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A Beautiful, Terrible Thing Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

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 time line narrative structure, we see Waite's romance bud, bloom, and wither simultaneously, making the heartbreak and disbelief even more affecting.

©2017 Jen Waite (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What the Critics Say

"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 best-selling author of Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and Everything You Ever Wanted)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (735 )
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Performance
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  •  
    jeannie mcnichols 07-27-17 Member Since 2013
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    "First half held my interest, then I got bored"

    First off... the author is not the greatest narrator. She's not terrible, but there were many, many times where she sounded like a junior high school student reading aloud in class. N

    The first half of the book was quite interesting. I listen to audiobooks on my drive to work, and I found myself eagerly looking forward to my time in the car to hear what came next.

    Unfortunately, I felt the story really fizzled. I won't give the plot away... but from the introduction, I was expecting something really horrific. Not to make light of what happened .. it truly was awful. But the way the events were built up at the beginning.., I found myself thinking "that's it?" And I know this sounds callous... but the way she describes her reactions to the events, I couldn't help thinking "buck up girl! Yes... your husband is an a$$, but you still have a heck of a lot going for you! You have a place to go, supportive parents, someone to help you, etc". Again, I don't mean to make light of the situation, but her reactions were just so over the top. I've known people and read about others who had it much much worse and handled it without melting down like she did. Ultimately, I couldn't listen to the last 1.5 hours because I was just so annoyed with the author.

    20 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaime 07-23-17
    Jaime 07-23-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Never let a man steal your peace"

    Crazy story that happens to often. Heartbreaking the way people steal your innocence but storms are what make strong women. 💗

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-13-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Oh Dear....."
    Would you try another book from Jen Waite and/or Jen Waite?


    We are so self involved these days and this is a great example of that. Yes cheating of any form is awful..... But Honestly, Not only I have heard worse stories, I've lived a worse one and I wouldnt say it's book worthy either.....He sounds like every latin man I have ever met. Reason why I will never marry one.

    No offense..... I know how it feels..... And you believe you have been soooooo wronged.... and you have....But the whole time I was more annoyed then sympathetic... and I am sooooo sympathetic.... This could have been a great article.... But book?

    Anyway.... I hope some people connect with it.... but for me, it was a waste of time and money unfortunately....

    Hope Jen finds peace : )


    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dusty M. 08-09-17
    Dusty M. 08-09-17 Member Since 2017
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    "No no no"

    This was so painful to listen to! I kept telling myself I had to finish the book since I paid for it. I understand she's the author so she doesn't have that "voice of radio" but omg her tone was killing me. I get that she is heartbroken and her husband is a piece of sh** liar but do we need a whole book to talk about it?

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Codeedar 08-04-17
    Codeedar 08-04-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Disappointing"

    I expected more than a wife cheater who doted on his wife and treated her well. Her emotional responses were overplayed. She lives a charmed life and fell in love with a charming man who couldn't be faithful. That's all.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MyPublicName British Columbia, Canada 08-03-17
    MyPublicName British Columbia, Canada 08-03-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Feels like a really long Facebook post"

    This book spends far too much time on the minutia of details like "omg is he cheating?" Uh, it doesn't matter! Especially after that fact while writing the book. The first correlation between the other woman and his actions was proof enough anyway. And, she's called "the Croatian"?? Come on. I regret my purchase and only listened to the end because I was hoping we would be told more about all the warning signs she missed along the way.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-31-17
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    "Interesting memoir - reads like a psych thriller"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I did find the listening to be time well-spent. I had heard about this book on a podcast, and I was very interested in the story. I found myself looking forward to my commutes to listen to more and unravel the events of the past that lead up to the present.


    What other book might you compare A Beautiful, Terrible Thing to and why?

    This book reminds me of true crime books where you read that the couple seemed so wonderful and happy together, and then something terrible happens. Jen is lucky that she was able to get out when she did for the safety of herself and her daughter, as her husband was very unstable.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jen Waite’s performances?

    As a narrator, Jen wasn't great, though I think it was more impactful to hear the story told in her own voice. I wouldn't want to listen to her as a narrator for others, but for this book it made sense and I was able to put aside some of her timing and pacing issues and enjoy the book.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I wouldn't go see in the the theater since I don't love depressing movies. But I would watch it at home - it would make an interesting movie.


    Any additional comments?

    The podcast that I heard about this book on had framed it as a woman married to a psychopath. So though the whole book I kept thinking 'I'm not sure if he's a psychopath?' and that kind of influenced how I was thinking about the book. I also found that the author tended to downplay her obvious privilege - she leaned on her parents to support her and her daughter (literally) and there were times when she would describe something that I thought was kind of ridiculous for an adult. But overall it was an interesting book and made my commute more entertaining.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phoebe 07-31-17
    Phoebe 07-31-17
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    "Good, but..."

    I enjoyed A Beautiful, Terrible Thing, but I was expecting more. Jen told an insightful story of marriage and betrayal, an important story for survivors of abuse & their loved ones. As a survivor of domestic violence, I appreciated that Jen handled her story without being overly salacious. The memoir was real, raw, and inspiring. That said, as a listener, I was almost expecting more... a plot twist of some sort that we never quite got. Not wishing that Jen had been forced to survive a more painful time, but I do wish the book was more accurately marketed - as a tale of survival. Instead the book is sold almost as a thriller. Jen's narration was good, you could hear the rawness of her emotions many times throughout her reading, though it is clear that she was a professional actress and at times her voice was a bit rehearsed sounding. Overall, the narration improved the book and gave you a sense of connection to the author and her story. I would recommend this book to any person who has seen a loved one unravel and is looking to feel a sense of connection.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DFW South MS 07-28-17
    DFW South MS 07-28-17 Member Since 2015
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    "It Started Out Good"

    This book started out with a bang and then the author turned pathetic. I know, I know, it's horrible how some women are treated but there is a time to let go and get on with it. It almost seems like we lose track of who is the sociopath in this book. Get on with it, girl. Let him go. Quit trying to change him or fix him and get on with your life.

    This author turned from a sleuth into a whiny, pathetic excuse for a scorned women. Is this book a revenge book?

    Oh, and I really don't need to know every single time she nursed her baby. TMI!!!

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomson family CLANCY, MONTANA, US 08-05-17
    Thomson family CLANCY, MONTANA, US 08-05-17
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    "Struggled to finish."

    A very sad recollection of a tragic marriage, where she had the guts to walk away from. The writing is unfortunately mediocre and bland, for ex. The overuse of the petname ' babe, baby ' is annoying and tedious. The narration is unprofessional . l will not recommend this book

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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