A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal by Jen Waite
A Beautiful, Terrible Thing – “Like Big Little Lies, A Beautiful Terrible Thing is a startling reminder that fairy tales aren’t real. A master class in suspenseful storytelling, Jen Waite recounts the lies, betrayals, and infidelity she endured with unrestrained honesty and deft candor. I couldn’t turn away.”—Jillian Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and Everything You Ever Wanted
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-person account, Waite recounts each heartbreaking discovery, every life-destroying lie, and reveals what happens once the dust finally settles on her demolished marriage.
After a disturbing email sparks Waite’s suspicion that her husband is having an affair, she tries to uncover the truth and rebuild trust in her marriage. Instead, she finds more lies, infidelity, and betrayal than she could have imagined. Waite obsessively analyzes her relationship, trying to find a single moment from the last five years that isn’t part of the long-con of lies and manipulation. With a dual-timeline narrative structure, we see Waite’s romance bud, bloom, and wither simultaneously, making the heartbreak and disbelief even more affecting.
A Beautiful, Terrible Thing – Editorial Reviews
“Waite has a knack for showing the ways that cognitive dissonance can chart pathways in the mind that cause emotional confusion to obscure rational thought.”
—Meghan Daum, New York Times Book Review
“[Waite’s] memoir is a great source of strength.”
“A powerful memoir.”
—The New York Post
“Heartbreaking and riveting.”
“Like Big Little Lies, A Beautiful Terrible Thing is a startling reminder that fairy tales aren’t real. A master class in suspenseful storytelling, Jen Waite recounts the lies, betrayals, and infidelity she endured with unrestrained honesty and deft candor. I couldn’t turn away.”
—Jillian Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and Everything You Ever Wanted
“How do we really know the ones we love? Sometimes we don’t, and in Jen Waite’s harrowing, deeply intimate memoir, she gradually comes to discover that the husband she adores might actually be a sociopath. As raw and ragged as the edge of a blade, what makes this book so chilling is that it’s truly possible to fall in love with evil, and it can happen to anyone. Be forewarned: you won’t sleep until you finish the last page.”
—Caroline Leavitt, author of Cruel Beautiful World and the New York Times bestsellers, Pictures of You and Is This Tomorrow
“Gripping from start to finish. A compelling and cautionary tale about how the longing to be adored and live inside a fairy tale makes you vulnerable to those charming sociopaths in search of someone to exploit.”
—Joe Burgo, PhD, author of The Narcissist You Know
“A twisting, compulsively readable story of devastating betrayal and survival. I could not put this book down.”
—Leigh Stein, author of Land of Enchantment
“Jen Waite has illuminated the experience of betrayal with important and lyric light. Robert Mapplethorpe said, ‘Nothing is finished until you see it.’ I would add that nothing is finished until you tell it as well and as fairly as she has.”
—Suzanne Finnamore, bestselling author of Otherwise Engaged and Split
“A dramatic and powerful case study of dating and marrying someone who may have a hidden personality disorder. Without knowing the warning signs, you too can be caught by surprise.”
—Bill Eddy, LCSW, JD, coauthor of Splitting
“A woman discovers her husband is not whom she thought he was. [T]ension, disbelief, and grief permeate the pages … Those who have been in a manipulative partnership with a narcissistic or abusive person will find Waite’s honest retelling relevant and potent”
“In this emotionally charged memoir, Waite describes how the man she married turned out to be not at all what he seemed. A well-written and at times gripping story of deceit.”
About the Author
Jen Waite lives in Maine with her young daughter. She is applying to graduate school to become a licensed therapist, specializing in recovery from psychopathic relationships.
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