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

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

Jen Waite. Plume, $25 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7352-1646-4

In this emotionally charged memoir, Waite, who lives in Maine with her daughter, describes how the man she married turned out to be not at all what he seemed. Waite details the unraveling of their five-year romance in a powerful narrative. Waite was a waitress in her 20s when she fell in love with Marco, the bar manager where she worked. She believed she’d found her soul mate even though he had a child before meeting her from another relationship and was working in the country illegally. They married, he got a green card, and she used her savings so that they and some friends could open a restaurant. But soon after giving birth to their daughter, she found a suspicious email from her husband to another woman. He denied having an affair and told her that something was very wrong with him psychologically: he’d stopped feeling anything. Exhausted and confused, she retreated to her parents’ house to figure out what was making him sick. She couldn’t help continuing her detective work, going through phone records and emails. As she researched his changing behavior, the truth about her relationship was revealed. She realized, with the help of a therapist, that she’d been in love with a liar and a psychopath. Waite’s is a well-written and at times gripping story of deceit. (July)