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A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  9,965 ratings  ·  1,101 reviews
What do you do when you discover that the person you've built your life around never existed? When "it could never happen to me" does happen to you?

These are the questions facing Jen Waite when she begins to realize that her loving husband--the father of her infant daughter, her best friend, the love of her life--fits the textbook definition of psychopath. In a raw, first
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published July 11th 2017 by Plume Books
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Sarah Jarrett I've just written my review of this book. I too survived a sociopath. It was gut wrenching opening some old wounds to read this, but in the end I was …moreI've just written my review of this book. I too survived a sociopath. It was gut wrenching opening some old wounds to read this, but in the end I was left cold. Her memoir seems so self serving and dark. It's a real shame as having a book that recounts the horrors while also providing 'hope' and inspiration to survivors would have been so much stronger. Perhaps waiting a few more years to write it after surviving would have provided her with that perspective. But regardless, kudos to her for trying to bring light to an all too familiar subject.(less)
Kim There is some profanity, though I'd argue it's justified. Also, there are a few sexual scenes, though not particularly detailed.…moreThere is some profanity, though I'd argue it's justified. Also, there are a few sexual scenes, though not particularly detailed.(less)

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Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
GR friend Julie described reading A Beautiful, Terrible Thing as "gawking at a train wreck". My feelings exactly. And let me add a few other feelings:

-While clearly personally devastating, Ms. Waite's experience of betrayal -- of having been duped by her ex husband -- is sadly not that unusual. I can think of a few people I know who have had similar experiences -- some of them far more jaw dropping.
-I hope for Ms. Waite that in the years to come -- especially when her daughter becomes old enoug
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Nia Forrester
Jul 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Wow. I don't know what I missed, but this read like the self-indulgent recounting of the end of a relationship, but definitely not something so shocking it merited a memoir. I felt like I was listening to a self-centered friend tell a story of woe as though she was the only person in the world to ever have her heart broken by an unscrupulous man. Her husband cheated, and lied while she was pregnant, and was stunningly dishonest about his affair when confronted with the evidence. At times, he was ...more
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it

In this memoir, Jen Waite tells the story of her failed marriage. I decided to read the book after I saw the author being interviewed on television, and became curious about her tragic tale.

Jen Waite


The date January 20, 2015 will be forever etched on Jen Waite's brain. It was on that day - when her baby Louisa was 3 weeks old - that Jen saw the e-mail from her husband Marco Medina to a real estate broker.

Jen Waite with her baby Louisa

The message read, "My girlfriend and I have decided to g
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, memoir
I struggled to finish listening to this memoir,A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal by Jen Waite. This audiobook, narrated by the author, was described as an account of this young woman's "heartbreaking discovery" of " life-destroying lies" and what her life was like in the aftermath of her "demolished marriage." I admit... I was pulled in by the dramatic words and I had the impression that something extraordinary must have occurred between this woman, Jen Waite, and he ...more
E-galley provided by Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group and Author, Jen Waite for my honest opinion. To be published July 11, 2017

What if the man you thought you married turned out to be someone else entirely? What do you do when your dream guy, the father of your infant daughter, turns out to be a liar, a cheat, possibly even a sociopath? In retrospect would you see the signs?

Using a format of alternating chapters of Before and After, Jen Waite does her best to tell her story so others might
Julie Ehlers
This memoir felt half-baked to me. Waite's conclusion that her ex-husband is a psychopath is based on her internet searches, which are recounted here in not-so-fascinating detail. Without something more definitive than that, though, it was hard for me to know what to think. I mean, he was a terrible husband, there's no doubt about that, but I was also baffled at Waite's own behavior—specifically the way she seemed to be in the habit of snooping into his private messages from early on in their co ...more
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was Jen’s BEST revenge, her ex-husband Marco, is an imbecile!! I hope Jen got her HEA and I hope Marco’s thing shrivels up and falls off!!! BOOM!! That’s it, it’s not asking for too much, is it??
♥ Sandi ❣
4 stars - publishes 7/11/17
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 h
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
2 stars

Read through the courtesy of NetGallery and PENGUIN GROUP Blue Rider Press & Plume

When you let yourself think that you are only worth what others see in you, then you will end up as the author of this autobiography has. She placed herself and immersed herself so much in Marco, a three time failure in his relationships with women. Letting one become so enraptured that you do not even see human weakness set Ms Waite up for what Marco did and what he was.

Marco was a sociopath and he pr
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Spoiler alert! The author wins.

Anybody that can write such a raw, honest, and relatively objective narrative of their own marriage deserves a standing ovation. The story itself is not unique if you know about Chump Lady. What is unique is that the author lets the reader in on the journey, the events, and the emotions. She doesn't try to pretty her own story up to make it more horrible, she simply narrates the relationship.

It's a storybook fairytale which might be a spoiler in and of itself. Mar
AJ Strosahl
Sep 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is embarrassing and I can't believe it was published. It's got everything: a self-important, histrionic narrator; grossly regressive gender politics with dashes of overt homophobia and frequent fat-shaming; junior-high-level writing and insight; at least 1 million uses of the word 'babe'. . . and, of course, riveting descriptions of the author Googling the symptoms of sociopathy and psychopathy.

Marco sounds like a shitheel, no doubt. But there's nothing shocking here, he certainly isn'
Jul 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Ugh, I didn't like this book.

After reading the description, I took the last word in the title--betrayal--and expected something mind-bending and completely unbelievable to compel me to read all 258 pages of this. This book was neither of those things. Sure, Ms. Waite's husband is guilty of being a cheating and lying jerk, but how is this different from thousands of other people whose lives are ruined by a partner's infidelity? I also understand that she was deeply hurt by his actions (as I woul

I received an ARC of this book through Penguin First to Read. Thank ya!

Oh my God, my friends. This book...this book is WILD.

I have this really terrible habit of requesting ARCs without really looking into them. And this book was no exception. All I knew was that this was, essentially, a nonfiction thriller about a marriage. And that’s not totally what I got, but damn if it wasn’t close. HOW FUN IS THAT?!

So we follow the author, Jen, in chapters that alt
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 ...more
Valerity (Val)
Jen tells her story very well and believably but I couldn't help but feel she may have blinded herself to the signs for a while, as some women do. Some of us are even raised that way I think after watching our mothers do similar things. Thank goodness she made the choices she did though, once she figured things out. Oh, and what a guy her husband turns out to be! This ended up being a page-turner I stayed up late reading. My thanks to NetGalley, Plume and the author for providing me with an ARC ...more
Jul 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Everyone goes through bad times. Hearts are broken, people come in and out of your life, and things just don’t turn out the way you had hoped. Most of us, however, put on our big girl pants and shoulder on. Yes, perhaps you allow yourself a few days of tears and despair but seriously, Jen Waite, MONTHS and MONTHS of non-ending navel gazing and self-pity? I can’t begin to tell you how impatient I became with this woman’s non-ending “woe is me” dialogue. She was fortunate; she had a beautiful chil ...more
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
A couple of years ago a friend told me I needed to read this book. She had seen me through a pretty rough on and off relationship and that, coupled with the fact the author had lived in Astoria (my current city), I was extremely intrigued and bought it immediately - where it sat on my kindle for way too long.

If you have ever been in a relationship where it seems one day he or she is madly in love with you to them doing a complete turnaround and makes you feel less than... then this will be a re
Kater Cheek
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
I honestly thought I would like this book more, since I went through something so similar. It should have hit me right in the feels, as if someone who also lost her father as a child read Judy Blume's Tiger Eyes. I mean, how common is "woman finds out her beloved is a cheating douchebag?" It's almost like a coming-of-age trope. The first true love. The first time someone important dies. This book is "the first time the person you loved most in the world betrays you for the most grotesquely selfi ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.

While I thought this book had great promise, ultimately I was underwhelmed. This memoir of a troubled marriage is told in a dual narrative, from both before and after the moment Jen begins to suspect her husband of cheating on her.

Jen meets her husband Marco and falls hard and fast, and he appears to feel the same way. The "before" chapters show a generally happy life, as they get married, start a business together, and get pregnant. The
Jen Waite had been in New York City pursuing her dream of becoming an actress for two years when she started working at a restaurant for extra cash. It was here that she met Marco Medina, a handsome Argentinian bar manager, and they fell head-over-heels in love. All the clichés: a green card, a successful business venture, a baby on the way, an idyllic wedding on the beach in Maine. And then the whole thing fell apart. “Marco was always an illusion; the best magic trick I’ve ever seen,” Waite ma ...more
I'm not sure how long I had this ARC before I started reading it, but it was apparently long enough for me to forget it was a memoir. It happens sometimes, but I usually remember once I start reading. As I read it over the weekend, I was convinced I was reading an engrossing psychological thriller... until I read the acknowledgements at the end. That's when I realized I was actually reading a memoir. All of this actually happened. The chill that went through me at this realization was far more i ...more
☘Tara Sheehan☘
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Grab a box of Kleenex, a glass of wine and be prepared to have your heart ripped out because this is probably the most heartbreaking book I’ve ever read. When you’re done reading hopefully you’ll feel like nominating Jen Waite for an award as much as I did, if only for being so brave to create this epic tome of raw honesty. She doesn’t withhold any punches as she lifts the mirror to her life and broadcasts that image for all to see.

This memoir made me want to slap Marco hard enough to spin his
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
If you're expecting anything deep in this book then put it down. This is just one sob story that isn't particularly interesting. I'm sure it was hard for the author but nothing here warranted a book.

Basically, Jen's hubby cheats on her when their baby was a couple weeks old and she leaves him. That's... literally everything. Basically, he worshipped the ground she walked on until he didn't. We get very long descriptions of her depression but that's all. Eventually, she tries to find the reason
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Infidelity, cowardice and a propensity to lie do not necessarily make a psychopath. That's my take on this book.
I gave it two stars because it promised to be an interesting story for the first fifty or so pages, but it's not particularly well written and it isn't what the publisher touts it as. It's one of the most disappointing memoirs I've read.
Débora Vagos
Sep 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly? Where do I start...

I read the first few pages and was hooked. I was so intrigued to find out which deep, dark secret she had uncovered. When I realized, halfway through, that her husband's biggest secret, while very disgusting, was nothing notable, I realized that I was simply wasting my time and that I would finish the book simply to warn others about it.

I feel sorry for her, I truly do. Her situation is horrible and vile; but honestly, this book reads like a high school girl gossipi
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Ok, I read this for a co-worker and friend of decades length. (A special rec, that she left for me with a note at my pick up ILL library location.) And now I think she did this as part of long shared conversations in the past, as a joke. And she did it, for sure she got me. Oh, did you make me laugh. Peggy, Peggy, Peggy- you really are a precious card.

I know that I will be judged harshly for thinking this memoir humorous in any aspect. But from my friend's eyes and mine too- it just seems so. Es
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Beautiful Terrible Thing is the title of author Jen Waite’s compelling new memoir, and accurate description of her five year marriage to Marco. Originally in the US illegally from Argentina, Marco was already in a relationship, and had a young son by a different woman, when they met at work. Marco was loving, charming and swept her off her in a whirlwind romance. Marco’s was her best friend and soul mate, they never fought or argued. After the birth of their daughter the illusion of her perfec ...more
Skyler Autumn
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

Review to come.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This memoir of a woman who falls in love with the perfect man and finds out that he is not what he seems is painful to read. Jen, an aspiring actress who takes a waitressing job between casting calls, falls for handsome Latin bartender Marco. Is he a liar, or a sociopath, or just an incorrigible flirt, as he claims? Can anyone believe a man who tells his employer he is taking paternity leave (when his wife and baby are in another state with her parents) and spends the time with his mistress? Psy ...more
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comment 2 15 Sep 13, 2018 06:13PM  

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