Martine is a genetically cloned replica of Evelyn Caldwell, the spawn of Evelyn's own award-winning research. But after Martine has an affair with Evelyn's husband—and the cheating lout ends up dead—both Caldwell and Martine have a mess to clean up.
I went into Gailey's new novel, The Echo Wife, with a big expectation for yet another immersive, wonderfully detailed, fictional setting. I was not catered to. There isn't any real world-building in The Echo Wife because, well, there's no world to build. It already exists. It's our own ... Once I got over my initial bout of pouting, though, I gave myself over to Gailey's latest exercise in character-driven speculation. And I was happy I did. Gailey is an ace at constructing clean, clear plots, and The Echo Wife is no exception ... The Echo Wife is a thriller at heart, but it takes its time, building suspense gradually ... From the snap of its dialogue to the torque of its twists, the story positively glows ... Cooked right, science fiction and murder mysteries taste great together, and Gailey layers those ingredients together with a chef's kiss. The technology behind cloning isn't deeply detailed because, honestly, the book doesn't need it ... Gailey nonetheless builds one of their most daring worlds yet — the massive, internal world that forms between two people linked by secrets, lies, hatred, and love.
... a phenomenal, creepy, significant novel—but it’s a hard read, and wrestling with its implications is harder. The twisting, remorseless plot seamlessly combines domestic thriller with cutting-edge science fiction, dragging the reader along as the Caldwells’ secrets are unearthed one at a time. Sarah Gailey’s incisive prose lends to the suffocating atmosphere that pervades the book, maintaining a heightened state of discomfort that is magnified by thematic explorations of spousal abuse, cloning ethics, and straight-up murder ... I can’t overstate the importance of Gailey’s handsome, precise use of language ... a brilliant, scouring novel that left me productively upset and unsettled. Grappling as the story does with abuse and trauma; with questions of how much our desires are created through those experiences; and with problems of control and consent…to do less than cause profound discomfort would, I think, disrespect the seriousness and complexity of those issues.
... a unique, thrilling adventure, with truly unexpected twists and turns the whole way through. Lovers of science fiction will no doubt delight in the intricacies of Evelyn’s work laid about by Gailey, who also crafts a compelling tension between Evelyn and Martine as they work to find common ground ... At times the plot feels a little slow, but on the whole, Gailey has created an enjoyable, edge-of-your-seat tale that will keep readers on their toes.