Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Book Review: How to Be a Good Wife

How To Be a Good Wife
How To Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

The book is written in the point of view of Marta, a housewife who has been married for a long time to Hector. They have a son, Kylan, who has just moved out of their home a few months back. Marta is having a tough time dealing with the fact that she no longer has anyone to lavish her attention on at home.

Her mother-in-law, Matilda, gave her a book on her wedding day, entitled How to Be a Good Wife and she knows the book by heart. All throughout their marriage, Marta has subscribed to all the tips and suggestions contained in the book. She is a hardworking housewife who makes sure that she fulfills her role as wife and mother.

However, for Marta, things have never been so easy. After her parents died, she has been having problems dealing with things. Her husband Hector would often tell people who asked how they met that he had saved her from drowning, yet Marta knows that was not the case. Marta's life is restricted to routines of housework and visits to the market. She never leaves the village as Hector tells her it isn't safe.

To complicate matters, Marta is beginning to see things and to lose focus. She finds cigarettes in her bag though she can't remember how they got there. She sees a young woman though the women is not really there. She is getting very confused. Then she hears the woman pleading or at time speaking with a man. The woman appears to be being kept in a small room. But Marta does not know if it is real or just a figment of her imagination.

When Kylan comes to visit bringing his girlfriend, Katya, things just get so much more difficult for Marta to handle. Especially since the couple are planning to get married. Things get much worse when Marta swears she is beginning to remember things. Hector and Kyle are so worried that she may be losing her mind.

How to Be a Good Wife is a psychological thriller. Having said that, unlike other thrillers, the story is somewhat jumpy. It is like listening to an old vinyl record that has been scratched in the middle and a good part of whatever is there gets skipped every time you play it.

Marta frustrated me no end. She is just so helpless and so dimwitted at times that I felt like hitting her over the head to get some sense into her. Another great frustration is that the author never revealed what really happened. It is almost like the story has a beginning, and an end...No idea where the middle went.

But, the story is okay though I would have loved to know what really happened to Marta and Hector. And the ending is something I did not expect -- I mean that in a good way. I really would have given this book more stars if Emma Chapman simply went on to write about what really happened to Marta and Elise.


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