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 WantedWhat 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 Details

TitleA Beautiful, Terrible Thing
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseJul 11th, 2017
PublisherPlume Books
ISBN0735216460
ISBN-139780735216464
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography Memoir, Marriage, Biography

A Beautiful, Terrible Thing Review

  • Carol
    April 22, 2017
    E-galley provided by Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group and Author, Jen Waite for my honest opinion. To be published July 11, 2017What if the man you thought you married turned out to be someone else entirely? What do you do when your dream guy, the father of your infant daughter, turns out to be a liar, a cheat, possibly even a sociopath? In retrospect would you see the signs? Using a format of alternating chapters of Before and After, Jen Waite does her best to tell her story so others might E-galley provided by Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group and Author, Jen Waite for my honest opinion. To be published July 11, 2017What if the man you thought you married turned out to be someone else entirely? What do you do when your dream guy, the father of your infant daughter, turns out to be a liar, a cheat, possibly even a sociopath? In retrospect would you see the signs? Using a format of alternating chapters of Before and After, Jen Waite does her best to tell her story so others might not have to go through the heartbreak that she has experienced. It is not always easy to follow and a bit choppy at times but her willingness to bare her soul is the major strength of this book. Heartfelt, this memoir could have benefited from better editing. If you’re questioning your gut feelings that something is not right in your relationship this could be the right book for you.
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  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    June 7, 2017
    4 stars - publishes 7/11/17 Thanks to First to Read and Plume Books for an Advanced digital copy of this book for an honest review. This is a memoir of pain and suffering. It stems from a hurtful event that must go through the cycle of pain and anger, doubt and self loathing. It is the feeling of helplessness when you realize that your love cannot heal the problem. This story is very candid. Jen Waite has spent most of her marriage trying to ignore the signs of an unfaithful husband. He always h 4 stars - publishes 7/11/17 Thanks to First to Read and Plume Books for an Advanced digital copy of this book for an honest review. This is a memoir of pain and suffering. It stems from a hurtful event that must go through the cycle of pain and anger, doubt and self loathing. It is the feeling of helplessness when you realize that your love cannot heal the problem. This story is very candid. Jen Waite has spent most of her marriage trying to ignore the signs of an unfaithful husband. He always has a reason, an excuse, a story to cover any mishap. Jen wants to believe him - she loves him. Her happy marriage is falling apart. Her husband is cheating. Jen has just had a baby, with the man she planned to spend the rest of her life with. What has happened? What went wrong? This story chronicles Jen's discovery, her self doubt, the excruciating admission to herself, and her recovery from a bad marriage to a psychological liar and sociopath. This novel is written without any excuses. Jen does not hide from the facts, nor from her inability to process this life altering event. Take this journey with Jen and decide what you would have done in her situation.
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  • Marialyce
    May 26, 2017
    2 starsRead through the courtesy of NetGallery and PENGUIN GROUP Blue Rider Press & PlumePlume When you let yourself think that you are only worth what others see in you, then you will end up as the author of this autobiography has. She placed herself and immersed herself so much in Marco, a three time failure in his relationships with women. Letting one become so enraptured that you do not even see human weakness set Ms Waite up for what Marco did and what he was.Marco was a sociopath and h 2 starsRead through the courtesy of NetGallery and PENGUIN GROUP Blue Rider Press & PlumePlume When you let yourself think that you are only worth what others see in you, then you will end up as the author of this autobiography has. She placed herself and immersed herself so much in Marco, a three time failure in his relationships with women. Letting one become so enraptured that you do not even see human weakness set Ms Waite up for what Marco did and what he was.Marco was a sociopath and he preyed on women as he searched for their flaws and weaknesses. He became in their minds the do all and end all of everything and the women, so many of them, fell so easily into the lair he set. Ms Waite kept on failing to notice that what was happening was emotional abuse. She kept on making excuses in her mind for why Marco did things that to others were blatantly evident of infidelities, of lies, of usage.One does feel for the author. She was a product of what seemed to be wealthy parents. They did care for her and provide a security net, but sometimes that net did more harm than good. She was fortunate having them there at every turn. Many others going through the same turmoil had no one.What bothered me about this novel was the weakness of this woman. She seemed to believe she was nothing without Marco, a man who humiliated, cheated on, and so disrespected her that he cheated on her while she laid in the hospital having his child. Yet, even then, she agonized over leaving him. Perhaps I just do not understand how a woman of today's world does that. However, that being said I was happy to see that she was in counseling. Hopefully, in years to come, through therapy she will come to see her own intrinsic value lies within herself not any man.
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  • Kathleen
    May 12, 2017
    Jen Waite's marital memoir reads more like a psychological thriller. The chapters alternate between "before" and "after" she discovers an incriminating email that leads her to a path of discovery. "Before" chapters tell of the fairy tale romance, with some red flags about her husband that are obvious in hindsight; "after" chapters are the story of a mother of a newborn who is suspicious, lied to, and eventually crushed by the realization that she has fallen in love with a manipulator rather than Jen Waite's marital memoir reads more like a psychological thriller. The chapters alternate between "before" and "after" she discovers an incriminating email that leads her to a path of discovery. "Before" chapters tell of the fairy tale romance, with some red flags about her husband that are obvious in hindsight; "after" chapters are the story of a mother of a newborn who is suspicious, lied to, and eventually crushed by the realization that she has fallen in love with a manipulator rather than her soulmate.The alternating chapters help build the suspense and make this book extremely readable. That's a great compliment to the writing and editing because I was riveted throughout the book, but didn't end up feeling triumphant at the end. In fact, I felt a little uncomfortable after finishing the book. The description says that Waite discovered her husband was a "textbook psychopath", but as far as I can tell, this was her own diagnosis after her obsessive internet research in the fog of a broken heart. Psychopath is a pretty heavy label to throw around and publish about your child's father. I think that's the part I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around is - the book description and the tension-building way that the memoir is written feel a bit sensationalized when all is said and done. I found it entertaining and compelling, and I'd love to see the author try her hand at writing fiction. She really knows how to keep a reader invested in the story. It's impressive how easily she taps into the heat of the moment as she was sorting through all of her feelings. I've been through similar stages in my life and often we try so hard to forget these painful moments that it's hard to effectively describe our suffering after the fact. She does this beautifully as the reader suffers through her emotions with her through the good times and the bad.I received a free advance copy of this book through Penguin's First to read program in exchange for an honest review.
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  • emma
    May 9, 2017
    3/5I received an ARC of this book through Penguin First to Read. Thank ya!Oh my God, my friends. This book...this book is WILD.https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...I have this really terrible habit of requesting ARCs without really looking into them. And this book was no exception. All I knew was that this was, essentially, a nonfiction thriller about a marriage. And that’s not totally what I got, but damn if it wasn’t close. HOW FUN IS THAT?!So we follow the author, Jen, in chapters that alt 3/5I received an ARC of this book through Penguin First to Read. Thank ya!Oh my God, my friends. This book...this book is WILD.https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...I have this really terrible habit of requesting ARCs without really looking into them. And this book was no exception. All I knew was that this was, essentially, a nonfiction thriller about a marriage. And that’s not totally what I got, but damn if it wasn’t close. HOW FUN IS THAT?!So we follow the author, Jen, in chapters that alternate “Before” and “After.” The event that distinguishes the author’s life into two parts is the realization that her husband, whom she fully adores in a way that borders on worrying, isn’t who she thought he was. Later, she decides he’s a SOCIOPATH. Dun dun dun!Oh, also they have a newborn baby. So that ups the stakes.I really liked the first half of this book. I read it in a sitting. It’s sooooo next-level intense - I can’t stop using that word - and Jen keeps realizing stuff and you’re like WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN?! JEN, WHAT’S HAPPENING?! TELL ME JEN! The Before/After stuff works really well here.The second half...I’m like, not as into. This may sound totally b*tchy of me, so bear with me, okay? I’m sorry about who I am as a person.At this point, the Before/After stuff becomes less helpful. Because lovely Jen then has to make us realize stuff about her husband in the “Before” sections...even though she totally wasn’t realizing it at the time. Which feels forced.Oh GOD I miss Michelle Obama. Anyway. The other thing about this book is...I don’t think anyone in it understands sociopathy. Including the frequently-featured therapist. Because this acts like the answer to why every marriage has ever gone wrong in the history of time. Your fiancé left you? Sociopath. Your husband took your money and split? Textbook sociopath. Your dad’s been married five times? Total f*ckin’ psycho. And I’m just sitting there like…Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I don’t. In terms of experience I have, like, a high school-level intro to psych class and every true crime story I can get my hands on. But there are two things I definitely for-sure know about sociopaths. (Yes, one of them is from the podcast Serial, what of it??? It’s the story that changed a nation!)Okay, so. Those two things. One, there aren’t that many sociopaths in the world. (This is the one I know from Serial.) So when you’re constantly like, “hey, maybe that dude who took the last popsicle from the communal box is a sociopath!” that’s not the most legitimate possibility. And two, they’re really flippin’ hard to diagnose. So, while Jen should start off this book like:She comes into it like “HEY HERE ARE ANSWERS” and throws 265 pages at us. And her stupid therapist Lisa doesn’t help. Lisa is the psychology-major equivalent of that professor who throws a textbook in the trashcan and says to call him by his first name. Even though I’m 97% sure therapists aren’t supposed to just...diagnose people they’ve never goddamn met based purely off the testimony of their traumatized and estranged spouses, Lisa’s all, “Oh my god...based off the one hour I’ve known you...I think your husband might be a total freaking psycho!!!!” Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is if a certain Maine-based therapy practice loses its license for employing a woman whose only certification is a Starbucks rewards card, I called it.Also, the second half of the book is a lot more boring than the first half. But that makes sense. Because at a certain point, it has to become Here Is My Progress Here Is My Life Now. And I appreciate that that has to happen and all. It can’t all be me having fun with the tragedies in the lives of others. I’m not a sociopath.Or am I?Bottom line: I recommend this. It’s not perfect (in the writing especially), but it’s pretty fascinating and better than I expected.
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  • Rebecca Foster
    June 27, 2017
    Jen Waite had been in New York City pursuing her dream of becoming an actress for two years when she started working at a restaurant for extra cash. It was here that she met Marco Medina, a handsome Argentinian bar manager, and they fell head-over-heels in love. All the clichés: a green card, a successful business venture, a baby on the way, an idyllic wedding on the beach in Maine. And then the whole thing fell apart. “Marco was always an illusion; the best magic trick I’ve ever seen,” Waite ma Jen Waite had been in New York City pursuing her dream of becoming an actress for two years when she started working at a restaurant for extra cash. It was here that she met Marco Medina, a handsome Argentinian bar manager, and they fell head-over-heels in love. All the clichés: a green card, a successful business venture, a baby on the way, an idyllic wedding on the beach in Maine. And then the whole thing fell apart. “Marco was always an illusion; the best magic trick I’ve ever seen,” Waite marvels.She’s written her story up like a thriller, a Gone Girl narrative of gradual revelations and the desire to get even. Chapters alternate between “Before,” when she still had what she thought was the perfect existence, and “After,” when she started to suspect that Marco had a secret life. I use the term “thriller” as a compliment: the dialogue is spot-on and this is a remarkably gripping book given that the title and blurb pretty much give the whole game away. More than that, it’s a fascinating psychological study of the personality of a sociopath and pathological liar. Surviving to tell her story and train to become a therapist for women who have been in her situation is Waite’s apt revenge.
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  • Nancy
    March 23, 2017
    Spoiler alert! The author wins.Anybody that can write such a raw, honest, and relatively objective narrative of their own marriage deserves a standing ovation. The story itself is not unique if you know about Chump Lady. What is unique is that the author lets the reader in on the journey, the events, and the emotions. She doesn't try to pretty her own story up to make it more horrible, she simply narrates the relationship. It's a storybook fairytale which might be a spoiler in and of itself. Mar Spoiler alert! The author wins.Anybody that can write such a raw, honest, and relatively objective narrative of their own marriage deserves a standing ovation. The story itself is not unique if you know about Chump Lady. What is unique is that the author lets the reader in on the journey, the events, and the emotions. She doesn't try to pretty her own story up to make it more horrible, she simply narrates the relationship. It's a storybook fairytale which might be a spoiler in and of itself. Marco is too perfect. He does show some of his colors by sharing a little of his past stories, but it was not authentic even then. He had something to gain by telling her. Then one day it all changed. He changed. In retrospection she realizes there were things she missed because she was unaware he was Axis II, Cluster B. Personality disorders do not experience emotions like normal people. Relationships are utilitarian and not personal. A perfect summary of this is given by her therapist as "Idealize, Devalue, Discard." Perfect. The subject of a narcissist can't wrap her mind around being devalued and discarded after feeling so loved and believing she was in a perfect marriage. A person with a normal range of emotions would feel empathy. This is why the betrayal is so shocking and sudden. There was no personal connection for the Narc.Jen writes an excellent narrative. For someone so new out of a NPD relationship, Jen is startlingly insightful. It's a painful read. There are times the reader wants to stop her from going back or forgiving him or believing him. Yet it's so human. That's why it's so good.
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  • ☘Tara Sheehan☘
    March 23, 2017
    Grab a box of Kleenex, a glass of wine and be prepared to have your heart ripped out because this is probably the most heartbreaking book I’ve ever read. When you’re done reading hopefully you’ll feel like nominating Jen Waite for an award as much as I did, if only for being so brave to create this epic tome of raw honesty. She doesn’t withhold any punches as she lifts the mirror to her life and broadcasts that image for all to see.This memoir made me want to slap Marco hard enough to spin his h Grab a box of Kleenex, a glass of wine and be prepared to have your heart ripped out because this is probably the most heartbreaking book I’ve ever read. When you’re done reading hopefully you’ll feel like nominating Jen Waite for an award as much as I did, if only for being so brave to create this epic tome of raw honesty. She doesn’t withhold any punches as she lifts the mirror to her life and broadcasts that image for all to see.This memoir made me want to slap Marco hard enough to spin his head off and hug his poor wife while giving her a shoulder to cry on.Waite knows how to spin words and rip every emotion possible out of you as you’re pulled along on her journey. In some ways it is part warning letter so no one repeats her mistakes and part letter of courage so anyone else in a similar situation knows they are not alone. It’s absolutely staggering how insightful she was in this book because it took quite a bit of bravery and reflection to admit the mistakes she made, how she learned from them and the impact this relationship had on her life.This book, her story, could save lives and change the course for so many people.
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  • Michelle
    May 31, 2017
    A Beautiful Terrible Thing is the title of author Jen Waite’s compelling new memoir, and accurate description of her five year marriage to Marco. Originally in the US illegally from Argentina, Marco was already in a relationship, and had a young son by a different woman, when they met at work. Marco was loving, charming and swept her off her in a whirlwind romance. Marco’s was her best friend and soul mate, they never fought or argued. After the birth of their daughter the illusion of her perfec A Beautiful Terrible Thing is the title of author Jen Waite’s compelling new memoir, and accurate description of her five year marriage to Marco. Originally in the US illegally from Argentina, Marco was already in a relationship, and had a young son by a different woman, when they met at work. Marco was loving, charming and swept her off her in a whirlwind romance. Marco’s was her best friend and soul mate, they never fought or argued. After the birth of their daughter the illusion of her perfect marriage shattered when she found an email he had written to his 22 year old mistress. Marco, the service manager of a busy restaurant, always had reasons and explanations to cover his tracks. All lies. Caring for a fussy newborn was stressful enough: Waite hysterically threw her clothes into a suitcase, and fled with her baby from her and Marco’s apartment in NYC, to her parent’s home in Maine. It seemed that she was making a snap judgment she might later regret. Eventually, with the help of her parents, who had insight and correctly figured the situation out, she would boldly move forward with her life.It was when she was in therapy, she learned about narcissism and the psychopathic personality. Marco continued to “love bomb” her-- that is turning on his charm, love, and attention to win her back. Others came forward and shared some very unpleasant and disturbing news about her husband’s philandering; (since she and Marco’s were separated) it was assumed she was strong enough to hear the truth. Waite learned she only saw and believed what she wanted too, the “red flags” were there all along. It was terribly painful for her to examine the “before” and “after” details of their marriage, realizing Marco would never feel any remorse for the intense pain and agony she had suffered. Waite is to be commended for sharing her true story for the benefit of others. ~ With thanks to Penguin Random House via NetGalley for the direct e-copy for the purpose of review.
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  • Linda
    March 21, 2017
    This memoir of a woman who falls in love with the perfect man and finds out that he is not what he seems is painful to read. Jen, an aspiring actress who takes a waitressing job between casting calls, falls for handsome Latin bartender Marco. Is he a liar, or a sociopath, or just an incorrigible flirt, as he claims? Can anyone believe a man who tells his employer he is taking paternity leave (when his wife and baby are in another state with her parents) and spends the time with his mistress? Psy This memoir of a woman who falls in love with the perfect man and finds out that he is not what he seems is painful to read. Jen, an aspiring actress who takes a waitressing job between casting calls, falls for handsome Latin bartender Marco. Is he a liar, or a sociopath, or just an incorrigible flirt, as he claims? Can anyone believe a man who tells his employer he is taking paternity leave (when his wife and baby are in another state with her parents) and spends the time with his mistress? Psychopaths, nicknamed “human heroin,” are often hard to recognize, and apparently often don’t even consider themselves as such. Jen, the author, came to the realization that she was “shooting pure, unadulterated psychopathic love into my bloodstream for five years. I am coming down from a drug I didn’t even know I was on, and withdrawal has knocked me on my f****** a**.” This heartfelt narrative offers hope to anyone who has experienced a cataclysmic betrayal.
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  • Kasa Cotugno
    June 11, 2017
    There's an old saying -- don't listen at keyholes if you're not prepared for what you might hear. Today's world is loaded with keyholes in the form of facebook, email, and instagram, and all the ways phone records and texts can be traced. The other side of that saying is, don't look for the truth if you can't handle it. Jen Waite, three weeks after giving birth to her daughter, opens an email that leads her down that rabbit hole. Still physically shaky and hormone driven, she knows increasingly There's an old saying -- don't listen at keyholes if you're not prepared for what you might hear. Today's world is loaded with keyholes in the form of facebook, email, and instagram, and all the ways phone records and texts can be traced. The other side of that saying is, don't look for the truth if you can't handle it. Jen Waite, three weeks after giving birth to her daughter, opens an email that leads her down that rabbit hole. Still physically shaky and hormone driven, she knows increasingly she cannot live with Marco another minute, that she cannot adequately care for her colicky baby with this hanging over her head. In the ensuing months as the wretched story unspools, she thankfully has the full support of her family in Maine where she retreats from her New York life. Not everyone in this position is so fortunate. (I know.) She has written this painful, honest, generous account of this nightmare, and continues to poke at facebook like pushing an infected tooth with her tongue, but with each poke, she gets stronger as the feelings subside, and the stages of grief manifest themselves until she finds redemption. With her daughter. In Maine.
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  • Beth
    June 4, 2017
    This book was not what I expected - and not in a good way. Based on the blurb, we're led to believe A Beautiful, Terrible Thing will be something shocking, out of the ordinary, unbelievable. But what we get is...none of those things. Yes, Waite's husband is a liar, a cheater, a seemingly remorseless jerk who's constantly trading in his girl for a younger model...but, guess what? So are a lot of other people. As sad and hurtful as those behaviors are, they are not that extraordinary. And while I This book was not what I expected - and not in a good way. Based on the blurb, we're led to believe A Beautiful, Terrible Thing will be something shocking, out of the ordinary, unbelievable. But what we get is...none of those things. Yes, Waite's husband is a liar, a cheater, a seemingly remorseless jerk who's constantly trading in his girl for a younger model...but, guess what? So are a lot of other people. As sad and hurtful as those behaviors are, they are not that extraordinary. And while I get that this experience was traumatic and painful for Waite, I'm not sure it warrants publishing a memoir.Much of the book reads like diary entries of Waite chronicling the rise and fall of her relationship - and as you'd expect from a "dear diary" entry, it's flowery and not particularly well-written and ultimately a bit adolescent (the incessant use of "babe" and "baby" as a term of endearment (?) and the actual printing of the phrase "bro-code" in a serious usage as two glaring examples). Then we follow her down the rabbit hole of trying to figure out WHY WHY WHY everything happened, and are treated to scenes of her researching sociopathy on internet message boards and Wikipedia (these sources aren't reliable enough to be used for a school paper, let alone an actual published book!). But wait! Lest we think the entire premise of this book was based on Waite amateurly-diagnosing her husband with an actual personality disorder thanks to the internet, she magically finds validation in a real, live therapist. I find it INCREDIBLY hard to believe that a therapist would provide even a guess at a diagnosis for someone they've never even spoken to, and that said therapist would use that as the focus for Waite's visits. In a nutshell, unless you like rubbernecking at car accidents or find fascination in other people's suffering, skip this one. There's no big reveal, no revelation, nothing even really educational in this memoir except for the reminder that rose-colored glasses are never the best lenses through which to view your world.
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  • Marika
    April 4, 2017
    Author Jen Waite's memoir about her marriage to a psychopath is stunning in its rawness. Married to the love of her life, and with a newborn, Jen discovers to her utter horror that he is not the man she thought he was. He never was. He is a true psychopath who only told lies, betrayed friendships/family and truly only cares about himself. Readers will be in disbelief at the extent of the duplicity and will wonder about what's believable in their own lives.I read an advance copy and was not compe Author Jen Waite's memoir about her marriage to a psychopath is stunning in its rawness. Married to the love of her life, and with a newborn, Jen discovers to her utter horror that he is not the man she thought he was. He never was. He is a true psychopath who only told lies, betrayed friendships/family and truly only cares about himself. Readers will be in disbelief at the extent of the duplicity and will wonder about what's believable in their own lives.I read an advance copy and was not compensated.
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  • Angela
    June 22, 2017
    I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.While I thought this book had great promise, ultimately I was underwhelmed. This memoir of a troubled marriage is told in a dual narrative, from both before and after the moment Jen begins to suspect her husband of cheating on her. Jen meets her husband Marco and falls hard and fast, and he appears to feel the same way. The "before" chapters show a generally happy life, as they get married, start a business together, and get pregnant. The I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.While I thought this book had great promise, ultimately I was underwhelmed. This memoir of a troubled marriage is told in a dual narrative, from both before and after the moment Jen begins to suspect her husband of cheating on her. Jen meets her husband Marco and falls hard and fast, and he appears to feel the same way. The "before" chapters show a generally happy life, as they get married, start a business together, and get pregnant. The "after" chapters begin when Jen finds an email that could point to Marco having an affair.While I sympathize with Jen finding out about her husband's betrayal just weeks after having a baby, it was still hard to read about her stalking social media for clues and obsessively poring over phone records. She vacillates between desperately wanting to leave him and blaming herself for pushing him to this point. Marco, on the other hand, deflects all accusations by claiming he is ill and numb, devoid of any feelings for her.Jen then begins googling Marco's behaviors and her internet research leads her to believe he is a sociopath; a therapist she meets with agrees with her after just one solo session (kind of suspect in itself). From what I remember from my abnormal psych class, personality disorders are very hard to diagnose and the person in question has to exhibit extreme behaviors. When I read the synopsis for this book, I was expecting truly heinous behavior from Marco, but while his actions are sh*tty, I didn't necessarily think he was a sociopath. Jen looks back at their life and seems to force his words and actions to fit the traits of a sociopath. He's charismatic, he lies, he cheats, he's had failed relationships - unfortunately, these traits aren't uncommon and if this is what defines a sociopath, then there must be a ton of them walking around, and I don't know if that's the case.While I applaud Jen for being brave enough to tell her story, I wasn't blown away by it. The writing isn't particularly good, and I hope that the many typos are cleared up before the book is released. I think her story is a cautionary tale for other women who may suspect their partners of cheating and it's an interesting look at how we may not know the people closest to us, but I don't think we should all start thinking that every bad relationship is due to someone being a sociopath. That's a strong label.
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  • Michelle Tang
    June 9, 2017
    *I received an advanced copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program.A quick, compulsive read but ultimately a disappointment. I'm sure a lot of people selected this book because of its publisher description which is akin to a "what happens next will shock you..." clickbait article (guilty). And similar to clickbait, the "next" was not THAT shocking.Although I'm glad the author found her way out of the spiral of obsessing about what went wrong and when through the support of her fri *I received an advanced copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program.A quick, compulsive read but ultimately a disappointment. I'm sure a lot of people selected this book because of its publisher description which is akin to a "what happens next will shock you..." clickbait article (guilty). And similar to clickbait, the "next" was not THAT shocking.Although I'm glad the author found her way out of the spiral of obsessing about what went wrong and when through the support of her friends, family and therapy, the path to her recovery was the most tedious part of the book. There are pages of descriptions of her Google search terms, social media stalking, and what she found when she went down the rabbit hole of online research. Yet the a-ha moments unfurl as neatly as a sitcom conclusion.I'm not sure this story was deserving of a whole book and if so, it could have been a little more concise (the written version of "9 1/2 Weeks" is a similar fast-love-gone-wrong-even-quicker read that is the perfect example of brevity with maximum impact). I don't want to take away from the devastating and life altering situation Jen went through - I do NOT know what I would do if this happened to me or any of my friends and I commend her for putting it all out there - but this could have been better documented as a blog or long internet article because it certainly reads that way.
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  • Candice
    May 8, 2017
    This is a book that's best read without reading the full synopsis first. While this is a memoir, it feels more like a psychological thriller that you don't want to put down. I felt so swept up in the meet cute and love story and the building of their lives together, that I didn't see the red flags. There were times when I felt the author was overreacting to this or that, because of hormones or sleep deprivation or general neuroticism, but then... was she? Because if she'd just ignored the things This is a book that's best read without reading the full synopsis first. While this is a memoir, it feels more like a psychological thriller that you don't want to put down. I felt so swept up in the meet cute and love story and the building of their lives together, that I didn't see the red flags. There were times when I felt the author was overreacting to this or that, because of hormones or sleep deprivation or general neuroticism, but then... was she? Because if she'd just ignored the things that happened altogether and stopped digging, how much longer would the lies have gone on? This book lets you live simultaneously through the infatuation of the honeymoon phase and the moment-to-moment panic, fear and shock about the things that happened as she discovered them. Heartbreaking and powerful.Received advance reader copy free from Penguin Random House's "First to Read" program. My opinions are my own, blah blah blah. You know the drill.
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  • Kay
    April 17, 2017
    This book was heartbreaking. Kudos to author.I received this book for free thru Netgalley, but it had no bearing on the rating I gave it. Thank you to Penguin group, Netgalley and author for letting me read it.
  • Blagica
    June 19, 2017
    A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal by Jen Waite was provided to me for an honest review through netgalley. Thank you to all parties for letting me take part in this heartbreaking journey of love, lose, and rebuild. What would you do if the man you married turned out to be nothing like you thought he was. Every girl wants her dream guy and what Jen Waite got was a total nightmare with a side of sunshine in the form of a beautiful little girl. First off I love the setup A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal by Jen Waite was provided to me for an honest review through netgalley. Thank you to all parties for letting me take part in this heartbreaking journey of love, lose, and rebuild. What would you do if the man you married turned out to be nothing like you thought he was. Every girl wants her dream guy and what Jen Waite got was a total nightmare with a side of sunshine in the form of a beautiful little girl. First off I love the setup of this book. The before and after headings made it extremely easy to fallow. You get to see how the romance started how the love bloomed and in the end how the whole thing falls to pieces. This story is one of love and lose where Jen did everything right thought she was living the perfect life only to have to start over. Although I have a background in psychology and have a very good understanding of the husbands disorder I find it really hard to find one redeeming quality in him. Although I understand sickness I don’t feel that anything positive will be done seeing as the husband does not wish to receive help. Over all I feel that this is an honest read that everyone can relate to in some cases even live through nicely done 5 stars all the way.
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  • Kira
    June 29, 2017
    A Penguin First to Read ARC e-book in exchange for an honest review.This book had me from the intro. I did have to double check, and triple check, that it was a memoir, that I had not read the description wrong.Written in a “Before” and “After” format I was sucked into the good and the bad. As I kept reading though it felt more like a psychological thriller and I was waiting for the bloodshed to happen as the Before met the After chapters.Jen Waite and Marco Medina have been together for five ye A Penguin First to Read ARC e-book in exchange for an honest review.This book had me from the intro. I did have to double check, and triple check, that it was a memoir, that I had not read the description wrong.Written in a “Before” and “After” format I was sucked into the good and the bad. As I kept reading though it felt more like a psychological thriller and I was waiting for the bloodshed to happen as the Before met the After chapters.Jen Waite and Marco Medina have been together for five years when she opens the laptop and reads the email that sets her world spinning. It is amazing the way lies can be weaved and you can be made to believe things. The pain and suffering that we cause among ourselves. Those truths we keep hidden to “protect” those involved. So much harm was done and you can’t help but get caught in the emotional turmoil.
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  • Betsybmaxwell
    May 21, 2017
    I was given a free netgalley copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I started this book on Friday night and just about completely ignored my family so that I could finish it by Sunday. This was a courageous story to share of the author's heartbreak. I so felt for her during moments of the story. I loved the way the author went back and forth in time and didn't start out with the known, but instead with the unknown (how awful will her husband be?). My only complaint was that I felt l I was given a free netgalley copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I started this book on Friday night and just about completely ignored my family so that I could finish it by Sunday. This was a courageous story to share of the author's heartbreak. I so felt for her during moments of the story. I loved the way the author went back and forth in time and didn't start out with the known, but instead with the unknown (how awful will her husband be?). My only complaint was that I felt like the story about what happened in her marriage is retold a few too many times. The reader finds out what happens, we don't need to hear the author retell it so many times. Aside from that, it was an excellent read!
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  • Brandon Forsyth
    June 18, 2017
    A gripping story and willingness to detail every excruciating moment do much to forgive some fairly weak writing. I read this aloud to my girlfriend, and the fact that she still wanted to finish it despite it infuriating her at several points is an indication that this will appeal broadly.
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  • Meghan Wyrd
    May 18, 2017
    At many points was exhausted by cliche turns of phrase and lack of imaginative spin, but it reads quickly and the story itself is very compelling.
  • Derby
    May 31, 2017
    This is a Memoir about Jen Waite discovering secrets about her husband that lead her to believe he might be a sociopath. After confronting her husband, her life begins to fall apart. I absolutely devoured this book. It is only mildly suspenseful, but I didn't even care because I was so invested in Waite's story that I just needed to see what was going to happen next. Every time I was convinced I knew what was going to happen next, well, let's just say I was wrong. The last chapter had me disappo This is a Memoir about Jen Waite discovering secrets about her husband that lead her to believe he might be a sociopath. After confronting her husband, her life begins to fall apart. I absolutely devoured this book. It is only mildly suspenseful, but I didn't even care because I was so invested in Waite's story that I just needed to see what was going to happen next. Every time I was convinced I knew what was going to happen next, well, let's just say I was wrong. The last chapter had me disappointed because it was anti climactic. The title of the chapter led me to believe on thing, but the content didn't reflect the chapter name. That being said, it was an absolute joy to read. I couldn't believe I finished it in less than 2 days.I received this book from Firsttoread.com in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Diane
    May 20, 2017
    (Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review an advanced copy of this book)I read A BEAUTIFUL, TERRIBLE Thing by author Jen Waite this week and needed to wait a couple of days before I could write my review. This is a powerful book about a subject many women live with and do not talk about. The book is a memoir of Jen’s marriage and the betrayal of all she believed to be true about the love of her life. It reminded me so much of the Lacey Peterson story, but thankful (Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review an advanced copy of this book)I read A BEAUTIFUL, TERRIBLE Thing by author Jen Waite this week and needed to wait a couple of days before I could write my review. This is a powerful book about a subject many women live with and do not talk about. The book is a memoir of Jen’s marriage and the betrayal of all she believed to be true about the love of her life. It reminded me so much of the Lacey Peterson story, but thankfully Jen is a survivor. As the book progresses you will read how the emotional turmoil and the lies by Marco towards Jen becomes heartbreaking. The book begins as Jen is holding her three week old baby and checking her email. Wait…she finds a questionable email on the shared computer. As she reads, she can hardly breathe…it has to be a mistake! The book is written in chapters of Before and After, which is very easy to understand the timeline of what is happening in their lives. I don’t post spoilers about the book, but I will say, once I started reading I did not want to stop. You just know what is happening is not going to turn out well. I applaud Jen for being proactive and not waiting around to ask the hard questions and to seek the truth from Marco. Even though it would be easier to accept his explanations and excuses, she refuses to avoid the truth. When she knows the truth of Marcos lies and infidelities, Jen does have trouble letting go of the need to check up on his personal media and phone records. She has become a bit obsessed with keeping track of his lies and his double life. She is addicted to feeling that she needs to know what he is doing and also wanting him to acknowledge what he has done is very wrong. This is the story of a smart young woman with a new baby, a lying, cheating husband, and now finds herself in major debt. It is also the story of how this betrayal nearly sunk her emotionally but with help of her family and therapy she has been able to redirect the hurt and anger. Jen includes some very informative research about Sociopaths, Psychopaths, and Pathological liars. There is some strong language.A powerful book of facing a hard truth and surviving and then being able to start over.
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  • Gillian At Home
    May 30, 2017
    "Now I know why sociopaths are dubbed "human heroin." I have been shooting pure, unadulterated psychopathic love into my bloodstream for five years. I am coming down from a drug I didn't even know I was on, and the withdrawal has knocked me on my f**king ass."Since reading Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test, I've been curious about how the everyday, non-violent, non-criminal sociopaths who make up a disproportionate number of CEOs and politicians function in marriage. What do they look for in a sp "Now I know why sociopaths are dubbed "human heroin." I have been shooting pure, unadulterated psychopathic love into my bloodstream for five years. I am coming down from a drug I didn't even know I was on, and the withdrawal has knocked me on my f**king ass."Since reading Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test, I've been curious about how the everyday, non-violent, non-criminal sociopaths who make up a disproportionate number of CEOs and politicians function in marriage. What do they look for in a spouse? Does the spouse know they're married to a sociopath? Can their marriage function?In her memoir of her marriage and separation from a sociopath, Jen Waite performs a kind of magic trick. Waite employs the device of letting the story unfold from two perspectives: one set in the past as her relationship begins and develops, and one set in the present day. As the narrative unfolds, the past catches up to the present and the two perspectives converge.Initially, something felt a little shallow in Waite's description of her relationship with her husband and her feelings toward him, from both past and present perspectives. While there is a lot of affection and proclamations of love, something was missing: true introspection and intimacy. At first, I chalked this up to a fault in the writing and found myself questioning her memories of their relationship. Is this just a woman who wants to believe her husband is pathological? This is Waite's magic trick: by choosing to write from her past perspective without the benefit of the perspective she later gains, we are gaslit right along with her.Then Waite's confirmation and acceptance that Marco is a sociopath comes and - WHAM - the writing style from both perspectives shifts to become more introspective and observant. This allows Waite's narrative to keep building momentum and lets us to experience her betrayal as she did - first from a place of questioning and uncertainty, then from a rawer, realer place of reckoning.Thanks to Penguin group for supplying me with an ARC via Netgalley :)
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  • Wander Girl Life
    May 29, 2017
    What if after a few years of marriage your partner becomes someone you don’t recognize anymore? The New York Times bestselling author Jen Waite has bravely brought forward account of her fallen marriage. ‘A Beautiful Terrible Thing’ is a marital memoir by the author. Jen an aspiring actress and a waitress had fallen in love with Marco, a perfect man. She married him after and had a baby with him, completing her perfect family. Right after the baby she finds her husband’s behavior getting odd by What if after a few years of marriage your partner becomes someone you don’t recognize anymore? The New York Times bestselling author Jen Waite has bravely brought forward account of her fallen marriage. ‘A Beautiful Terrible Thing’ is a marital memoir by the author. Jen an aspiring actress and a waitress had fallen in love with Marco, a perfect man. She married him after and had a baby with him, completing her perfect family. Right after the baby she finds her husband’s behavior getting odd by the day. She suspects that he is having an affair with a much younger girl. Her suspicions come true and she finds out that her husband is cheating on her but that’s not it. With a deeper investigation she discovers that there is more to it. Her husband is a textbook psychopath.The writing was in a first person narrative. The story is intense and maneuvered between ‘before’; where her husband worships the ground she walks on and ‘after’, where her husband can’t stand to look at her. The book for me was more like a psychological thriller. My heart went out for Jen throughout the book. I think she has made a brave attempt to come forward and write a book about her marital turmoil with an intention to help those who are in such relationships and tend to avoid all the red flags. The psychopathic behavioral tendencies, signs of a psychopath are well explained in the book. The author is real inspiration to many woman who are in a relationship with a psychopath or are trying to rebuilt their lives after a failed marriage.PS: The book releases on 11th July, 2017 and I would like to thank the author for sending me the ARC via Netgalley.
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  • Lynda Stevens
    June 5, 2017
    Well, really. The writer of this true story runs around doing a great deal for this gorgeously handsome lover: lending him her savings for his business, supplying him with a green card. And then soon after she has her baby, he withdraws from her catastrophically, though not before implying that her post-partum body is now repulsive to him.Of course it must be burnout, he must be ill. Maybe vitamins will help. And no there is nothing between him and that other woman. Of course not....So here is a Well, really. The writer of this true story runs around doing a great deal for this gorgeously handsome lover: lending him her savings for his business, supplying him with a green card. And then soon after she has her baby, he withdraws from her catastrophically, though not before implying that her post-partum body is now repulsive to him.Of course it must be burnout, he must be ill. Maybe vitamins will help. And no there is nothing between him and that other woman. Of course not....So here is a woman who marries a total cad and is broken emotionally by it. But wait. This peculiar type of callousness, where a seemingly empathetic individual can discard another like so much trash, has a name. Psychopathy. Ladies, beware. There are a lot of these predators around. Cynics may well conclude that Waite might have been a fool in live anyway but to be fair,it may probably be all-too easy to be taken in by this kind of individual. This kind of book may be useful to anyone who has been there though Waite does also remind us that even inadequate psychopaths may be dangerous and legal protection or refuge necessary in some cases.The book has the rawness of something that is still an a fairly recent experience - in some ways the telling might have waited until served a little cooller. It is always worth remembering that not everyone may be all they seem, especially if do seem to be too good to be true.
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  • Meekachii
    May 10, 2017
    When finishing this book I honestly wasn't sure what to think. The fact that this book was able to pull so many emotions out of me at different times shows that the author really captured in writing what it was like to go through certain events. I wish I had known prior to finishing the book that it was based on the author's real life and experiences. I feel like it may have made me connect more with the story knowing that. Though honestly, it's my own fault. The book's main character's name is When finishing this book I honestly wasn't sure what to think. The fact that this book was able to pull so many emotions out of me at different times shows that the author really captured in writing what it was like to go through certain events. I wish I had known prior to finishing the book that it was based on the author's real life and experiences. I feel like it may have made me connect more with the story knowing that. Though honestly, it's my own fault. The book's main character's name is Jen (like the author), it's called a memoir, and it says right in the description it's based on a true story so...duh...how could I have missed it? Just that knowledge alone makes me respect and like this book more. While reading this book I was anxious at times and uneasy which I'm sure is what the author was feeling when certain events were happening to her. At the end....Slight SPOILER... I wish there was more redemption and consequence for the antagonist's actions. End SPOILER... That all being said, I'm not sure this is exactly the type of book I would normally read but am glad I did. At times I did feel like I was reading straight out of a psychology textbook but I did learn some interesting information. I'm also happy the main character wasn't a push-over and showed that women can be strong despite terrible situations that may happen to them. All in all I'd give this book a 3/5. If you like psychological reads that focus on mental health you will really enjoy this book.
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  • Sharon May
    July 1, 2017
    Thanks to NetGalley, Plume Books and Jen Waite for the opportunity to read and review this book.I have to admit I'm a little conflicted about this book. It is the true story of Jen and her marriage to Marco, who she discovers later is a sociopath. It is written like a psychological thriller - with Before and After chapters so that we see how the relationship developed and how Jen picks up the pieces afterwards.Probably the reason for my conflict is because I have lived a similar situation as I'm Thanks to NetGalley, Plume Books and Jen Waite for the opportunity to read and review this book.I have to admit I'm a little conflicted about this book. It is the true story of Jen and her marriage to Marco, who she discovers later is a sociopath. It is written like a psychological thriller - with Before and After chapters so that we see how the relationship developed and how Jen picks up the pieces afterwards.Probably the reason for my conflict is because I have lived a similar situation as I'm sure many women have. Jen had wealthy parents who were able to swoop in and take care of her and her child while she basically fell apart. I'm glad that my situation happened way before social media because Jen's incessant need to check the Facebook and Instagram feeds of Marco surely didn't help her recovery. I could relate to many of Jen's feelings - probably the biggest thing we need when something like this happens is for the person to explain to us why - and an apology wouldn't hurt. Someone very wise told me when I was going through my situation that you will never get that apology because they don't think they've done anything wrong. You have to get past that and move on.A good read - and a better lesson to be as sure as possible that we are healthy going into a relationship and not looking for someone to make us whole. Because that never works.
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  • Angela
    May 25, 2017
    "Marco was always an illusion. The best magic trick I’ve ever seen." Jen Waite exquisitely, painfully, and heroically lays out a harrowing tale of love and betrayal in A Beautiful, Terrible Thing. I fell in love with her vivid recollection of those heady new days of romance, I fell a bit in love with Marco and recognized in my own past relationships that stomach churning and energizing all consuming passion of new love. The pages flew by as she takes us a on dual timeline tale of "before" and "a "Marco was always an illusion. The best magic trick I’ve ever seen." Jen Waite exquisitely, painfully, and heroically lays out a harrowing tale of love and betrayal in A Beautiful, Terrible Thing. I fell in love with her vivid recollection of those heady new days of romance, I fell a bit in love with Marco and recognized in my own past relationships that stomach churning and energizing all consuming passion of new love. The pages flew by as she takes us a on dual timeline tale of "before" and "after" only to discover that there really never was an "after" Marco. There was just this incredible façade he was able to maintain for years before he moved on and transitioned, like an Incubus, to feed off of and be transformed by the next one he lures in. I found myself at times thinking, yea this guy is a douche, but a full blown psychopath? I think that's a tale and a narrative many women have created in their own minds. A justification that this person isn't really as terrifying as anyone objectively viewing the situation would see them. So yes, this person that she shared 5 years and a child with truly is a full blown psychopath. It was a heartbreaking memoir, but also one of profound strength.
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