Addresses Issues/Diverse · Adult Fiction · Review

How to be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman and Giveaway!


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.

Source:  ARC from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review

Marta has suddenly started smoking, though she doesn’t remember being a smoker before.  She has also stopped taking her medication.  She wants something to happen. She misses her son, who’s moved to the city, and her long, lonely days are spent catering to her older husband, Hector, following the tenets of the How to be a Good Wife book that her mother-in-law gave her when she married him.  Though she’s lived in the area for a couple decades, she’s still considered a “city girl” and has no friends and she must follow the rules that Hector has made to ensure she is safe.

What started out slow and melancholic, this obviously unreliable narrator is an enigma (she doesn’t even know herself) and you have no idea what’s going on or what the plot may be, but then it starts to pick up and I could not put it down. I didn’t even know if I liked Marta, but she was intriguing.  I cannot say too much because I do not want to spoil anything.  The story is deftly unfolded, revealing so little at a time, because we are learning at the same time as Marta just why she cannot remember anything about her past. It caused my heart to speed up several times because a lot is left to the imagination and you aren’t sure if you should trust Marta, but you also feel for her.

This was completely not a ME book, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, though it was slow to start.  It is definitely something I will find myself thinking about months from now.  I distinctly remember thinking, way before I knew what was going on, that Marta reminded me a lot of Edna Pontellier of Kate Chopin’s The Awakeningone of my all-time favorite books, though not in any way that I could articulate…until…well, you’ll have to read it to find out.



St. Martin’s Press is giving away two copies of this intriguing, sinister book, just perfect for this weather and the upcoming holiday.  Follow the rafflecopter 🙂 a Rafflecopter giveaway


5 thoughts on “How to be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman and Giveaway!

  1. I’m curious about this one– it sounds like something I would really like. I will have to look for it. It is closing in on the time of year when all I want to read is thrillers, so this would be a good choice, I think.

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