Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Review: How To Be a Good Wife

How To Be a Good Wife
How To Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman

Marta and Hector have been married for a long time. Through the good and bad; through raising a son and sending him off to life after university. So long, in fact, that Marta finds it difficult to remember her life before Hector. He has always taken care of her, and she has always done everything she can to be a good wife - as advised by a dog-eared manual given to her by Hector’s aloof mother on their wedding day.

But now, something is changing. Small things seem off. A flash of movement in the corner of her eye, elapsed moments that she can’t recall. Visions of a blonde girl in the darkness that only Marta can see. Perhaps she is starting to remember - or perhaps her mind is playing tricks on her. As Marta’s visions persist and her reality grows more disjointed, it’s unclear if the danger lies in the world around her, or in Marta herself. The girl is growing more real every day, and she wants something. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books that doesn't spell everything out for you and lets you come to your own conclusions. Makes a nice change every now and again, and I found myself fascinated by Marta's story.

Marta is a sheltered housewife who is dealing with Empty Nest Syndrome and missing her son. Married for twenty-five years, we find out bit by bit that her husband is more than a little controlling (and a bit of a jerk).

The title of this story refers to a book that Marta's mother-in-law gave her as a wedding gift. Excerpts are sprinkled throughout, and it sounds like something straight out of the past with gems such as: "Comfort him in times of stress. Speak in a low, soft voice to reassure him of your support" and "Take small mouthfuls of food, like a baby bird, and make sure to chew daintily with your mouth closed." Funny if given as a gag gift, but Marta's mother-in-law didn't seem to have a sense of humor and Marta took the advice seriously.

Medicated throughout most of their marriage, Marta is tired of not feeling and secretly stops taking her pills. She begins hallucinating and is unsure if what she's seeing are real memories or just figments of her imagination.

We're also not sure if Marta is actually remembering a horrifying past, or if she's delusional as her family believes. While her son does do a quick Internet search on the information she provides, I was surprised that no mention was made of an official investigation. Or maybe that was left out so that we're left wondering?

Found this to be a fascinating story and it stayed with me for awhile, as I pondered all that had happened. The author is incredibly talented and I look forward to reading her next book!

ARC received via the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review


  1. Oh goodness. Don't show that title to my husband. lol. Sounds like a good read though. Following her through. Thank you.

  2. Sounds like a wonderfully intriguing read, thanks for the recommendation.