THE WIFE BETWEEN US by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen | Summary, Themes & Synopsis

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TitleThe Wife Between Us
AuthorsGreer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Publication DateJanuary 2, 2018
PublisherPan Macmillan
GenrePsychological thriller
Number of Pages346
SettingNew York City
ReceptionThe book debuted at number two on The New York Times Best Seller list and had both economic and critical success. It received appreciation for its surprises and turns as well as for its powerful female characters.
AdaptationsThe decision to make a cinematic adaptation of the novel was made by Anonymous Content and FilmNation Entertainment.


The main characters of The Wife Between Us are:

  • Vanessa Thompson- The protagonist of the novel, a woman who was once married to Richard and is struggling to move on with her life.
  • Richard Thompson- Vanessa’s wealthy and charming ex-husband, who is now engaged to someone else.
  • Nellie- Richard’s new fiancée, a young woman who works at Saks Fifth Avenue.
  • Emma- Richard and Vanessa’s teenage daughter, who is caught in the middle of her parents’ divorce.
  • Aunt Charlotte- Vanessa’s supportive and caring aunt, who helps her through her struggles.
  • Maureen- Vanessa’s friend and confidante, who is also going through a divorce.


  • Relationships- The story explores the difficulties that can arise in love relationships, especially marriage as well as the power dynamics that may occur.
  • Deception- The theme of deception runs through the whole novel, with individuals keeping their actual identities and purposes hidden from one another.
  • Reality vs. perception- The story explores the concept that appearances can be deceptive and that what we see and perceive may not necessarily be genuine.
  • Control- The issue of control is explored in the novel, with people attempting to gain control over others either subtly or overtly.
  • Revenge- In the novel, characters seek vengeance on those who have harmed them. As the individuals’ reasons are exposed, the storyline changes.
  • Mental health- It discusses difficulties with mental health, such as how trauma, sadness and anxiety may influence people and their relationships.

The Wife Between Us Summary

At the starting of the Novel, Vanessa, a lady in her mid-thirties, struggles to move on from her broken marriage to Richard . In addition to working as a sales assistant at Saks Fifth Avenue and residing in a little apartment, Vanessa is seeing a therapist to help her with her sadness and anxiety.

The novel progressively reveals Vanessa’s past, including the mistreatment she suffered at Richard’s hands and the lengths she took to protect others and herself from him.

Nellie is the second main character. She is a middle-aged kindergarten teacher who is very much excited to be engaged to Richard. But she soon realizes that Richard is lot more complex than he initially seems.

Nellie continues to experience strange occurrences such as anonymous phone calls and emails and also she starts to sense someone keeping eye on her. She starts worrying about few things like, Richard is hiding something from her or that she is the target of an attack.

As the story continues, Richard is shown to be an entirely distinct man. He is controlling and manipulative in nature and has a bad behavior towards women.

Vanessa tries to warn Nellie about Richard’s actual character as she grows more concerned about her safety. Nellie, who believes Vanessa to be bitter and jealous of her relationship with Richard, is reluctant to believe her.

The final twist is exceptionally unexpected and satisfying since it defies the reader’s presumptions about the characters and their intentions.

In the ending one more surprise awaits readers that Emma is daughter of a college professor who had an affair with Vanessa. In an effort to take revenge on Vanessa for her role in the breakdown of her parents’ marriage, Emma had an affair with Richard. However, she now regrets it after learning that Vanessa was not aware of the professor’s family.


The novel’s ability to examine the complexity of relationships is one of its strongest points. The book explores how people’s pasts and secrets might affect their present and future relationships rather than just focusing on a broken marriage or a love triangle.

The tale demonstrates how the distinction between good and wrong may become hazy and how individuals can be both abuse victims and abusers.

The novel’s use of numerous narrators to narrate the plot is another highlight.

The novel is able to convey a detailed and complicated picture of the people and their relationships by letting readers witness the tale from the perspectives of Vanessa, Nellie and Emma.

Readers are required to continually reconsider their impressions of the characters and their actions since each narrator has their own reasons and secrets.

The novel’s storyline may be regarded as being unnecessarily complicated by certain readers, which is one of its flaws. Some readers might find it challenging to keep track of all the characters and their intentions given the novel’s many unexpected flips and turns. The conclusion may also seem abrupt or excessively predictable to certain readers.

The psychological thriller “The Wife Between Us” examines the intricacies of relationships and how people’s pasts and secrets may affect their present and future. It is tense and thought-provoking overall.

Although some readers might find the narrative to be unnecessarily complicated, the novel’s use of various narrators and unexpected plot twists make for an engaging and thrilling read.

About the Authors- Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Full NameGreer Hendricks
GenreThriller, Suspense
Notable Works“The Wife Between Us” (with Sarah Pekkanen), “An Anonymous Girl” (with Sarah Pekkanen), “You Are Not Alone” (with Sarah Pekkanen)
EducationStudied Journalism at Columbia University
Social MediaTwitter: @greerkh
Instagram: @greer.hendricks
Full NameSarah Pekkanen
BornMarch 11, 1970
GenreWomen’s fiction, Contemporary fiction, Domestic drama
Notable WorksThe Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat, The Best of Us, The Perfect Neighbors, The Wife Between Us, An Anonymous Girl
CollaborationsThe Wife Between Us (with Greer Hendricks), An Anonymous Girl (with Greer Hendricks)
EducationBS in Journalism, University of Maryland
Social MediaTwitter: @sarahpekkanen, Instagram: @sarahpekkanen, Facebook: @sarahpekkanenbooks


What is “The Wife Between Us” about?

In the psychological novel “The Wife Between Us,” Vanessa, a young lady, develops an obsession with Nellie, her ex-husband’s new fiancée. But nothing is as it seems and when the truth of their connection is uncovered, the story eventually takes a variety of unexpected twists.

Who are the authors of “The Wife Between Us”?

The Wife Between Us is written by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, who are both American authors.

What happens at the end of The Wife Between Us?

The ending comes with a surprise that Emma is the child of a college professor with whom Vanessa had an affair during college times.

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