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The Twilight Wife

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In this psychological suspense novel, a woman suffering from memory loss begins to wonder just how much she can trust the people who claim to love her.

Marine biologist Kyra Winthrop remembers nothing about the diving accident that left her with a complex form of memory loss. With only brief flashes of the last few years of her life, her world has narrowed to a few neighbors on the island where she lives with her devoted husband.

But when Kyra begins having visions—or are they memories?—of a rocky marriage, broken promises, and cryptic relationships with the island residents she believes to be her friends, she can’t help but wonder if her new life is all a carefully constructed lie.

As Kyra races to uncover her past, it soon becomes clear that the truth is a terrifying nightmare.

295 pages, Paperback

First published December 1, 2016

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About the author

A.J. Banner

8 books1,014 followers
A. J. Banner grew up reading Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, and other masters of love and mystery. She enjoyed sneaking thrillers from her parents' library, which gave her excellent fodder for her novels of psychological suspense, The Good Neighbor, The Twilight Wife, After Nightfall, The Poison Garden and her upcoming release, In Another Light. The Good Neighbor was a #1 Kindle bestseller for 34 days in a row, and The Twilight Wife became a USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller. After Nightfall was a Kindle bestseller in several categories. Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author, calls In Another Light "a riveting psychological thriller."

Born in India and raised in North America, she always dreamed of writing gripping stories in which nothing is what it seems. She's hard at work on her next novel in her home office overlooking a Pacific Northwest forest.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,283 reviews
Profile Image for Deanna .
665 reviews12.4k followers
February 7, 2017
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

I was excited when I won this book through a Goodreads give-away. A.J. Banner is a new author to me and I thought this sounded like an interesting read.

Kyra Winthrop is a 34-year-old Marine biologist who has lost her memory after suffering from a head injury she received in a diving accident. She hit her head on a rock and spent a week in intensive care, then over two months in rehab. Physically she's almost completely better but her memory is another story.

Just how much can we trust the people around us? Right now Kyra is having to trust people without remembering who they are....most importantly her husband, Jacob.

How can you not remember the husband you have been married to for three years? It sounds unbelievable but Kyra really doesn't know her husband. She is suffering from a complex form of amnesia and doesn't remember anything from the last four years.

Jacob says they have a wonderful and happy marriage. He's been patient as Kyra essentially gets to know him all over again. She sees all of the pictures from their life, including her wedding pictures. However, Jacob does seem to get annoyed when certain questions are asked.

Could Jacob be keeping something from her?

They are living off the grid on the island. Jacob figures it's the best place to help Kyra to regain her memories. They don't have a landline and the internet is spotty. It can feel very isolating .

Kyra longs to reclaim the four years she's lost. Her inability to concentrate and remember frustrates her.

"Why can't I remember four years of my life? Why only four years? Why not everything? Why not just the accident? Why do I keep forgetting conversations? Pieces of time? The doctors called me an anomaly, an outlier on the spectrum of memory disorders."

She wonders about the moments she's lost and the people she's loved. She's thankful for the husband who stays by her side, but she misses other people. People like her best friend, Linny Strabeck. She hasn't seen her in what feels like forever. She misses her and needs her support (and her memories). But lately their emails have been infrequent and very short. Linny is in Russia. Apparently, Linny spent a week with Kyra while she was in the hospital but then had to return to work. Kyra barely remembers her being there.

Kyra starts to remember some things from before the accident and is also starting to hold on to new memories. But she is frustrated that she can't remember what actually happened the day of the accident. It was apparently just her and Jake on the dive that day. However, she has one recurring dream where she senses someone else with them on their dive....in the shadows. She wakes up before she can figure out who the person in the shadows is.

As more and more things start to come back to Kyra, weird things start happening. She has strange conversations with people in town who remember her, but make comments that seem odd to Kyra.

Do they know something about her marriage that she doesn't? Kyra starts to wonder just how much she knows about her husband.....or herself.

This was an interesting and quick read that flowed well. While I was satisfied with how things wrapped up, I did feel things were a bit rushed with some things left unexplained. There were a few people I would have liked to have learned more about. Maybe a few more pages would have helped to clear some things up? However, maybe it's okay to not know everything.

All in all, this was definitely a good psychological suspense with a well thought out and unique plot. I recommend this book and I look forward to more from A.J Banner.

I would like to thank Touchstone, A.J Banner, and Goodreads Giveaways for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.6k followers
December 6, 2016
There was something so easy about getting caught up in this twisted tale of lies and deception. The characters, the Pacific Northwest setting and the tragedy of it all sucked me in. I found myself completely enamored with this story of a wife that suffered a head injury during a scuba diving excursion and a husband who’s desperate for her to regain her memories of their life together. It’s all very harrowing and incredibly sweet. Or is it?

Can you imagine, not remembering anything from the last four years of your life? Poof . . . all of your memories are just gone, erased, vanished. Only a few scars left in their place instead. You don’t remember marrying your husband, the accident that stole all of those precious moments or even agreeing to move to the house you find yourself living in now. That’s the reality Kyra’s living.

Until the jarring snippets of her memory start to return and they don’t make sense. Kyra's head is a jumbled mess and no one can give her any solace, not even her husband, Jacob. Did she make a terrible mistake before the accident? The unrelenting memories only further fueled my desperation to find out what was really going on. Piecing them together seemed like Kyra’s only shot for getting to the truth and I wanted a front row seat.

And what about her husband, Jacob? Sure he’s doting and caring, but at a point it starts to feel like he’s incredibly controlling and impatient. Why? Is it just the fear of losing her that’s driving his need to know what she’s up to at every moment? I can’t tell you the number of times my feelings for him wavered! I couldn’t decide if he was just overly cautious, he did witness the accident after all, or if there was something more sinister going on. No spoilers here - my lips are sealed.

A. J. Banner is masterful at creating doubt. I was skeptical about everyone and every single thing. I kind of had an inkling of what was going on, but I didn’t want to believe it. I managed to push my theories to the back of my mind and get lost in the suspense of it all. I ended up knocking this out in two sittings because it was impossible to put down. My only wish - I wanted a tiny bit more of a confrontation at the end. Ever the critic, I felt like things were wrapped up too quickly and neatly for my tastes. That’s not to say this wasn’t a thoroughly enjoyable and utterly addictive read.

*THANK YOU to Touchstone and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Linda.
1,231 reviews1,279 followers
September 6, 2016
I received a copy of The Twilight Wife through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Touchstone Publishing and to A.J. Banner for the opportunity.

Deception. And heavy on the saltwater here.

Kyra Winthrop is a marine biologist from Seattle University who is recovering from a traumatic brain injury while diving three months ago. She and her husband, Jacob, are living in his parents' old house on Mystic Island in the Pacific Northwest as a refuge during her recovery.

Kyra is suffering from a "brain reset" in which there is much in the way of a disconnect in her memory log. Bits and pieces shift back and forth never quite locking cohesively together. Jacob, patiently, watches over her and constantly provides a safety net as Kyra tries to make sense of everything. "There isn't any map for recovery, except the one you create for yourself."

And create it should have. The Twilight Wife had all the markings of a really good read in the beginning. But then there were dark passages that should have been enhanced and more secrets and backstory that should have been explored. This storyline demanded a higher level of tension and excitement. It never came. It seemed to fall into the trap of a movie of the week syndrome. Plenty of going through the motions and bike rides, but this never had the element of gaslighting and eeriness that were so desperately needed. Even the ending was wrapped in seashell gift paper.

Perhaps, dear reader, you may find this story intriguing. But intrigue, the deep burden of fear, and the intense shifting sand should have been the bows on this package. Instead, we watched the slight fraying of wrapping twine.

Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
794 reviews12.4k followers
December 11, 2016
3.5 stars

The Twilight Wife has some surprising twists and turns. Fast paced and easy to read, I flew right through this thriller.

Marine biologist Kyra Winthrop suffered a traumatic brain injury in a diving accident leading to memory loss. She walks around with a feeling of unease trying to gather snippets to help her remember the past four years of her life, including marrying her husband Jacob. As Kyra slowly begins to slowly remember the details of her life, she realizes she can’t trust anyone, including herself.

The events in this novel slowly unfold. At times, I was waiting for something to happen, but I was happy with the pay off in the end. I also felt like the ending deserved more attention—it felt rushed and left me with questions.

Overall, this book didn’t knock my socks off, but it has potential!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
November 19, 2016
Kyra Winthrop lives with her husband Jacob on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. She is recovering from a traumatic brain injury as a result of a diving accident. She is struggling with memory issues and cannot remember her life four years prior to the accident. Her husband, aiding in her recovery, provides her with details of the memories that she cannot remember.

Kyra begins to have flashes of memories prior to her accident. Sometimes a scent or a person she meets in town provides her with glimpses of her past life. The combination of these memories and those provided by her husband have her struggling and confused in putting her history together. She becomes suspicious and begins to feel that the landscape of her past is disjointed.

This psychological thriller starts out calm and then midway shifts with unanticipated twists and turns. The book is well narrated and the story flows well. The details in Kyra’s flashbacks provide the backdrop to the tension that builds throughout the story. I enjoyed this novel!

I am giving away 2 signed copies on my blog until 11/21 https://www.facebook.com/suzyapproved...
Profile Image for Caro (Bookaria).
615 reviews19.5k followers
August 4, 2017
This book is an intriguing mystery. Kyra Winthrop has recently suffered a diving accident and wakes up with memory loss. She has long-term memories but has difficulties remembering what has happened in recent years. Fortunately, she has her loving husband Jacob to help and take care of her.

Little by little glimpses of memories and flashbacks start coming back but some of them are disturbing or do not make sense and this is what the book is about, we are in the recovery journey with Kyra and putting back the pieces of her life together. Throughout the novel we discovered about Kyra, her family, her relationships and more.

Overall I enjoyed reading this novel, there was mystery, deception and intrigue. I recommend it to those who enjoy psychological thrillers.
January 12, 2017
3.5 stars. This book kept my full attention from start to finish. The author did a great job of building suspense - the writing kept me on edge and hungry for the next chapter. However, this novel also kept me hungry for more explanation once I finished - there seemed to be important details missing in the actual storyline for me. I would have liked to know more about Jacob's background - both from childhood and more recently "pre-Kyra". Was he always crazy? Also - why didn't someone on the island ever mention to Kyra about the 3rd diver in her accident? The island was such a small place where everyone knew everyone else's business - seems unrealistic that no one would have brought it up to her - librarian, Nancy & Van, restaurant employees, shop owner, Doug? I would have liked to know more surrounding the fallout between Kyra, Aiden and Jacob at the end of the book - things ended a bit quickly and too neatly for me. I also cannot help but compare this book to "Before I Go To Sleep" by S.J. Watson which I absolutely loved. The storyline is very similar but not told nearly as well. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book but there were just several things lacking in the storyline for me. Thank you to the Goodreads Giveaway where I won this book!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Cortney.
101 reviews
October 19, 2016
Two Days! TWO DAYS!!!!! And the ONLY reason it took me that long is because I have a daughter and a full time job, and swim lessons, and everything else that comes along with family life.

If you are looking for a quick read that draws you in with questions upon questions, you have found it!
If you are someone that can throw yourself into a character's shoes without judging them first, then this is for you. Put yourself into Kyra's shoes and feel her pain and her curiosity, the feelings of loss and confusion. It is all there, don't just read the words, feel her emotions.

I will say there are some unanswered questions, a few loose ends, but if you aren't looking for perfection, then this is an excellent choice. The suspense was unreal, the feeling of deceit, but not being sure which way to turn, who to blame. Is Kyra really losing her mind?

I did find myself slightly frustrated with Jacob at times, I can understand his patience level being low after all this time, but she is your wife, and she is struggling... At times his level of perfection seemed a little... mass murder-ish creepy, but he really was trying to comfort his wife... right? I wasn't in love with him, I was much more intrigued by Aiden and even Van at times. I wanted to know, correction NEEDED to know what was going on! I couldn't stop, just one more chapter, and than one more, and then realistically 4-5 more before I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer.

A few of the details in this novel seemed to be a little more "told" than "felt", but primarily you could place yourself in Kyra's shoes and feel her lingering questions and her desire for answers. BUT, once you start hacking into some of those answers your heart just sinks, and for so many reasons.

What I thought was going to happen, did not, which was bitter-sweet. I almost wanted this to be devastating for some reason, I wanted it to tear at my heart. There are hints along the way, and LOTS of them. Some I realized immediately, others I thought might be something, but turned out to be nothing, and then the ones that I blew right by and in the end became very, VERY important. I would re-read this, I believe I would pick up more bits and pieces that I missed through my first read. By the very bitter end, It was rushed. Basically a chapter or two to tie up loose ends, a bit rushed, seemed like more of a "fast-forward and this is the result", which could have been so much more, put this aside and you will most certainly enjoy it.

Although this was not a masterpiece, it is sure to be a hit, it will hold you in your seat and baffle your mind.
Profile Image for Sarah Joint.
445 reviews985 followers
December 22, 2016
There was something so addicting about this book. I couldn't put it down, and consequently blew right through it. I actually stopped to check how many pages it was, because I was reading it almost like a novella, but it's not! Something about the beautiful setting drew me in... a relatively isolated existence on a stunning island with a fascinating mystery.

Kyra was in a tragic diving accident. Most of the damage from it cannot be seen... it's in her head. Her memory has suffered terribly. She can't remember anything that's happened in the last few years, and even her short term memory has been affected. She asks the same questions only a week or so later, because they didn't stay in her brain. Her husband caters to her, cooking and caring for his wife lovingly. He's become very protective, keeping her a bit isolated and wanting to accompany her every time she leaves the house. He worries... who wouldn't? But some things don't add up, and Kyra begins to have flashes of memories with another handsome man. Did she cheat on her supportive husband? Did she want to leave him? She becomes more and more determined to uncover her past and figure out what happened during those missing years. Her internet searches and queries to friends don't get her far. Jacob insists they've always had a happy marriage, but something just doesn't sit right with her.

Thoroughly engrossing, great read. I look forward to more by this author, she writes beautifully.

I received an ARC of this story from Net Galley and Touchstone, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.
Profile Image for Fictionophile .
1,030 reviews331 followers
November 12, 2020
A diving accident in Deception Pass, and four years of memories are missing. All she has are photographs and the assurances of her devoted husband. But what if her memory loss has a more sinister cause?

Kyra and Jacob have a beautiful home near the shore on the sparsely populated Mystic Island. A remote island in the Pacific Northwest, it is part of the San Juan Islands which are located off the northern coast of Washington State. Mystic Island is just twelve miles from end to end.

Still recuperating from her accidental head injury, Kyra, a marine biologist, is being cared for by her husband. He is doting, overattentive, and it would seem, endlessly patient. She has lost her memories of the accident and most of the last four years. Jacob tells her things over and over again. She forgets that she has asked those questions before… He takes photos of her to add to her ‘memory’ albums. She decides, on her own, to stop taking the many medications and try to ‘deal’ with her condition without them. After a few days, her mind seems clearer and she begins to have disturbing recurring dreams. Or… are they memories?

She seems to remember a man… Aiden Finlay. She seems to have strong feelings for him. She wonders… did they have an affair? She doesn’t trust her own brain. Then, Kyra realizes that Jacob has not told her of her medical history. Why? Is he keeping anything else from her?

As the memories increase, she decides to visit a therapist on the island. Her visits to the psychologist are kept secret from Jacob. Kyra bicycles into the small town to visit her. This psychologist assures her she was correct to stop her medications. She provides Kyra with an understanding ear. Eventually, she begins to wonder if Jacob really ‘wants’ her to regain her memory.

When he is not cooking or cleaning the house, Jacob spends his time in their garden cottage working on a novel. A computer genius, he has a tech company in Seattle, but does most of his work from home in order to look after Kyra.

The house is very remote. Most of the islanders are ‘off the grid’, though Jacob’s techie knowledge has helped him to set up a internet connection via satellite router. Strangely, every time Kyra searches her own name or Jacob’s name on Google, the internet connection is lost… Kyra has no family to speak of, only a dear girlfriend who now lives in Russia. Her emails to her friend are one of her only contacts to the outside world.

This domestic thriller will appeal to most psychological thriller fans. It shows how a seemingly idyllic existence can, with just a shade of menace, turn on a dime into a stifling, frightening, nightmare. With a clever plot twist and a satisfying ending this novel is highly recommended!

An eARC of this novel was provided to me by Simon & Schuster Canada via NetGalley in consideration of a review.
Profile Image for *TANYA*.
1,002 reviews290 followers
February 5, 2017
I felt this book was a little too predictable. Granted it held my attention but I think it was only because I kept hoping for "more". A little too bland.
Profile Image for Liz.
2,030 reviews2,543 followers
November 26, 2016

A diving accident left Kyra with a four year gap in her life. Initially, she remembers nothing about her life. And it's not just her past. She forgets what she's already been told and is even foggy on events after the accident. But slowly, glimpses of the past flash through.

Banner does a good job of creating the feeling of anxiety Kyra is feeling. It pulses through her writing. I noticed that I had the same niggling sensation that Kyra did. She gets the psychological part of a psychological thriller - the uncertainty, the lack of trust, that feeling that something isn't quite what it seems. As more memories come back, Kyra discovers discrepancies with what her husband has told her.

This is a fast paced book. It's not a deep book or as well thought through as it could have been, but it is entertaining. There are some loose ends and some storylines that seem to be purposeful red herrings.
My thanks to netgalley and Touchstone for an advance copy of this book.
Profile Image for Fareya.
260 reviews860 followers
June 17, 2017
The Twilight Wife is an anxiety inducing tale of a woman's struggle to regain her lost memory. With a gripping narration and swift pace, this haunting story kept me engaged from start to finish. And yet, I found myself yearning for more. Sure, the plot was compelling but still, it felt lacking in suspense. And also, I foresaw most of the twists.

Kyra Winthrop, a marine biologist is suffering from memory loss, the terrible after effects of a diving excursion gone wrong. She remembers absolutely nothing from the last four years of her life. Living in a beautiful house on one of the remote islands of San Juan, Washington, Kyra is now desperately trying to connect the dots of her life. She doesn't remember her doting, devoted husband Jacob, their wedding, their decision to move on the island or even the diving accident that caused her amnesia.

Until, one day she starts having intermittent visions and occasional flashes. She seems to recall places and incidents from her past. But these brief memory flecks are a haphazard mess. Kyra can't seem to piece them together clearly by herself. When she tries to relate these with the events provided by her husband, Jacob, they do not fit. She is confused and a little lost. She doesn't know whom to trust. Jacob, though a caring and loving husband, starts getting impatient with Kyra's unending questions. At times, he even appears to be quite controlling. How will Kyra uncover her past?

AJ Banner has done a great job building an intriguing plot and creating all kinds of doubts in our minds. Kyra is a solidly developed, very believable protagonist who has the reader's sympathy since the beginning. Her anguish and desperation to put the pieces of her past together are but apparent. Other supporting characters are equally well developed, holding on to their secrets, reveling very little and adding to the mystery.

However, I felt that a lot of questions were left unanswered. Backstories were introduced but not appropriately elaborated. For instance, I was very curious about Jacob's background, some information on his childhood would have been enlightening, but we get nothing. I had a few complaints with the ending too. For one, it was a little too abrupt, as if everything just magically fell into its place. I wanted more, more confrontations, more background, maybe a bit more struggle and more answers.

All that being said, I cannot deny that this was still an enjoyable read with a brooding, angst stricken atmosphere, a taut pace and an engrossing storyline.
Profile Image for Krystin | TheF**kingTwist.
467 reviews1,733 followers
August 28, 2022
Book Blog | Bookstagram

There's not much I can say about it that doesn't completely give the plot's secrets away. Wife has diving accident. Wife has memory loss. Wife starts to remember things that don't make sense. Shit happens.

This is a slower burner, but even for a slow burn the tension, the gaslighting and the suspense that is demanded of such a devious plot were lacking.

It left the characters without personalities and relied on the isolated island to give the plot the atmosphere it needed. And as much as I enjoyed the dreary remote setting, it just wasn't enough to make up for what the characters and plot lacked in thrills.

⭐⭐⭐ | 3 stars
Profile Image for Dorie  - Cats&Books :).
994 reviews2,783 followers
December 11, 2016
I had really been looking forward to this book, I love any story that takes place in the Pacific Northwest and the premise of a diver losing her memory sounded promising.

This story was such a slow read for me I almost gave up on it 50% of the way through but I was promised a thriller and I wanted to know the outcome of this “mystery”.

34 year old Kyra Winthrop suffered a deep sea diving accident during which she hit her head and has lost her memory of the last four years of her life. Her husband, Jacob, is ever present, always attentive, cautioning Kyra to rest, take things slowly and enjoy the island. Mystic island is quite a small place and Kyra begins to remember being there before. The shops seem familiar, the smells of some of the places send flashbacks tumbling through her mind. She meets people who remember her, “from before the accident”, but don’t really know what her life was like on the mainland.

Jacob shows her photo albums of their past visit to the island, their wedding, their diving expeditions and picnics, but Kyra can’t remember any of it. When she sees a picture of Aiden, a good friend of Jacob’s, she has flashbacks of what might have been an affair with Aiden. Her nightmares start to become more and more vivid and revelatory.

An older resident of the island, Douglas Ingram, is an artist and Kyra talks to him about a woman that he frequently paints and realizes that it is Jacob’s mother. He cautions her about Jacob without really giving her any definitive reasons not to trust him. She meets Nan, a young woman who has known Jacob since they were little and again Kyra feels that there is something else in Jacob’s background that she doesn’t remember.

She has fond memories of her best friend “Linny” but the e mails that she receives from her don’t sound like the person she knew at all. She finally begins to ask questions of Linny and receives strange responses, this finally convinces Kyra that something is terribly wrong and that everything is not as it seems.

It is at the 75% point in this book when I finally began to feel some tension and excitement that usually accompanies a good thriller. Kyra visits Jacob’s office and discovers some secrets that he has been hiding.

The last quarter of the book is exciting with extravagant plots exposed and secrets revealed. At this point however, for me, the ending seemed too far fetched and the waiting for the big reveal was just too long.

There was some good writing here for sure. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the island and the marine life and perhaps how wonderful it would be to escape to such an island, but only for a few weeks perhaps.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and I thank them for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Profile Image for Mackey.
1,057 reviews364 followers
February 21, 2017
Apparently retrograde amnesia is a LOT more common than we think since this is the second book I've read about it in as many months. So watch your heads and keep a great Neuro on speed dial because one never can be too careful.
Kyra is an intelligent marine biologist who has suffered a severe head head trauma while diving with her husband. She now is attempting to regain her memory while on a beautiful island surrounded by her husband, his friends and all of the things she loves most in the world. Or are they? You will have to read this delicious little book to find out what really is happening on this island. Enjoy! I did!
Profile Image for Judy Collins.
2,585 reviews362 followers
October 16, 2019
A.J. Banner returns following The Good Neighbor, with the powerfully evocative THE TWILIGHT WIFE —a complex conundrum, a modern-age twisty domestic psychological mystery suspense puzzle of lies, secrets, deception and an intriguing past.

A heart-pounding adventure of one woman's desperate search for answers. Uncovering the truth about those we love. A story, the past, an obsession, a forgotten identity, and pieces of memories- just out of reach.

Kyra Winthrop is recovering from a harrowing diving accident. Her memory is still cluttered and foggy. Her doting husband, Jacob, recounts her past to her, filling in the gaps left by an unusual form of memory loss.

When Kyra begins to remember details that don’t align with what she knows to be true, she must fight through her hazy memory, her isolation, and her own suspicions to discover what—and whom—she can trust.

What happened on the fateful dive on which a woman loses her memory and her life? She is desperate to learn the truth where nothing is as it seems. A constant state of perplexity and confusion. Lies, deception, and dark secrets are revealed slowly as the threads are unraveled.

Kyra is a thirty-four-year-old marine biologist currently recovering from a head injury. She taught at the Seattle University previously they say, and yet she has no memory of those times. Now she has only this secluded Mystic Island in the Pacific Northwest, where the wind blows in the cold from the sea.

She has a husband, Jacob who sticks close by her side, follows her everywhere, her guardian angel. She also has a peculiar recurring dream. She fractured her skull in a diving accident near Deception Pass. The waters are supposedly gorgeous but deadly.

The island haunts her, but she has no conscious memory of the area. Just like water, and things of the sea; they can be dangerous, but beautiful.

She has no memory of her decision to move here. Nor does she recognize the jagged scar on her right thumb, (from a dive) per her husband, Jacob. She barely even remembers her husband. Why does she forget only the four years she missed?

They say her name is Kyra Winthrop (she dropped her maiden name Munin). She has been married to Jacob for nearly three years. Who is this man? How did she end up here?

She is only a shadow of her former self. When she stops taking the meds to clear her mind, she begins a computer search. Jacob was a computer genius educated at MIT and founded his own software company. What else will she find? She had to keep things secret until she solves the mysteries of her past. She is grasping at any clue or person she can find, for answers.

Who is Aiden Finlay? She feels there is someone else. Her husband’s friend? She is disoriented. Does she have repressed memories? Could something terrible have happened? Traumatic? Another diver?

What if her brain is choosing to block out not trauma, but something else altogether? Can she believe Jacob? She questions her marriage. What secrets is her husband hiding? Was there another man? What about Jacob’s past?

From fuzziness, the fog, to dreaming of a yellow house, where nothing is as it appears. From constant confusion, Kara sees herself kissing Aiden one minute and Jacob the next. Was there a third diver?

The more she learns, she becomes afraid for her life, and she had to figure a way out of this madness – a dark nagging cloud of doubt. What was Jacob holding back? A trail of cryptic clues, and a computer genius husband, who is holding all the cards.

Piece by piece, everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion. Who can she trust? Why is Jacob lying to her? Who is this other man who thinks she looks like someone else? She wants her own grasp of memories, not what her husband has told her. She feels something is missing.

“I feel as though my memories stop short, before the storm, at the edge of a precipice leading down into darkness.”

In trying to make sense of her world, Kyra learns about anterograde amnesia (difficulty storing new memories) and retrograde amnesia (difficulty retrieving old ones).

She begins exploring the island, in search of answers to evoke memories—seashells, the contents of her purse, photographs, and the local shops, the B&B inn, and coastal tide pools. (loved this part, which keeps your senses on high alert). Also, she seeks out everyone she can to help her find answers.

A frighteningly cool portrait of a serious sadist, THE TWILIGHT WIFE is a gripping, claustrophobia-inducing thriller. Looks are deceiving. The most dangerous kind. Utterly compelling exploration through the darker side of the human psyche.

Banner creates a strong sense of ambiguity, darkness, confusion with a constant state of obscurity, a perplexing mystery, and an intriguing haunting puzzle.

Jacob and Kyra are both fascinating mysteries, and Banner knows how to maintain the tension from the first page to the last twisty turn. A nice addition to the secondary characters: Van and Nancy, as well as Doug (enjoyed his connection).

As a reader, you do not know who to trust, and who is dangerous. Compellingly hypnotic with a spellbinding seaside remote setting, adding to the ongoing strong sense of foreboding and mystery, combined with beautiful lyrical prose, well researched, and fascinating sea life, making this an absorbing read.

For fans of Kate Moretti, Kimberly S. Belle, Mary Kubica, Susan Crawford, and BA Paris. Looking forward to the next!

I also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Cassandra Campbell, my Top 2016 Audio Narrator for a mesmerizing performance! She has an ideal voice for the role, with her soothing voice to transport you.

Ideal for book clubs or discussions. Would make a great movie!

A special thank you to Touchstone & NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Also purchased the audiobook (love Cassandra Campbell - my favorite narrator!)


A Conversation with A. J. Banner "What significance does the title hold to the narrative?"
"The word twilight suggests falling away into darkness, the strange, dreamlike in-between time, when day isn’t quite finished and night hasn’t quite begun. Kyra hovers in that limbo, not entirely herself without her memory and plunging into a terrifying night as her life unravels.

However, she also finds beauty and hope in the twilight. She remembers magical nights when she walked the beach and discovered unusual marine species beneath the moonlight. And night always becomes day again. Darkness leads to dawn. She discovers her own inner strength and reclaims her life."

Look for her latest After Nightfall Coming Aug. 7, 2018! It is amazing. Top Books of 2018 5 Stars ++.
Profile Image for Lashaan Balasingam.
1,361 reviews4,621 followers
March 4, 2018
You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

Psychological thrillers are growing in popularity nowadays. Everywhere you go, you’re bound to see a new one ready to become the next big thing. The appeal behind this genre is however far from being superficial. The narrator, the characters, the pacing and the twists all come together to form a truly enthralling story. From the bestselling author of The Good Neighbor, A.J. Banner now dives into the story of a marine biologist who, after a dangerous diving expedition that resulted in a traumatic head injury, is now confronted with a severe case of amnesia that took away four long years from her memory. Under the care of her dear husband on a remote island, Kyra Winthrop starts to get flashes of past events, bringing her not only to doubt herself, but to doubt everyone around her. The Twilight Wife takes readers by the hand and carries them along with Kyra as she slowly uncovers her past. While doubt remains her biggest enemy during these tough times, it also transpires as her greatest ally in distinguishing fact from fiction.

The pacing was quick, steady and efficient. As short as the novel was, The Twilight Wife managed to deliver a compelling thriller that has you second-guessing everything that is thrown at you. Having a narrator who’s suffering from amnesia can be tricky if the author doesn’t manage to sell the authenticity of the character’s personality properly. Luckily for us, A.J. Banner does a formidable job in presenting Kyra as an individual troubled by her incapacity of remembering the past and by her consistent need to get more details and answers from others to reconstitute the broken puzzle of her life. Thanks to a well-written prose, the author was also able to keep a high level of suspense thorough the whole novel. Giving us only little drops of truth when you least expect it, The Twilight Wife brings about a desire to find answers as desperately as Kyra. While these urges to reach the ending as soon as possible and to always thread carefully whenever something enigmatic is presented are common among psychological thrillers, this novel does an outstanding job at staying engaging and fresh throughout the story.

The writing is pretty lyrical at times and also gave the novel a distinct smoky vibe. There’s nothing like a story that has you hunting for those lost memories as fiercely as Kyra. Clawing your way through the hazy island mists, it’s also hard not to want to believe in what Kyra believes. Although I was quite wary of everything she saw, felt and heard, the author still manages to deliver an immersive thriller. Contributing to the ability of this story to keep you hooked, the author also succeeds in delivering a tale that has the atmosphere fluctuating to the protagonists mood and behaviors (or maybe its the other way around). Being secluded on an island with very little people does already wonders to suspense in this novel, but feeling that the island itself is hiding something that needs to be unveiled adds so much more tension to Kyra’s story. Her conflicted self that’s being put through an accelerated rush to untangle all the memories that slowly resurface grants readers a character with a truly tormented soul and a vast array of emotions. As the plot thickens and the twists unfolds, you certainly can’t prevent yourself from feeling bad and in awe for the situation she’s in and how things came to be.

A quick and excellent psychological thriller, The Twilight Wife has everything it needs to capture your attention from cover to cover. While the ending was predictable, the execution was still satisfying. The final twist was dealt with pretty quickly and could’ve been stretched out a little more so that readers can really feel the blow. In fact, it would’ve been even more exceptional if the twist was a little more darker and messy. By the end of the book, the story gets neatly wrapped up with a lot of questions left unanswered. Nonetheless, the story of Kyra Winthrop remains riveting and well-conceived. The subjects of trust and doubt were brilliantly explored and offered us the opportunity to indulge a story where nothing ever seems like what it is. Even when you think you know, A.J. Banner makes sure to remind you that you’re just as lost and unsure as Kyra is during her hunt for answers. This is the story of Kyra, where the truth is nothing pretty.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me an Advance Copy for review!

Yours truly,

Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer
Official blog: http://bookidote.wordpress.com

Ohhhh, that was pretty well-written. The suspense was right there. Got me hungry to retrieve memories as much as the protagonist. Also nice to have an unreliable narrator, especially when she manages to have you believing in what she believed (unless you're a wary reader who likes to second-guess everything like I do). I liked how artistic the descriptions were as well; as if nature and character were one. I would've preferred a less rushed ending, and something much more darker. While I saw the ending coming, the delivery was still pretty decent. Excellent psychological thriller; a quick read too.

P.S. Full review to come really soon

Yours truly,

Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer
Official blog: http://bookidote.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews.
1,915 reviews273 followers
March 13, 2018
The Twilight Wife is one of those books that has been compared to bestselling domestic based psychological suspense novel’s such as S.J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep and Mary Kubica’s The Good Girl. I enjoyed both the above novels and my introduction to the work of A.J. Banner, the author of The Twilight Wife. I can see A.J. Banner employs some of the main ideas from the popular novels such as Before I Go To Sleep, but she has made her book stand on its own two feet, without needing these comparisons.

The Twilight Wife centres on the story of a thirty four year old marine biologist, Kyra Winthrop. Recently, Kyra was involved in a diving accident which has robbed her of her memories of the last four years. Kyra’s memory loss is fractured. This means she receives glimpses or flashes of parts of her life but it is a puzzle that she is unable to solve. As Kyra hides away on an isolated island with her doting husband Jacob, she utilises the small relationships she has on the island to work on regaining her memory. The key figures helping her to regain her memory are her husband Jacob, friends and neighbours. As Kyra’s memory slowly comes back to her she begins to fear that she cannot trust those around her, are they telling her the whole truth? Kyra’s visions are not pretty ones, giving her an insight into her life before the accident which was far from perfect. Marriage trouble, medications, glimpses of a third party involved in her accident all don’t seem to add up to Kyra. It is a hard and fast game for Kyra to uncover the truth to her life before the accident. Is it a truth she is willing to confront?

A.J. Banner has squeezed every last drop of suspense as she can in her second book and the first I have read by this author. This novel was a relatively short read and I was able to whip through it quite quickly. The approach the author of The Twilight Wife has adopted lends to this book being read in a short and sharp session, if you are able to and it certainly helps to enhance the intensity of the story.

The Twilight Wife tackles a subject that explored quite frequently in psychological suspense novels in recent times, amnesia. The lead character in Banner’s novel, Kyra, has suffered from a diving accident that has robbed her of her memories for the last few years. The use of memory loss as a narrative device works well in The Twilight Wife and the air of uncertainty, mistrust and ambiguity as we, along with the lead Kyra go through made this book all the more interesting to read.

The lead character Kyra Winthrop is a protagonist that the reader is develop a sense of empathy for. I could feel Kyra’s confusion, frustration and lack of trust through the pages of this novel, which is aided by Banner’s prose. I found the process of Kyra regaining her memory an interesting one. Banner doesn’t have a huge amount of secondary characters and this ensures that the red herring factor is kept to a minimum. Each of the supporting characters has a decent role to play in Kyra’s predicament.

Kyra’s background in marine biology links well to the main setting of The Twilight Wife, which is based on an isolated coastal island off the Pacific Northwest in the US. Banner’s descriptions of the setting are full of great coastal based imagery, which demonstrates her obvious research in the area of marine biology. The setting descriptions and Kyra’s background came across as authentic. I appreciated learning some technical terms about the ecosystem of the ocean. It adds a unique spin to this domestic based tale.

Readers will find they are soon immersed in this book, for me this happened very early on in the novel. The chapters are succinct but cleverly pitched, so the reader is fed a vital clue to the story at the close of each chapter. For me, it meant that I was hard pressed to turn my eyes away from this book. The pace is almost relentless and in the last pivotal three chapters it races even further, as Kyra closes in on the reality of her life before the accident. The end result was a neat one and a conclusion that I felt satisfied with.

The Twilight Wife is a tension filled, lighter style domestic suspense novel that may suit those new to this genre or for readers looking for a quick and fast read. I appreciated the lack of darkness and although the crime committed in this novel is unforgivable, it isn’t absolutely shocking. Save this one for an uninterrupted continuous read, for the weekend or a holiday, it delivers.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
315 reviews34 followers
August 16, 2017
I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

2 stars, and I am surprised that I even finished it. Not to be harsh, but in all honesty, been there, read that. This is the same story line over and over about a woman who loses her memory in a traumatic event, is being told by her perfect husband that everything is fine and dandy, she starts to get her memories back and realizes things really aren't fine and dandy. And the Twilight Wife is no different.

Maybe I have just read too many books in this genre or with this same plot, but there wasn't anything that happened that surprised me and I only finished the book because I wanted to see if I was right (I was).

If you haven't read a book yet about the "Woman who loses her Memory", then I would suspect that you would thoroughly enjoy this book. The writing is well done and you likely won't suspect the ending. However, if you have read any other book, such as Before I Go to Sleep or The Girl from the Sea, then I wouldn't bother.

Profile Image for Yellagirlgc.
402 reviews42 followers
December 24, 2016
I received a copy from NetGalley for my review.

Kyra had a diving accident and can't remember 4 years of her life. Which includes the years she's been married to her husband Jacob. With Jacobs patience she wishes the memories return so she can share in his obvious love for her. Memories trickle in at times but she doesn't know if there memories or nightmares.
I loved Kyra. She never stopped in her pursuit of the truth. She took no ones word at face value. I also loved the islands the book talked so vividly about. I felt like I was right there.
154 reviews4 followers
April 11, 2017
More reviews are available on my blog:

Kyra suffers from amnesia after a scuba diving accident and must rely on her doting husband to help her remember so many things that she has forgotten. Kyra can't remember much of what has happened before the accident and even forgets what happens after the accident, making relationships with others difficult. Jacob gave up his job to take care of Kyra and moved her to an island home. He seems to be her dream husband, as so many people tell her. Soon, Kyra begins to question the memories that Jacob has tried to help Kyra remember as she begins to have memories of her own.

This story moves a bit slowly, for my tastes. There was too much about scuba diving and marine biology that I felt didn't contribute much to the story. The book is pretty short but it just didn't move as quickly as most thrillers that I read do. I did enjoy the story, though, and there was plenty of suspense. The characters were interesting. Kyra is likeable and Jacob is strange, but in a way that is fun to read about. The twists at the end made this book worth it and I would encourage any reader that is struggling with the slow start to continue, as it was a real thrill, in the end.

Thank you to Netgalley and Touchstone for an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Crime by the Book.
192 reviews1,610 followers
November 2, 2016
I had very mixed feelings on this book. It's a good choice for readers looking for a lighter suspense novel, but I was hoping for a bit more from it - I guessed all of its plot twists very early on, and generally hoped for more tension and intrigue throughout the story. On the plus side, I enjoyed its atmosphere and fast pace. Again, totally mixed feelings on this one. Full review on the blog!

Profile Image for Linda Hart.
733 reviews140 followers
June 10, 2019
The twilight wife, is a domestic thriller with a compelling storyline. It is a very quick read, which was exactly what I needed. A.J. Banner, the author, is good at getting the reader hooked on the very first page and then constantly guessing and wondering what is going to happen next. A great literary escape.
Profile Image for Touchstone Books.
36 reviews240 followers
September 8, 2016
We are so insanely excited about publishing this fantastic read! Everyone on the Touchstone team devoured it in one sitting, and working with A.J. Banner is a delight. Just when you think you have it all figured out, the final twist catches you completely by surprise. Thriller fans, add it to your shelf!
Profile Image for Bridget.
Author 0 books85 followers
March 28, 2018
I almost passed this one up and I’m so glad I didn’t! I’m surprised the ratings aren’t a tad higher. It was great! The only reason I gave it a 4 and not 5 is because the beginning was a teensy slow. But it’s a solid 4.25 stars! I loved Kyra and I could really feel her struggle and heart breaking while trying to regain her memories and form new bonds. The characters were very likable and some I loved to hate! Great book! And the audio version was AMAZING as well!
Profile Image for L.A. Starks.
Author 11 books653 followers
March 1, 2018
Just as there is a wind direction west-southwest (WSW) that is not the same as southwest (SW), so too this book is suspense-romantic suspense and not romantic suspense.

Readers will be turning the pages to learn what memories the protagonist can recover, until she finally is able to solve the mystery of what happened to her.

A nice twist on plotting chronology, some interesting science, and the northwest setting is superb.
Profile Image for Barbara.
645 reviews49 followers
February 9, 2017
The Twilight Wife is perfect for fans of S.J. Watson's, Before I Go To Sleep. You will be helpless to put it down until the very astonishing end. Kyra Winthrop is a marine biologist living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. She is recovering from a head injury suffered while scuba diving and is struggling with terrible memory loss. For Kyra it's hard to know what memories to trust. She relies heavily on her husband to fill in the blanks in her mind. She is recovering on the seemingly idyllic island of her husband's youth. The island residents all seem to want to aid her recovery, but when some memories surface that appear contrary to what her husband has told her, she begins to question who she can trust. With each flashback, Kyra struggles to piece her past together. Each day Kyra remembers more, but why does she feel more scared with each passing day? The author's well-crafted writing, taut with suspense will leave you no choice but to succumb to a marathon reading session to the very last page.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,343 reviews701 followers
September 21, 2017
“The Twilight Wife” is one of those psychological suspense novels that is difficult to put down. For me, it did start slow in that it was a slow simmer. From the beginning the story is intriguing: a marine biologist suffers a memory loss after a scuba diving accident. What’s odd is that she lost her last 4 years, and 3 years ago she was married. In other words, she doesn’t recall her husband, their marriage or their life. To help her recovery, her husband takes her to a secluded island where his family has a house. While on the island, bits and pieces of her memory come back and are in conflict with what her husband tells her.

Isolated island; little internet; spotty cell phone service…..perfect components in a psychological thriller. The middle towards the end of the novel is enough suspense to keep even an early bird up late at night. Author A.J. Banner paces this beautifully. This is the prefect novel for transportation and vacation. I highly recommend it! Thank you GR friend Suzanne for reviewing this and putting it on my radar!
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