending. It also showed me how resilient people can be. Jen must have felt like her world had come to an end, but eventually she will move on and be fine. I enjoy stories that show how people overcome the most difficult of challenges. I have to admit that I dove into the book without reading much about it. I didn't realize it was a memoire until I finished. Overall, I was immersed from the first page.

I complement the author on being willing to be open, rawly honest and share her naivety about her marriage to a psycho/sociopath. May her story help other women look closer at their own relationships and save them the pain that she has gone through. The concept of telling her story in chapters titled "Before" and "After" is a good one and works well to let us simultaneously see how her relationship with Marco was at the beginning, and how is was after she uncovered his lies. I admit, there were times I wanted to shake Jen and say "Open your eyes!", but the reality is, that we all often overlook things we don't want to see, believe, and deal with. The bottom line is, you can't change another person, no matter how much you would like to, and you can't make someone love you if they don't or aren't capable of love. I have great sympathy for all that Jen went through, and applaud her coming out the other side a strong woman. I wish her and her daughter well. This book gets 4 stars from me! Many thanks to FirstReads for allowing me to read and review this book!

A Beautiful, Terrible Thing is a memoir that's full of pain, yet also hope. Jen Waite tells her story through alternating chapters. The past ones relate the events surrounding her relationship with Marco, their marriage, and her discovery of his infidelity right after she's given birth to their daughter. The other chapters deal with the aftermath and Jen's journey to independence. The main issue I had was the labeling of Marco as a sociopath and psychopath (they were both used interchangeably through the book). While without a doubt he's a liar and philanderer, I'm not sure anything he did actually qualified for either of these two disorders. I also thought it was completely unprofessional that Jen's therapist was more than willing to agree with her patient without ever meeting Marco. For the most part though, I was thoroughly invested in Jen's compelling story, which actually reads more like a psychological thriller. I would be interested in seeing her write fiction because you can see she has a natural talent for it.

A quick, compulsive read but ultimately a disappointment. I'm sure a lot of us selected this book because of its publisher description which is akin to a "what happens next will shock you..." clickbait article (guilty). And similar to clickbait, the "next" was not THAT shocking. Although I'm glad the author found her way out of the spiral of obsessing about what went wrong and when through the support of her friends, family and therapy, the path to her recovery was the most tedious part of the book. There are pages of descriptions of her Google search terms, social media stalking, and what she found when she went down the rabbit hole of online research. Yet the a-ha moments unfurl as neatly as a sitcom conclusion. I'm not sure this story was deserving of a whole book (and if so, it could have been a little more concise). I don't want to take away from the devastating and life altering situation Jen went through - I do NOT know what I would do if this happened to me or any of my friends and I commend her for putting it all out there - but this could have been better documented as a blog or long internet article because it certainly reads that way.

4 stars Thanks to First to Read and Plume Books for an Advanced digital copy of this book for an honest review. This is a memoir of pain and suffering. It stems from a hurtful event that must go through the cycle of pain and anger, doubt and self loathing. It is the feeling of helplessness when you realize that your love cannot heal the problem. This story is very candid. Jen Waite has spent most of her marriage trying to ignore the signs of an unfaithful husband. He always has a reason, an excuse, a story to cover any mishap. Jen wants to believe him - she loves him. Her happy marriage is falling apart. Her husband is cheating. Jen has just had a baby, with the man she planned to spend the rest of her life with. What has happened? What went wrong? This story chronicles Jen's discovery, her self doubt, the excruciating admission to herself, and her recovery from a bad marriage to a psychological liar and sociopath. This novel is written without any excuses. Jen does not hide from the facts, nor from her inability to process this life altering event.Take this journey with Jen and decide what you would have done in her situation. Well developed novel of absorbing honesty. My heart went out to Jen in her inability to believe the worst in the man she loved. She wrote with brutal honesty and this novel gave a voice to all the women who have suffered through such a disheartening experience. Thank you Jen for sharing your past and proving that women can get through the worst of times - and be stronger for it.

I had a somewhat difficult time completing this book -- although the synopsis was compelling, the actual book wasn't. Although the "Before" and "After" style makes this book much more interesting, there are moments where they don't feel like they connect to each other well. There is also the way in which the writer fetishizes her husband, a Latino. The grotesque way in which Marco is characterized and portrayed makes me, a Latina, feel like the relationship was based on the whole "latin lover" trope. The book ended abruptly, the synopsis made the story seem better than it actually was and I am disappointed.

This book was not what I expected - and not in a good way. Based on the blurb, we're led to believe A Beautiful, Terrible Thing will be something shocking, out of the ordinary, unbelievable. But what we get is...none of those things. Yes, Waite's husband is a liar, a cheater, a seemingly remorseless jerk who's constantly trading in his girl for a younger model...but, guess what? So are a lot of other people. As sad and hurtful as those behaviors are, they are not that extraordinary. And while I get that this experience was traumatic and painful for Waite, I'm not sure it warrants publishing a memoir. Much of the book reads like diary entries of Waite chronicling the rise and fall of her relationship - and as you'd expect from a "dear diary" entry, it's flowery and not particularly well-written and ultimately a bit adolescent (the incessant use of "babe" and "baby" as a term of endearment (?) and the actual printing of the phrase "bro-code" in a serious usage as two glaring examples). Then we follow her down the rabbit hole of trying to figure out WHY WHY WHY everything happened, and are treated to scenes of her researching sociopathy on internet message boards and Wikipedia (these sources aren't reliable enough to be used for a school paper, let alone an actual published book!). But wait! Lest we think the entire premise of this book was based on Waite amateurly-diagnosing her husband with an actual personality disorder thanks to the internet, she magically finds validation in a real, live therapist. I find it INCREDIBLY hard to believe that a therapist would provide even a guess at a diagnosis for someone they've never even spoken to, and that said therapist would use that as the focus for Waite's visits. In a nutshell, unless you like rubbernecking at car accidents or find fascination in other people's suffering, skip this one. There's no big revel, no revelation, nothing even really educational in this memoir except for the reminder that rose-colored glasses are never the best lenses through which to view your world.

I was sucked into this book from the very beginning. Even though this book was a heart-breaking tale of how Jen Waite's marriage fell apart, it read as if it were a novel and she was just telling a story. I will say that from the beginning of the story it seemed as if something was off with Marco. I'm not sure if it was the whole he was there for over 12 years and was still illegal or what it was, but I immediately disliked him. I am glad to know that she was able to get away from him and start to build a new life for both her and her daughter, Louisa. However, I would have liked to know a little more about what happened after. It seems like the book ended a little abruptly. All in all, I would definitely recommend this book to others.

This was not at all what I expected. I would recommend not reading the synopsis of this book before beginning! I read the synopsis when I first requested the book, but promptly forgot about it. It left a bigger impression because I didn't know what I was getting into. While this book was based on the author's real life experiences, it read like a psychological thriller. The story was told in alternating "Before" and "After" chapters. It began with what seemed like a sweet, budding romance, but then things start taking a turn for the worse and I felt my heart breaking for Jen. I was completely hooked after a few chapters and I finished it in a single sitting. I hope people can read this memoir and learn from it. We all go through stages of trauma in different ways, but it's absolutely fine that we go through each stage. The important thing is to keep moving forward! Thank you Jen Waite for sharing your story with the world

I found this memoir absolutely fascinating. It definitely reminded me of a friend's marriage & I shared some passages with her. There were times when it dragged a bit, or I wanted to reach through the pages to shake Jen. Also, it seems that Marco has a relationship with his son, but is willing to give up his daughter so easily. I wish the writer had delved into this aspect of how she did/will approach Marco's relationship with their daughter. But overall, a quick read & inspiring/educational.

I couldn't put this book down. Jen Waite's story is both painful and shocking, and the fact that it is a true story makes it all the more harrowing. A few weeks after giving birth to her daughter and mere months after marrying Marco, the love of her life, Jen finds out that Marco is having an affair. This discovery soon takes her down the rabbit hole as she comes to realize that their relationship was a sham and that Marco is actually a psychopath, who actively chooses women to manipulate and later, discard. For the most part, this book alternates between "before" and "after" chapters, and the even that delineates these time periods is her discovery of a suspicious email. Although the writing is by no means great, it is still engaging. As another reviewer mentioned, if the book had been a novel, I would have been more critical about it. Towards the end, the "before" chapters struggle to be as impactful as the "after" chapters. Nonetheless, I found this book to be enthralling. I only wish that there had been more of an explanation, perhaps even an epilogue, of what Jen Waite is doing now.

Thank you for the advance read opportunity. I liked the book, particularly the before/after chapter style. I felt myself with a lot of questions at the end though... perhaps needing a bit more 'after' to satisfy my curiosity after being taken through such a personal glimpse into the haunting 'before.'

If this book had been a novel, I would not have finished it. Because it is a memoir, I sloughed through, excusing the poorly written dialogue and and unnecessary detail of every thought and action. I have great sympathy for the author. Because of her own lack of self-awareness and emotional immaturity, she ignored the signs that were surely there from the beginning of her relationship. She projected onto the relationship and Marco the marriage and husband she wanted to have. That does not excuse Marco's behavior; it just explains why she was such a willing and complicit target. This is not a tragic story, thankfully, but a cautionary tale for women looking for fairy tales instead of reality. This would have been a better magazine article. It is not worth an entire book. The only character of any dimension is the author. I cannot really "see" Marco, her parents, his parents or the kids. Good attempt, but the book falls flat.

Marco was always an illusion. The best magic trick I’ve ever seen." Jen Waite exquisitely, painfully, and heroically lays out a harrowing tale of love and betrayal in A Beautiful, Terrible Thing. I fell in love with her vivid recollection of those heady new days of romance, I fell a bit in love with Marco and recognized in my own past relationships that stomach churning and energizing all consuming passion of new love. The pages flew by as she takes us a on dual timeline tale of "before" and "after" only to discover that there really never was an "after" Marco. There was just this incredible façade he was able to maintain for years before he moved on and transitioned, like an Incubus, to feed off of and be transformed by the next one he lures in. I found myself at times thinking, yea this guy is a douche, but a full blown psychopath? I think that's a tale and a narrative many women have created in their own minds. A justification that this person isn't really as terrifying as anyone objectively viewing the situation would see them. So yes, this person that she shared 5 years and a child with truly is a full blown psychopath. It was a heartbreaking memoir, but also one of profound strength.

Jen Waite takes you through a before and after journey into the story of a woman who changes her life and meets her soulmate. Except after the fairytale she discovers disturbing things about her husband she would never have expected. This story takes you through the beginning of their live story, to the horror of finding out the person you thought was perfect may be a monster. It was a compelling read that takes you inside a nightmare and the ending was perfect. The writing was very well done and I enjoyed this book tremendously.

I inevitably have to stop and search my brain for the title of this book--A BEAUTIFUL, TERRIBLE THING--because, due to sheer absurd coincidence, I read Libba Bray's A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY immediately beforehand. That's not Jen Waite's fault, obviously, but it certainly makes it difficult to keep the title straight. Waite's book is about her marriage to a man she comes to believe is a clinical psychopath. The before-and-after style is clever and engaging, but the Befores are not always entirely emotionally or stylistically distinct from the Afters, and sometimes I found myself struggling to remember the chronology of events as the book went on. Waite's writing is fine, although I felt the whole book could have used a good polish and some tightening up overall; generally, it's quite readable, and there were one or two descriptive passages about anxiety and panic attacks that were very good. The book isn't purely a smear job on her ex; she makes an effort to include her own unattractive and juvenile behavior--an incredible amount of compulsive social media stalking, for instance--and her emotional neediness. My favorite parts, to be honest, were the bits with Waite's young stepson, Sebastian, whom I liked more than anyone else in the book and whom I hope grows up to be emotionally healthy.

This book was a heart breaking and brutally honest account of a marriage imploding. The story moved back and forth in time which added a richness to an already detailed account. The story flowed beautifully and I loved Waite's writing style. I highly recommend this book and felt like it was a story most women could identify with.

Thank you to Penguin's First to Read Program for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review. After reading the description of A Beautiful, Terrible Thing, I knew this was my kind of book. I’ve always loved psychological thrillers and to read a first-hand account from someone who actually experienced the deception of a psychopath was something that I was looking forward to reading. The book started off great and I needed to remind myself that this was a memoir and not fiction. However, I kept waiting for the big reveal and it never happened. The author was not married to a psychopath. A compulsive liar? Probably. A narcissist? Perhaps. But, I never felt that her husband was a psychopath. I don’t think her story is that unlike the stories shared to me by friends who were in similar situations. I’m not saying that the story isn’t interesting, but I am not sure it’s book worthy. 2 stars.

I had mixed feelings about this book. The story revolves around a woman who fell in love with and married a man who she believes is a psychopath. The first half of the book kept me very interested but the second half did not keep me engaged. it wasn't that the story wasn't interesting, it was just that it was a story that I have heard many times. It was sad and heartbreaking to read about what she went through but it was not a read that kept me interested until the end. I would still give it 3 stars for the first half and the great writing.

Very sad book. Makes you grateful you are not the one having to tell this story. 3.75 stars.

This review contains spoilers!!!!!!!!!!! Hot damn this was a cathartic read! I will start this review by saying that I had major flashbacks while reading this book, because I had a relationship with a girl who I believe suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder. It's a little different, because she wasn't a sociopath, she really just needed a lot of help, but there were so many similarities, like how she would "love bomb" and threaten suicide whenever I tried to break up with her. So, I totally get why Jen Waite had such a hard time letting Marco go. I stayed with this girl almost an entire year after I was no longer in love with her, because I couldn't bring myself to ignore the suicide threats. I'm so glad that Jen Waite was able to get out of this situation? and move on with her life and that she wrote this to share her story and hopefully help people recognize poisonous relationship?s and get help. So, thank you FirstToRead for letting me read this!

Emotionally needy young woman meets handsome man who sweeps her off her feet to the point that she lives in denial till the hard truth slaps her in the face. What sounds so superficial is turned into a story, based on the author's own life experience, that delves deep into a seriously dysfunctional relationship shrouded in secrets and lies. I like that although the female character at first seemed like the ultimate helpless victim, she sought out professional help which gave her the strength to move forward on a positive path. Jen Waite is so "right on" with character traits that at times I found myself holding my breath ..........The author has taken a very dark time in her life and shown that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and the way she uses the Before and After modes, adds greater interest to the writing in an uncomplicated manner. This was a book well worth reading.

The basic plot was interesting and you found yourself rooting for the main character to succeed and get past the betrayal. While the story line was an adult topic, the writing style seemed more like a YA-type novel. The two characters calling each other "babe" and "baby" all of the time was pretty annoying. I was glad that the main character was able to overcome the ex-husband and come out ahead and be successful. It would have been nice to see the male have a big downfall but I know that was not the point of the book. The point was to show that the female was able to move on with her life. It was interesting how the plot rotated between "before" and "after". Overall, it was an interesting story, it just could have been a bit more polished in the writing style.

This memoir really does read like a dark psychological thriller, and sometimes I had to remind myself that it was a true story, and not a novel. I very much liked the dual timeline, with the "before" chapters telling the story before the author's discovery of her husband's betrayal, and the "after" portions from after. The author's dawning realization that her husband is a sociopath and that their "perfect relationship" never existed verges on terrifying. You can't help but root for her to leave him behind and successfully start a new life with their young baby. There were, though, a few aspects I could not quite make sense of. For example, the author stresses how perfect her husband was, that he was her "soul mate," that their relationship was perfect . . . but the only good qualities we ever hear about are that this guy was good in bed and flattered her a lot. Surely it takes more than that to make someone perfect? Or even a very good romantic prospect, let alone a marriage prospect? Also, her refusal to believe or understand about the affair/s, for the longest time, verged on incomprehensible. Finally, there are some editing errors in the book that I hope get fixed -- taut and taught are not the same word, for starters.

Thank you to Penguin's First to Read program for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. As I read "A Beautiful, Terrible Thing", I had to remind myself that this was a memoir. Jen Waite has taken a devastating life experience and created a book which is hard to put down. The book is told in two timelines: Before, when she fell for and married a man who adored her and fathered her child, and "After", her journey of discovery that her husband and their life together is specious. The reader can feel the pain, hope, torment and betrayal that Jen goes through as she processes the fact that her husband is the text book definition of a psychopath. It is easy to move between the two timelines as the story unfolds. I could identify with the the feelings of her parents watching their loved one suffer. The feelings are raw and vulnerable. A compelling read.

I liked the writing style with the dual-timeline narrative, breaking down the moments in the couple's history connecting the past to the present. You imagine each "before" & "after" as if you're experiencing it along with the author, drawn into the story until the end. I don't want to say anything else or give anything away because you will want to read it for yourself.

This is the true story of a marriage shattered by infidelity. The alternation of before and after chapters is very effective, contrasting Jen's belief in happiness ever after and her betrayal. However it seems a long time before she is willing to face reality and let go of the relationship.

I really liked the style that this memoir is written in that shows backwards and forwards glimpses into the marriage and relationship. It must have been devastating to be betrayed in that way and for the other person to never truly express any type of remorse. I think that this book could help other women who go through similar relationships to have courage and support to move forward.

I really enjoyed the writing - Jen Waite’s prose is beautiful and thrilling. However, the actual story was not as exciting. My biggest gripe: is he a sociopath or a psychopath? These words are not interchangeable, yet Jen seems to use them alternately in the book. I don't understand how this even got beyond editing. This is what’s wrong in the age of social media: she cannot let him go. Constantly checking FB and Instagram. That is insane behavior! You have a child - try focusing on her and stop this childish behavior! I felt like I was reading a teen’s diary, not a 30 year old’s memoir.

Jen Waite's marital memoir reads more like a psychological thriller. The chapters alternate between "before" and "after" she discovers an incriminating email that leads her to a path of discovery. "Before" chapters tell of the fairy tale romance, with some red flags about her husband that are obvious in hindsight; "after" chapters are the story of a mother of a newborn who is suspicious, lied to, and eventually crushed by the realization that she has fallen in love with a manipulator rather than her soulmate. The alternating chapters help build the suspense and make this book extremely readable. That's a great compliment to the writing and editing because I was riveted throughout the book, but didn't end up feeling triumphant at the end. In fact, I felt a little uncomfortable after finishing the book. The description says that Waite discovered her husband was a "textbook psychopath", but as far as I can tell, this was her own diagnosis after her obsessive internet research in the fog of a broken heart. Psychopath is a pretty heavy label to throw around and publish about your child's father. I think that's the part I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around is - the book description and the tension-building way that the memoir is written feel a bit sensationalized when all is said and done. I found it entertaining and compelling, and I'd love to see the author try her hand at writing fiction. She really knows how to keep a reader invested in the story. It's impressive how easily she taps into the heat of the moment as she was sorting through all of her feelings. I've been through similar stages in my life and often we try so hard to forget these painful moments that it's hard to effectively describe our suffering after the fact. She does this beautifully as the reader suffers through her emotions with her through the good times and the bad.

This book was amazing. This book was written as a memoir but does not read anything at all like that.... it's a psychological thriller/literary fiction that I kept having to remind myself was real. This was powerful and I feel like this book can really help a lot of women. So well done!

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. It was awesome! I went through a similar scenario in my past and she was absolutely correct in the emotions and grief. Betrayal is a horrible thing to have to face and this memoir shows that you can come through it, scarred, but better for it. If I'd had this book I probably wouldn't have needed the full 15 months I spent seeing a therapist. I liked the after and before format and think it worked especially well here when there is so much history necessary to relate. It helped to break everything into easily digested segments. Kudos to the author.

I love books that go back and forth between before and after. Love the suspense it builds and this book did not disappoint in that sense. I wanted to keep reading to see what was going to happen next! Once I got to the point of where before and after came to the present day, is where this book slowed down. It got to be a little clinic for my taste. But overall, I really enjoyed the book.

When finishing this book I honestly wasn't sure what to think. The fact that this book was able to pull so many emotions out of me at different times shows that the author really captured in writing what it was like to go through certain events. I wish I had known prior to finishing the book that it was based on the author's real life and experiences. I feel like it may have made me connect more with the story knowing that. Though honestly, it's my own fault. The book's main character's name is Jen (like the author), it's called a memoir, and it says right in the description it's based on a true story so...duh...how could I have missed it? Just that knowledge alone makes me respect and like this book more. While reading this book I was anxious at times and uneasy which I'm sure is what the author was feeling when certain events were happening to her. At the end....Slight SPOILER... I wish there was more redemption and consequence for the antagonist's actions. End SPOILER... That all being said, I'm not sure this is exactly the type of book I would normally read but am glad I did. At times I did feel like I was reading straight out of a psychology textbook but I did learn some interesting information. I'm also happy the main character wasn't a push-over and showed that women can be strong despite terrible situations that may happen to them. All in all I'd give this book a 3/5. If you like psychological reads that focus on mental health you will really enjoy this book.

This is such an intense book! It'll seriously keep you on the edge of your seat. I went into it fairly blind, which I recommend doing, but if you're fine with not doing that then I wrote a full review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1992759800?book_show_action=false. It's not the most well-written, and there's some weird stuff with the therapy and mental illness in this book, but in the end it's both powerful and intense. Like a nonfiction psychological thriller + inspiring memoir all in one. I gave it three stars, and I do recommend it.

This is a book that's best read without reading the full synopsis first. While this is a memoir, it feels more like a psychological thriller that you don't want to put down. I felt so swept up in the meet cute and love story and the building of their lives together, that I didn't see the red flags. There were times when I felt the author was overreacting to this or that, because of hormones or sleep deprivation or general neuroticism, but then... was she? Because if she'd just ignored the things that happened altogether and stopped digging, how much longer would the lies have gone on? This book lets you live simultaneously through the infatuation of the honeymoon phase and the moment-to-moment panic, fear and shock about the things that happened as she discovered them. Heartbreaking and powerful.

Overly polished account of a woman blindsided by her marriage to a duplicitous man. My problem with the book is that he is described as the 'perfect man' that she fell in love with whose secrets morphed into psychopathology. Why was she looking for perfection and what made her think it existed? In the author's sections on her therapy, I wish there was more about her needs for constant reassurance about their perfect love before things went haywire. Psychopaths need partners and she was all too available. Both of them were scary, but she, at least, could change.

At first it seemed unlikely that Jen had no warning that her husband may not be the man she thought he was. The reader can see the red flags from miles away. Of course, that's easy in hindsight. Jen cleverly writes with a before/after narrative and while we know what's coming, Jen is blindsided. An intriguing look at a sociopaths unraveling and how a woman starts to rebuild when everything she thinks and believes turns out to be a lie.

Jen Waite's memoir of marriage and betrayal is haunting, tragic, and yet uplifting as Jen eventually faces her situation with determination and courage. A struggling young actress in New York City, Jen finds a job as a waitress to pay her bills. At the restaurant she meets Marco, the handsome Latin bartender. They fall in love, marry, and have a baby girl. This first person memoir moves back and forth in Before and After sections. As Jen shares her story of falling in love with the charismatic, handsome, charming Marco, she realizes Marco is not who he seems. Jen reads a suspicious email on their shared computer and discovers her husband's deceit, betrayal, and infidelity. When she reveals her fears to Marco, he vehemently denies having an affair. Marco is putting in more and more time at work leaving Jen alone in their apartment to care for their new baby. Jen's suspicions increase until she faces the truth that her beloved soulmate is in reality a sociopath with psychopathic tendencies. How Jen deals with her fears and the reality of Marco's betrayal makes this a compelling read.

I absolutely enjoyed this book and if I didn't have any responsibilities I probably would had read it one sitting! The story had me hooked from the first page. I am currently married but if I ever entered the dating world again I am now well versed in what not to look for in a mate. However, I felt the author was extremely spoiled and narcissistic. She clearly thrives on drama and scenes of her collapsing/fainting/blacking out while her parents swooped on and took over were a common in this book. She wallowed in the drama and couldn't even perform basic tasks, which I just don't have patience for. It was truly startling that she didn't see this coming long before it happened. The signs were all there and the descriptions of her relationship before are not of a storybook romance but over the top, sickeningly sweet drama filled relationship. I wish the author success in moving forward and building a life with her daughter.

Thank you to Penguin's First to Read Program for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review. Jen Waite deftly recounts her heartbreaking experience of being in a relationship with a sociopath. I found her memoir very intriguing. At first her alternating chapters between the events leading up to the email that I would trigger a painful discovery and the subsequent consequences of that discovery were quite jarring to me, but the format ends up working quite well and provides an almost side by side comparison of who she thought she was with and who she was with her journey to her painful but ultimately important growth. I found the book fascinating enough to read on one day.

WOW! I was emotionally exhausted after reading this book. I most definitely recommend reading it. I think the book effects you so emotionally because it's so well written that you experience and relate to what the author is going through. From all of us who have been through similar experiences, you are not alone.


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