Summary and book reviews of The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

The Echo Wife

by Sarah Gailey

The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey X
The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Feb 2021, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Will Heath
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About this Book

Book Summary

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.

CHAPTER
ONE

My gown was beautiful. It was the kind of garment that looks precisely as expensive as it is. I did not hate it, because it was beautiful, and I did not love it, because it was cruel. I wore it because wearing it was the thing this night demanded of me.

I bought it six months before the Neufmann Banquet, and, miracle of miracles, it still fit me exactly as well as it had when I'd tried it on the first time. Everything had changed in those six months. Everything except for my body. That, at least, was the same.

Still, I nearly dislocated my shoulder trying to get the buttons on the damn thing done up. Fifteen minutes of trying not to swear, fifteen minutes to do something that would have taken ten seconds if someone else had been there to do it for me. But I did it on my own, in the end. The help would have been convenient, but I didn't need it.

Twice in my life, now, I have buried myself in finery. Twice I have arranged myself within a great complication of fabric to prove ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

What's astonishing about The Echo Wife from the beginning isn't only how solid and vivid Evelyn is as a character and a narrator. It is also how real the science of this novel feels. This is speculative fiction at its finest, taking science that seems plausible and using it to ask exciting questions about what makes us alive, what makes us human, what separates and divides and unites us. The novel doesn't demand or provide answers so much as request that we keep these questions in mind and apply them to our moral compass...continued

Full Review Members Only (690 words).

(Reviewed by Will Heath).

Media Reviews

Newsweek
This unique and inventive tale is a genre-bending, roller coaster of unsettling fun.

BookPage
A tight, thrilling and funny ride...Gailey’s writing is controlled, visceral and especially dazzling when Martine and Evelyn are in a room together. Fans of Big Little Lies, The Island, Frankenstein and Killing Eve will love this gripping, skillfully told firecracker of a book.

NPR
Gailey is an ace at constructing clean, clear plots, and The Echo Wife is no exception...Cooked right, science fiction and murder mysteries taste great together, and Gailey layers those ingredients together with a chef's kiss...There are no magic wands or post-apocalyptic cults in The Echo Wife, but Gailey nonetheless builds one of their most daring worlds yet.

Entertainment Weekly
For those familiar with Gailey's work, expect this one to offer familiar pleasures and some new surprises. And for those who aren't, well, get ready.

Publishers Weekly
Creepy, exhilarating science fiction... A series of dark reveals that leave both the characters and the audience reeling. Readers won't want to put this one down.

Booklist (starred review)
A razor-sharp psychological thriller...Gailey's expertise with suspense and their success in presenting the reader with impossible choices about the ethics of cloning, biological programming and editing, and of Evelyn's specific, difficult situation, will leave the reader thinking about the novel long after the final page.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

A Brief History of Cloning

Portrait of Dolly the sheep One of author Sarah Gailey's greatest skills on display in The Echo Wife is that of making the science depicted look and feel real. The cloning in the novel seems plausible. But how far have humans actually come in the field of cloning? Where did it begin and where are we now?

First, we should establish what cloning is. As Dr. Helen Klus puts it on her blog The Star Garden, cloning is a method of artificially creating "genetically identical individuals." Klus grounds cloning in a natural mindset by reminding us that identical reproduction happens all the time in nature. Asexual reproduction is the main method of reproduction for single-celled organisms, in addition to numerous plants and fungi.

In that sense, cloning has been ...

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