- The Good: Strong female protagonists, clones, and mystery!
- The Bad: Heavy on the thrills and light on the science
- The Literary: Quick and easy chapters practically turn the pages themselves
When scientist and clone researcher Evelyn Caldwell accepts a major award, her husband and fellow scientist is notably absent. Evelyn thought that all their long hours and devotion to work made them a team, but her husband wants a housewife and children after all. Evelyn knows this because her husband is having an affair. And not just with another woman, but with an illegally grown clone of Evelyn herself, designed to be patient, gentle, and obedient, the wife Evelyn could never be.
The Echo Wife is such a fun book. It’s easy to root for Evelyn. She’s driven and believes in her work. She’s smart and sometimes controlling or short, but that’s only because she has the same expectations of others as she does for herself. She’s in shock when her husband leaves her, hurt that he left for a different version of her, and angry she can’t tell anyone. Clones are strictly regulated, and even though Evelyn knows her husband stole her research notes, she knows she would get in trouble as well.
The narrative is fast paced, with several twists and turns, so you’ll be turning to the next chapter when you should be going to sleep. There’s some discussion of clone rights as individuals, but I would enjoy more. Ultimately, it’s the exploration of trust and the damage of abuse that elevates the story. Eveyln’s childhood is full of abuse and secrets and turns her into the highly un-collaborative adult she is. The only person she let in didn’t love her for who she was. Then there’s the clone, who has to come to terms with being a creation of someone else, always doubting whether her choices are her own or her programming.
Highly entertaining quick read! An easy introduction into scifi by way of a mainstream mystery thriller!