Review: How to Be A Good Wife by: Emma Chapman.
In the tradition of Emma Donoghue's Room and S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, a haunting literary debut about a woman who begins having visions that make her question everything she knows
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.
I received this book via netgalley.
Okay this book was a totally different read than I was expecting. Good, mysterious, kind of had you wondering what exactly was going on, but at the same time left you with more questions than answers at the end. I was really going to give this book a 3 but decided that since I found myself intrigued with the story that I would give it a 4 star rating.
You are reading from Marta's p.o.v. within the story. She was or at least attempted to be a good wife to her husband Hector. Considering she got a book from Hector's mother called "How To Be A Good Wife" and it is something to tried to go by since she married him. Even though his mother never seem to take a liking to her but I guess that is all mothers with our children. You start off with Marta smoking and what got me going WHAT was the part where she imagines her husbands vocal cords. " Hector hates smoking......and I imagine his vocal cords rubbing together, moist and pink like chicken flesh." I kind of was like whoa. But do not let that set the story for you.
Marta has empty nest syndrome and seems to be seeing things okay you have me there. But what really got me was Marta didn't seem to connect with me within the story. I mean she wants to please her husband great, she misses her son understandable. But what does she do exactly, other than pretty much go crazy. And that is how I felt with Marta (which the name seems to bother me a bit. I keep wanting to say Martha)
I felt as though she should have venture out to find out what was going on with her. Instead she just kept dazing off with seeing things which of course made everyone suspicious. When she finds out that what she has been seeing are memories she doesn't really investigate as much as I would have thought she would have wanted to. The ending left me going wow! But I wanted answers did anyone ever really dig deeper into the story Marta was telling them? What about her husband did he really have a thing with a student when Marta thought he did? Did her son ever go and check out the house like she told him? Was there ever anything in the news about Marta? Her son Kylan (which I love the name) he seemed distant, I can understand his reasoning behind it. But at the same time I would have thought to seen more love between mom and son. He seem to ignore his mom more than I thought he would. But that is just me.
Now with How to Be A Good Wife, this author really takes you into a mind spin with what is going on because you start thinking wait is what she is seeing real or is it made up? The author did good on her first debut novel. And I do believe I would read more from her.
About the Author:
Emma Chapman was born in 1985 and grew up in Manchester. She studied English Literature at Edinburgh University, followed by a Masters in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. After university, she travelled in Scandinavia, and she currently lives in Perth, Western Australia. How To Be A Good Wife is Emma's first novel.