The Daylight Marriage: A Novel by Heidi Pitlor (Algonquin Paperbacks, $15.95, 254 pages)
“You could have done better but I don’t mind/You just kinda wasted my precious time/Don’t think twice, it’s alright.” Bob Dylan
I’ve noted in the past that the hardest type of book to review is one that’s not an “A” or “F’; it’s a “C.” Cs, of course, represent average work. This one’s about a C-.
The Daylight Marriage has a plot that’s oddly reminiscent of Gone Girl. The attractive wife of a nice guy leaves the house and never returns. Yes, she “disappears without a trace.”
In this novella – it only runs for 245 pages; the reader figures out the ending within the first few dozen pages and yet it’s advertised as being something of a thriller. The blurb from Stephen King states, “I turned the pages with increasing dread.” Maybe King was given a different galley; stranger things have happened.
Or maybe King was referring to the simple dread that accompanies predictability. (If you read Gone Girl, or saw the movie, you know that nice husbands don’t kill their wives. Pitlor claims to have been influenced in her writing by the headline story of Laci Peterson, so there may be exceptions to this rule.)
Oh, the back of the book is loaded with positive blurbs form the likes of King, Tom Perrotta, Geraldine Brooks, Entertainment Weekly (the gospel of entertainment), and the Los Angeles Review of Books. And yet, for once, I think the readers who order from Amazon have gotten it right. On Amazon, this book has a 3 out of 5 stars rating.
There’s more. Perhaps because of the disappointment that accompanies this read, Amazon is offering this $15.95 list price book for an astonishing 79% off of its list price, or $3.39. That probably tells you all you need to know.
You might pick this one up if you are willing to gamble with $3.39 of your hard-earned savings. If not, it’s best to pass it up.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.