The novel opens encountering Abbie awakening from a deep sleep and finding her husband Tim by her side. He is there to take her home and care for her there.
When they arrive at their home, he relates an incredible story to Abbie. What she must grasp is that five years ago Abbie disappeared suddenly. Tim became completely distraught and finally began looking to fix the problem as only he is able to. It seems that Tim owns a company that has made millions via the building of robots for various uses by people. He looked to fix his problem by creating a robotic Abbie to live with him. A fascinating concept and of course the basis for a great read.
But there is more making the story even better. The story narrated by the artificial Abbie begins to build by slowly creating an image of Tim as not quite the man he pretends to be. In examination the reader will realize that there is much more to be told and will continue to read and change opinions about what is really going on several times.
Delaney, in an afterward, indicates that he and his wife have an autistic son that they are raising as best they can and continually looking for advances in treatment. Abbie, before her disappearance, and Tim have an autistic son and are doing in the fictionalized account everything possible to work with him. The robot Abbie has many of the original’s memories implanted and does encounter a maternal feeling for the child continuing to care for him.
Without delving further into the plot of the book (in order to not spoil it for the reader) I can only indicate that is a fascinating novel and one that will keep the reader glued to the pages until finished. Certainly the idea is a different approach to writing a book and one that will keep any reader on the lookout for further novels by Delaney.
8/19 Paul Lane
THE PERFECT WIFE by J. P. Delaney. Ballantine Books (August 6, 2019). ISBN 978-1524796747. 432p.